In-Depth blog post 6

Hello everybody, this is my sixth in-depth blog post. I hope you enjoy it!  

I plan to present my boat by bringing the boat and explaining how it works. I am going to do this by bringing the boat, the instructions, and some of the tools. I will also write a script to say and explain how I made the boat and the history of the model I am making. My audience will interact with the post by listening to the script and by asking questions at the end of the thirty seconds. My hope is that this explanation will increase the audience members’ knowledge of boat building and maybe convince them to try and build one themselves. 

See you on May 31st! 



In-Depth Blog Post 5

Hi everybody this is my In-depth blog post 5

During the last four weeks, I have met with my mentor nine times. During this time, we have begun the planking part of the boat-building process. This includes cutting out pieces and epoxying them to the boat’s sides. During the gluing process, we encountered a few problems. The first problem was a minor one. We needed to use a block sander which we did not have, so we decided to go to Canadian tire and buy one for 12.99. The second problem was worse, the clamps would not stay on the side of the boat. This was because of the angle of the boat. We solved this by only epoxying one side of the boat and by drilling l brackets into the building board. 


 The third problem was the weight of the clamps. One of the clamps was too heavy so I built a tower to rest it on while the epoxy dried. 


I did not reach my goal set in my last post, but I hope to have finished the planking by my next and last post. 

I have one fear while building this project, Time. I only have six weeks left in this project and with my average of 2.5 meetings per week that is only 15 meetings left. To finish this project in its entirety that is not enough time as I must finish the planking, deck, fiberglass, and find order and electronics for the boat by the end of this project. My only solution so far is to either meet with my mentor more which is very hard on my schedule or to accept that I am not going to finish this by the deadline. 



Regarding my questions. 


 What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning? 


My mentor firstly leads me by example, then he will work with me to make sure I know the steps to do the task. Finally, he tests me by giving me a task and leaving me to my own devices to test if I can complete it on my own 


What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning? 


The main way to reinforce new learning is to do repeated tasks. An example of this is mixing epoxy. During the last few meetings. My mentor and I mixed epoxy in order to glue the boat together. This is a repeated task and I have learned how to do it on my own. 


 What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning? 

 The main opportunity that could accelerate my learning was my mentor leading by example.  This causes accelerated learning because while he shows me what to do he knows I am able to repeat it and we are able to learn at a faster pase if I am able to do one task, like mixing epoxy, while he is able to do another thing kile cutting out pieces of planking.


When you get together what do you talk about? 


When not talking about the boat my mentor and I mostly talk about his past experiences as an ironworker this helps me better understand where he got his skill from and how they apply to this project. 


What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now? 


Communication Is probably the best thing going in our mentor-mentee relationship right now. We are constantly bouncing ideas back and forward and thinking of solutions together. 


What are you learning about one another? 


During this process, I have learned a lot about my mentor’s skillset. An example of this is his ability to adapt to change and problem-solving. During our hardest problem, he suggested that we only epoxy one side at a time and it was this suggestion that led to us solving the problem. 

In Dept Blog Post 4 

Hello everybody This is my In Dept Blog Post 4 

Since my last post, I have met with my mentor 6 times and have worked on the boat a lot. I have added the four stringers and butterfly keel. I have also started to work on the planking section. This is the second part of building a remote-controlled boat. After this, the next part is fiberglassing the hull to make it waterproof. Aside from all of this, we have ordered the mechanical parts necessary to make the modal boat a remote-controlled boat. 

 By my next post, I hope to be done with planking and to have started working on the fiberglassing of the boat. One worry I have is that I will not be able to finish the boat in time for the end of my in-depth project. In order to combat this problem, I have decided to try and meet with my mentor more often and for longer. 

Things that are working well are communication and teamwork with my mentor. An example of this is the planning of the blueprints. When working with my mentor we tend to bounce ideas back at each other and I find it to be very productive as we are able to correct each other’s mistakes. 


I think that the time management could be better as we have a limited amount of time to complete this project as stated previously, I could meet with my mentor for longer visits or I could make a schedule in order to stay on track to finish this project on time 


Soft Paths Assignment 

Hello everyone this is my soft path assignment.


  1. Picking the Right Shoes 

When planning your hike or trip you have to make sure to choose the correct shoe. It must be comfortable as per your individual preferences yet light enough to avoid further damage to trails. The main part of picking your footwear with regards to trail impact is the sole of the shoe, I recommended to avoid a heavy stiff-soled shoe because of the impact that this will have on the ground and vegetation.  For me, this impacts my adventure trip because we are planning on going for a hike and don’t want to destroy the nearby vegetation so when planning the trip, knowing that my group has stiff shoes, we may want to pick a more resilient trail rather than go off on pristine vegetation 




2. Plan ahead and Prepare 

Before you go hiking in the backcountry it is necessary to prepare for your trip. If you don’t prepare properly it can lead to disaster in the middle of your trip. While preparing keep in mind the regulations and criteria of the area and always keep in mind a route that is appropriate to your skill level.  For me, this means getting to know the locations and trails with the rest of my hiking group. Researching about hiking, including reading books like “Soft Paths”, learning from my peers, researching stuff online, making sure I have the right gear. This has the added benefit of creating stronger bonds with my classmates and making me feel more confident in our abilities. 


3. Choosing your hike location- Popularity 

Another thing to keep in mind is the popularity of the trail. You don’t want to go too popular because this increases damage to the system but if you are inexperienced you don’t want to go in the middle of nowhere because if an accident were to happen you might not be able to get help quickly or rescue yourself.  For me, the trail we are going on for the adventure trip is relatively popular and this provides an extra level of safety because popular trails tend to be better marked, we are closer to other campers in case of emergency, wildlife tends to avoid large groups and popular trails (as long as they are not being fed). But being on a popular trail also has its downsides. Being close to other campsites can tend to ruin the natural feel of the wilderness if you are constantly hearing or seeing other hikers or their litter.  I will be mindful of protecting the vegetation and trail by staying on the marked paths. After reading this book I better understand when to pick different trails because of their popularity and the damage that repeated visitors can have on ecosystems, path, and campsites. 


  4. Choosing you hike location – amount of use 

The most important factor with choosing a campsite is the amount of use that campsite has.  In order to minimize your impact on the wild, you should avoid pristine little used sites in order to let them regrow or gain back their natural state. This is because the more used a site is, the less impact you will have by camping on that site as long as you don’t increase the boundaries of the established campsite.  If we are hiking in small groups on established paths, we should walk single file and avoid increasing the path or creating multiple spiderweb paths. If we are hiking in a pristine area we should spread out to limit the damage to any particular area and to avoid creating trails, this ties in to planning our trip because the hikes we are going on are all established trails.  


5. Pack it In, Pack it Out 

In the wilderness, one of the worst things to see is trash and litter.  In large amounts, I can ruin the aesthetics of the trail, and even in small amounts, it can destroy the wildlife and animals surrounding the trail. An example of this is food waste. Animals will pick through the trash you leave behind, smelling the food waste, and will grow accustomed to digging through trash and eventually campsites if left unchecked. If an animal becomes habituated or dependent on these food source often this directly leads to the animal’s death.  To avoid this is to pack out everything you pack in and clean up after hikers who have gone before you if they have left garbage or litter behind. This ties into my adventure trips because we will plan to bring a garbage bag with us and will try to reduce the packaging of our food and the other potential garbage that we start our hike with. 


6. Protecting the Water 

While waste on the land is sometimes more noticeable, waste in the water can stretch for longer and have a bigger impact on animals as well.  To protect natural water and your drinking water you should always clean stuff downstream from where you are collecting water and also strain or scatter dishwater at least 200 feet from the freshwater source and not use any soap or chemicals near water to avoid contaminating the water. You should also not go to the bathroom within 200 feet of any water source, trails or other campers. This is to avoid contaminating places where other people will walk, swim or drink from. You have to be especially careful near water because there are often more animals near water and any damage spreads.  This applies to my adventure trips because a large group produces more waste and therefore needs to be even more careful of their impact and a large group needs freshwater as well. 


7. Respect Wildlife 

Wildlife is vitally important to all ecosystems, including those of popular trails.  Respecting wildlife means giving them space, not feeding them, preventing impact on their environment, allowing them the means to avoid us (i.e., making noise while hiking). Another way to minimize impact is to animal proof food and supplies by hanging your food properly in trees or keeping it in a bear cache and by using animal proof containers.  This ties into the Talons trips because we are going to be in the wild and as preparation for the trip we should know how to identify and protect different types of wildlife.  We encounter a lot of wildlife on my street as well and have to protect them there as well. 

8. Leave what you find 

When traveling in the backcountry you may discover cool or interesting rocks or stick that you would like to keep as a souvenir. Allow others to discover the same things as you by not picking up or collecting these items.  This has the benefit of not disrupting wildlife by removing objects in their world. I tend to be a collector and like to fill my pockets, so for me, this will mean controlling this impulse and maybe bringing a better phone or camera so I can take lots of pictures instead so I have the pictures as my keepsakes.  On our adventure trips, I might volunteer to take some group pictures or volunteer to bring a camera. 


9. Travel and camp on durable surfaces 

When picking a location for the campsite you should try to go on surfaces like rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow because these surfaces are more resistant to damage. If there are no durable surfaces nearby then look for surfaces that have been previously used because this will limit the damage that you do on a new surface.  If it is a pristine site then spread out a vary your paths because this will avoid trampling one area and allow the entire area a chance of regrowing and protecting it from damage. This is crucial during Talons trips because of the number of people we are camping with because more people cause more damage it is crucial that we camp on surfaces that are resistant to damage. Personally, this means confining myself to a smaller area to avoid further damage to unused vegetation and nature surrounding the campsite. 


10. Bear Safety 

We live in bear country therefore it is important to know how to protect and respect these creatures.  There are many types of bears in North America. When hiking in BC we typically encounter Black, Brown, or Grizzly bears. It is important to know the types of bears because you need to act differently around different types of bears.  Black bears live in woods and are found all across North America. They are omnivores, eating anything from berries, to grubs to food taken from camper’s packs. They are smart animals and have been known to break into food containers and unlock cars.  Grizzly bears are a bit different and are more comfortable in open country rather than in forests and are more aggressive and therefore more dangerous than black bears. This is important to adventure tri because we might encounter bears while hiking and it is important to know how to act during an encounter. 


11. Hanging Food 

Hanging food is one of the main ways to reduce the impact on a bear’s eating habits. When hanging food make sure it is 5 feet away from the trunk, 5 feet beneath any branch, and at least 12 feet off the ground.  This ensures that a bear will not be able to get your food and impact its hunting and eating patterns. Another thing is to hang multiple caches so if a bear were to get one it would not be all of your food and you will still be able to continue your hike.  This is useful information for Talons trips because without this information we not be able to store our food properly and if our food was eaten it might end our hike prematurely. 


12. Trail Dilemma 

When planning a hike, you have two options: on trail or off trail.  Each of these has their own pros and cons.  Pros of going on a trail include minimizing the damage to plants and will be less likely to get seriously lost. Cons of the trail are if the trail is poorly made it can still suffer damage and surrounding a trail is often informal or spiderweb trails to avoid hazards to avoid muddiness, puddles or other obstacles. These spiderweb trails are not designed well and still suffer huge damage if people walk on them repeatedly. On the other hand, pros of walking in the back country are that you are less likely to encounter other traveller and things impacted by other people which can increase the nature experience of your hike. Cons to going off trail are that you are unable to do things that you’re are unable to do on trail, like leave notes or markers in the dirt or sand and that it might be easier to become disoriented or lost. When planning our adventure trips, we have made the decision to hike on trails to minimize our impact on the environment while still having the experience of hiking in nature. 


13. Type of Use of Campsite 

Heavily used campsites are more affected by the types of use rather than the quantity of use. More frequently used campsites do not have the recovery time that a less use campsite, this applies to a certain extent but after a certain point the amount of use barely increases the damage. For example, campsite used 15 nights per used lost 81% of vegetation whereas campsites used 5 times as often lost a bit more than 91%, significantly less than predicted. What this means for us is that if we choose well established campsites, we will not really be increasing the impact to the surrounding environment if we respect the boundaries of the campsite and do not increase or extend the boundaries. 


14. Hiking party size 

One of the factors that causes this is the size of the group.  For example, most trails and campsite hold up better when you have small groups 3-4 people rather than large groups like 10 or more, this is because larger groups tend to bare up larger areas of the ground. Another problem of larger groups is the size requirement. Because more larger groups means more or larger tents the footprint of the campsite is increased by the increased need for space.  This causes more trampling and more vegetation destruction than with a smaller group.  All of this ties into Talons trips because we are going to be in larger group therefore, we have to be extra careful about the impact we cause to campsites. 


15. Don’t Deliberately Damage your surroundings 

When initially camping at a pristine site, the signs of use seem small. Most people don’t notice minor trampling or a little less firewood, but as more and more people begin to use and destroy the area then campsites will lose an alarming amount of vegetation and wildlife. In fact, 95% of trees were damaged by people collecting firewood, hacking them for wood, or hanging ropes and one third of trees were completely by campers cutting them down in Eagle Camp Wilderness in Oregon. This just shows how much damage people can deliberately do in a campsite.  This affects future Talons trips because our actions now affect the people who will camp after us on those same hikes and trails. This just goes to show how awareness of consequences can change actions in a group and help to preserve the forest’s natural surroundings for the future. 


16. Fire Rings 

When encountering a fire ring in a site you first have to evaluate if it is in a good position and a good size and that it is. If it is not, it might be worth your while to build a new one or to dismantle inappropriate fire rings to minimize future use and damage fires within these rings might cause.  Do this by turning over blackened rocks and scattering ashes over a wide area. If there is no surrounding firewood you will not want to build a new fire ring as this will increase the area that does not have firewood.  How this impacts Talons is that if we encounter Fire Rings in inappropriate areas, we should probably dismantle them appropriately to prevent their future use. 


17. Bear Avoidance 

When hiking or camping in bear country you must be aware of how to avoid encounters with bears. You can do this by being loud or noisy when hiking and by dissuading bears from coming near you with items like bear bells or bangers. If you see a bear, remember that space is safe, back away giving the bear space, and avoid eye contact.  Give the bear an exit. As a last resort if a bear is aggressive or attacking it may be a good idea to use bear spray as a deterrent.  It is important to know how to use it before you need it so for Talons trips it is a good idea to make sure everyone knows how to use bear spray and how to avoid close encounters with bears. 


18. Fires vs Stoves 

It can seem that there is no other option but to use a fire to cook things but stoves are better in almost every way. An example of this is the wood that fires used to burn. The wood that people use for campfires is useful for giving the soil and bugs nutrients, protection, and living quarters. They also serve as food for plants and it has a water holding capacity so when droughts occur plants can survive from the water in the wood. When wood is burned in campfires it destroys all of these benefits.  So why do people choose wood: portability. Because you don’t have to lug around a stove and fuel everywhere it provides a better way to feel that you are living off the land. Some people also feel that campfires are more traditional and it won’t feel the same without one.  Stoves fix most of these problems by not using wood and instead of using fuel. The downside of this is the weight of carrying around the stove and fuel and some people feel the loss of ambiance is a downside. This relates to Talons because we have decided to only use stoves for the trip and we feel this action alone will help to protect the habitat along the hike. 


19. Toilet Paper 

To reduce waste leaves, moss and rocks, snow and vegetation can make good toilet paper. However, you have to consider that this may damage the environment so it might be a consideration to bring toilet paper in with you and to pack it out in a garbage bag rather than burying it or leaving it exposed on the ground It falls under the rule of pack it in, pack it out. For Talons hikes, knowing that we have to pack out toilet paper I will bring my own small garbage bag to carry my own used toilet paper out with me. 


20. Consider Other Visitors 

When hiking on trails you have to be considerate of other visitors. You can do this by giving them space and by not breaking and camping in popular areas. You can also do this by moving to the downhill side of the trail. this relates to talons because on a talons trip, we are part of a large group, and it is our responsibility to try and prevent impact on other visitors.  






In-depth blog post 3



So far in the last three weeks, I have met with my mentor three times. We have established a schedule in which he will come over to my garage after school and we will work on the boat until dinner. I have also made regular progress with making my remote-controlled boat. 

Since my last blog post I have added the sheers to the side of the frame and have finished cementing the boat

together and to the building board. I have also learned some boat-building terminology such as frame, sheer, kneel, and bulkhead.  


While this progress report is mostly positive, I have encountered one main issue so far, the wood breaking. To help the glue cement to the wood better I decided to put weight on the sheer in order to keep the part together. Unfortunately, when taking this weight off I noticed that one of the segments of the sheer had broken into two. This Is not a big problem as all we have to do in order to fix it is to line it up and then add epoxy. This was likely due to a weak spot in the wood rather than the weight we put on the boards because all the other places we weighted worked out fine. 


Things that went particularly well during our mentoring sessions were communication and problem-solving. I think these worked well because of the way my grandpa was teaching me. It usually worked like this, he would explain how to do the task and would then watch me do it so he could be sure I was doing it right. After this, he would then join in and help finish the task. This is a highly effective teaching method as he was able to correct me before I had the chance to repeatedly do the same wrong thing. 

 We also communicated effectively if we had a problem. For example, in our most recent meeting, one of the instructions was asking for two pieces that were not listed in the instruction kit. Because of this, we spent most of the meeting talking about possible solutions and what could have happened. We ended up deciding that because the kit included two extra 26” long wooden parts we would cut one of them down into the 12” parts we needed. 


To hold myself accountable for the learning I am always asking about how a particular part fits in or how two parts go together. If after these questions I do not understand something, I will not hesitate to sit down with the instructions and the plans and look at them until I understand the information completely.  

Thank you for reading, 





In-depth Blog post 2

Hi everybody, my name is Ben, and this is my second blog post. I hope you enjoy it! 


Between my last post and this one, I have met with my mentor five times. I have also begun to work on building the remote-controlled boat. It has been going well and I have accomplished a lot. I have cut out and epoxied two parts together along with building the frame of the boat. My grandfather has taught me about running dimensions and he has begun to teach me how the frame of the boat supports the paneling. He has also taught me how to tie a non-slip knot to keep the sides of the boat’s frame together before we glue it down to the building board. 

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I also have learned a few things about my mentor. He has gained his expertise by working as an ironworker for years. He also has built and worked with his own personal boat for years. These experiences were generally positive for him as he enjoyed rebuilding and sailing his own personal boat. 


I have also had to deal with a few problems with this project and they mostly stem from the kit. Because I ordered a model boat kit online my mentor and I have been cutting out the wood from the sheets provided. This is the hardest part of the job as if you mess up the wood could split and that is a big problem. This has happened once so far, and we had to glue the pieces back together in order to continue with this project. 

In terms of facilitation strategies, I have learned that as a mentor you should split up the wort 90-10 where the mentee is doing 90% and the mentor is doing 10% of the work. This is important because as a mentee I should be doing the majority of the work as it is my project and not my grandfather’s. 


To summarize, I have made lots of progress so far while completing this project and even though I have hit a few roadblocks it is going well so far. I have a few main things that I want to do before the end of February.  


  1. I want to set up a consistent schedule with my mentor. So far, we have just been calling to arrange individual meetings so I think that a consistent schedule would be beneficial. I was thinking meeting after school every week on Fridays would work best for both of us as I am always free that day. 
  1. The second thing I want to do is to finish gluing and building the framework for my boat as that is the next crucial step in the boat building process. 
  1. The third thing I want to do is to figure out how to panel and fiberglass the boat and how that will change the strength of the frame. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this In-Depth Post.  

I hope you have a great day  



In-depth blog post 1

Hello everybody, my name is Ben, and this is my first blog post about my in-depth project for 2022.  

When I was picking my in-depth topics, I knew I wanted to do something with my hands. This led me to want to build something using welding or woodworking.  so, at first, I decided to make a go-cart. 

After picking this I called my mentor (my grandfather) and asked him about his expertise and his thoughts on the subject. He told me that we could build a go-cart together but it would cost over 1000 dollars. Obviously, that is too much money for a high school project, so we decided to make a wooden remote-controlled boat instead. We then set up a meeting to pick out the plans for the shell of the boat. 

On Sunday we looked online for the plans and parts to make a remote-control boat but, to my dismay, there are not many plans online that fit the descriptions I decided on (three feet long and not a kit)  

I eventually found a model boat that I could waterproof and propellers and add a motor to make it into an RC boat, so we ordered it online. I am in the process of scheduling a meeting to try ordering the guts of the boat, but I will probably not do this until making sure it will work. 

Before my next blog post, I want to have ordered the mechanical parts and to have started to work on the modal boat.  




John Maxwell 3 Paragraphs Blog Post


“Think influence, not position” (Maxwell 2013) I picked this quote because I feel that it is very important to me or any leader.  It basically means that if you don’t have influence over someone you will not be able to lead them. And that the only way to be a leader is to have influence or respect of the people you are leading. In his book, John Maxwell explains how to do this with five rules. 1 People follow leaders they know, leaders who care. 2 People follow leaders they trust, leaders with character. 3 People follow they respect, leaders who are competent. 4 people follow leaders they can approach, leaders who are consistent. 5 people follow leaders they can approach, leaders with commitment. These five rules dictate what a leader should do if they want to have influence. Maxwell also explains how to do this by, by lightening your leader’s load. He said how often you do this directly correlates to how much influence you will have over them. If you, do it once or twice, they will say “thanks.” If you, do it many times they will say “I Need you.” If you, do it continually, they will say “let me help you” This especially holds true for leading above you or when you don’t have a position over them. It is related to the TALONS program because when planning cultural events or trips you are not above the other people in your group and if they do not respect you and you don’t have influence over them, they might not listen to you or hear what you have to say.  this furthers your leadership because it teaches you how to lead over and across, and without the respect of your followers, this would not be possible. 


“Know When to push and when to back off” (Maxwell 2013) I picked this quote because I think that it is very important to know when trying to gain influence right before leading forward. To figure this out he gave three questions to know when to push forward. 1 Do I know something that my boss doesn’t, but needs to know? 2 is time running out? 3 are my responsibilities at risk.? He also gave us three questions to know when to back off. 1 Am I promoting my own agenda? 2 Have I already made my point? 3 Does my request exceed my relationship.? These questions are necessary when trying to lead above you as if you mess up you may just annoy your leader into not listening to you. This is true in TALONS when deciding when to talk to the teacher about a problem when planning a trip, for example, let’s say you are planning a trip and you are one kayak short the day before the trip. You would tell your leader/ teacher because question 2 would apply because time was running out. Another example would be that your leader makes a mistake and anciently does some math wrong. You should just talk to the leader, tell them their mistake and leave it at that, rather than holding a meeting to tell everybody about it because you have already made your point.  


“The Tension Challenge: The pressure of being caught in the middle.” (Maxwell 2013) I picked this quote because I think that is important to relieve tension while leading from the middle. The tension challenge is overcoming the stress in leading from the middle of the pack. It can be hard to do this but overcoming the tension challenge is important to becoming an effective 360° leader. In his book John Maxwell game five suggestions for relieving the tension challenge. 1 Become comfortable with the middle. 2 Know what to own and what to let go of. 3 Find quick access to answers when caught in the middle. 4 Never violate position or the trust of the leader. “Trust is built one block at a time, but when it is violated, the entire wall comes crashing down.” -David Branker 5 Find a way to relieve stress. This is related to TALONS because if you are always stressed about being in the middle. You will never get the chance to succeed or become the leader you want to be. Following these rules furthers your leadership skills by getting rid of the tension that comes with being in the middle. Without this tension, you can focus on doing your best work rather than trying to appease your peers or leader.