By Jim Travers
MTI recently attended the annual conference and extravaganza of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, held this year in Spokane, Washington.
For the benefit of the uninitiated, AORE is an organization for students, educators and professionals either involved in or pursuing a career in outdoor activities and organizations, and who are interested in introducing others to the same while also promoting conservation and environmental stewardship.
As MTI’s Director of Sales, I have been fortunate enough to draw the biodegradable straw and attend the AORE conference the past couple of years, and as MTI’s resident Baby Boomer, I have to say it is one of my favorite business trips of the year. There are a few of reasons for this:
- First and foremost is simply that people drawn to the outdoors and to careers in it tend to be a pretty nice bunch overall, and that always makes for a more enjoyable stint in a trade show booth.
- Diet. These people eat pretty well. For better or worse, I can’t remember the last time I saw an afternoon snack table with nothing on it but apples.
- I learn something. AORE is a smart bunch, and whether it’s a lecture on local history or wilderness medicine, sneaking into a seminar or two can make me feel like a smarter guy. Never mind whether that’s true or not.
- Finally, here comes the OK Boomer part. it’s refreshing to sit in an auditorium full of people who are more interested in hearing what the speaker and each other have to say than they are in their own phones. It’s a little thing, perhaps, and I’m as guilty as most when it comes to spending too much time staring at the small screen. But I can’t remember being anyplace recently where the audience was so involved. I don’t know why that gives me hope, but it does.
So ok, boomer. There. I said it first.