Friday, July 1, 2011

Beer Scene in 100 Mile - Stormriders Rookie Party

As my enlightened colleagues and I had just returned from Northern Alberta and were faced with an unprecedented six days off work, we knew it was time for this year's instalment of the always legendary Stormriders Rookie Party. With eight rookies on the crew this year the possibilities for a truly epic event were staggering, so myself and the other returning members of the Stormriders sat down to plan our most ambitious rookie party to date.

Now this is a beer blog of course, and you may be wondering what any of this had to do with beer. A key element of this gathering would be the restrained, and refined sampling of some of the most exotic beverages attainable from the bargain section of the 100 Mile liquor store. From Pacific Pilsner, to Canterbury, to Cariboo Lager, there would indeed be a wide selection of sophisticated libations available. Myself and my esteemed associate Carl made a quick trip to pick up the odd item to ensure that no one's throat would become dry during the festivities.

We quickly decided a costume party would help break the ice and ensure a good time was had by all. Although the veterans would of course decide all costumes, we ensured that the new people's outfits were dignified and in good taste.

 It soon dawned on us that the rookies, full of youthful vigour and enthusiasm, would need some activities to help burn off their excess energy. We thus set out to construct the Rookie Obstacle Course to build fitness, team work and competitive spirit for the new folks, and to provide a certain level of entertainment and levity to the jaded spirits of the veterans. Such events as the slip and slide, the military crawl, the beer chug/bat spin/penalty shot and silly walk all were to be navigated. Any transgressions committed along the way were met with a visit to John's Liquor Booth, were I dolled out liquid punishments in order to remind the new crew members of the importance of discipline and the chain of command. In retrospect I may have been somewhat harsh with these reminders, but spare the rod and spoil the child I always say.

After the obstacle course, we staged a mock trial where each rookie took a turn as defendent. This allowed us to gently remind the new members of mistakes made on the recent fires and point out aspects of their character that we felt could use some improvement. Interestingly, all were found guilty, and sentences were carried out that we felt would help reinforce improved behaviour in the future.

 We capped off the events of the evening with a rookie dance-off, allowing the newbies to impress us with their moves and adding a light element to a highly sophisticated evening. All in all the party was a resounding success, from the sampling of the finest in cheap lagers and ales, to the various team building exercises to the good spirits of the rookies. I believe overall we proved what a mature and responsible group the Stormriders are and widely disproved the theory that fire fighters are overgrown children lacking in refinement and social graces.

Disproved indeed.

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