Pete Hymans Guest Writer
Pete Hymans, Legacy Discovery Training Team Manager, spent the November 3-5 weekend, managing a 13-man training team. The Legacy Discovery is designed to bring men the awareness of their purposes and help them identify the LEGACY they wish to leave when they pass on.
Sixteen men of various colors, races and cultures met in the Sierra Mountains and participated enthusiastically in ritual, sports, lectures, ceremonies and great food. The event was dedicated to Randy (Randall) Listman, who was acting as the event manager when he passed away. Ceremonies and tears were present in memory of our fallen brother. Today, as our “snow-globes” settle, it is time for cheers and congratulations to the graduates, training team, production team, meal teams and the strike team for a highly memorable and successful event.
The forecast showed “RAIN, RAIN and SHOWERS” for the three days of the event.
The training and production teams did a shoulder shrug and gave an eye-to-eye glance that said, “We eat this shit up*.”
Camp Norge was the venue for the Legacy Discovery training for the Western Region. The site is gorgeous with a big open meadow, bunk-houses sufficient for about 40 people and several structures where a group of 50 or so could mentor, discover and inspire one another in style.
We’d lost our Event Manager, Randy Listman, the week before due to horrible injuries from a motorcycle accident. The entire event was dedicated to him, and there were signs everywhere that Listman was fondly remembered and that we were mourning his untimely passing.
So I, as the Training Team Manager, went to the site on Thursday afternoon to be sure all the incoming production crew and supplies would not struggle in wonderment about “who, where, what, when and how?”
Men trickled in – Cole and Daniel in their separate recreational vehicles appeared early. Then Caleb showed his smile to us and began his duty as PTM (Production Team Manager). The tasks of staging the event began and men worked well together, whistling, joking and moving smoothly to get things in place.
We went to the Monte Vista Restaurant in nearby Dutch Flat and had a truly great meal – great because of the company, great because of the food and great because of the burgeoning joy and enthusiasm for what was to come.
We had gutted our way around excuses, challenges and trends to have a sufficient number of men to have a successful Legacy Discovery. We had a production team of six amazing men. The training team consisted of 13 men, ranging in experience from 17 previous trainings to only one.
When the event’s opening ceremony started, there were 16 men, full of curiosity and anticipation. Sponsors stood behind the men as things began to unfold.
Having had the experience several years ago at a site in Pescadero, CA, when there were gale force winds and torrential rains, we knew how to adapt and create a “wet L.D.” Almost seamlessly the production team brought whatever items or labor we needed in a timely fashion and with an attitude of cooperation.
Games were vigorous and fun. Meals were delivered hot and tasty by volunteers, who had to drive a long way to Camp Norge (a great site but not situated close to the greater mass of men in the Western Region). We were greatly pleased with the site and hope to use it again, especially in the Spring, when we could tent-camp more men and have an even larger event.
“L.D. Norge” went very well in so many ways. The participants were primed to engage and give from deep within themselves. The training and production teams were seasoned and were able to flex and flow when things were a bit unexpected.
Charlie Lewis was the Lead Group Exercise Leader with David Walrath as his man in training. I was the rookie Training Team Manager. Michael Leppitsch was stellar at his last L.D. as the Shaman, with Olaf Krop as his understudy.
The richness and depth of this event is difficult to put into words, and it cannot go without saying that the “Racism Module,” developed by Charlie Lewis and Calvin Hamilton was one of the most deeply impactful and inspiring “time slips” of the weekend.
Crystal tears flowed over cheeks colored in all hues. One man thankfully stated that the topic of racism is “something we never talk about and it is so needed.”
Another emotional pinnacle came when, at the celebration campfire, a joint cheer was made as this writer threw a talisman which had been part of Randall’s essence into the fire and it soared to the heavens.
We had a ‘Randall Candle’ – a 10-inch tall, long-burning candle that was ablaze wherever the men were, throughout the event.
Randall was as much honored as he was missed.
For those who act as trainers, producers or food team members within Legacy Discovery events in the MDI world, I salute you. The work you do is huge. Lives are changed. Barriers are smashed. Creativity is stimulated. Brotherhood is carried forward. And, as we continue to deliver excellent technology (and love) to the men of our regions, our numbers will grow and our context of Mentor Discover and Inspire will radiate out and impact the world.
* WETSU (“We eat this shit up”) is a military cry of combat troops, purportedly to have originated with the 11th Airborne Division. There has been a men’s circle named WETSU in the Western Region, which the writer was a part of for 15 years.