2010-07-25 18:56:10.000 – Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist
Reception for STP ’10.
Saturday was a very busy day for the summit and valley staff of the Mount Washington Observatory as we held the 10th annual Seek the Peak fundraiser. This year it was our biggest event yet and to me, the best one we have had since I started working here. While I wasn’t involved as I had been in the past three years due to being on the summit for a change, the small portion I was involved in went smoothly and kept me on my toes. The highlight for me was getting to head down to the Seek the Peak after party to take part in the festivities. And while I was down at the base, I overhead an interesting comment while in line for dinner. It was: “This all kind of reminds me of a wedding.” I didn’t think much of it until I was all alone during my night shift when my thoughts began to reflect on what they were talking about and came to the delayed conclusion on how right they were. So here is my interpretation as to why someone might think about a wedding of all things.
In the organization, there are two sets of people (a bride and groom if you will) that allow the observatory to function; the valley staff (bride) and the summit staff (groom). Late last fall, these two sets got together and settled on the date for this years Seek the Peak, circled it on a calendar, announced it to our friends and family (our members and the general public) and then started planning in the months leading up to. We then asked our sponsors if they would be like to be our best man and brides maid positions helping us out in our planning and organizing of this event. We started to choose locations, foods, gifts for the guests, photographers, transportation, etc. and establishing time lines to get everything done that needed to be done in time; the 23rd and 24th of July 2010.
The 23rd finally arrived and the flurry of events started to take place. Friday, we had our guests check in where we gave them their gifts (shirts and goody bags) and provided them relevant information for the big event on Saturday. Since it was an outdoor event, the weather was provided. Instructions on where to get to the various events was distributed as well as relevant times as to when these events would be taking place. Later that afternoon/evening, we held a concert (a bachelor/bachelorette party if you will) in celebration of the big event the next day. Some people went to this party while others headed back to their hotels/camp sites to prepare for the early and long day that awaited them on Saturday.
Saturday, the big event! Our guests poured onto trails meeting at the summit (the “chapel” if you will) where the unity of valley and summit staff greeted them. After a six to eight hour ceremony on the summit, we all headed down to the reception at the base of the mountain. There we met our guests in a more casual setting, had some dinner, enjoyed some music and some light dancing, and our MC (Scot Henley) added plenty of good cheer to spread around as well as some additional gifts for a few lucky people. And just as fast as the event had started, it was all over. Our guests began to head home, our volunteers began to clean up, and valley and summit staff headed off into the sunset for a day of rest and recuperation on Sunday (a honeymoon of sorts).
So while it might not be 100% like a wedding I can see the correlation between the two events. And when the honeymoon ends Monday and we resume our work week duties, we will have some finalized numbers (amount of hikers, funds raised, etc) to provide everyone with. And with STP ’10 behind us, it is time to start planning for STP ’11. So if you missed out this year, maybe we will see ya at next year’s event.
Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist