You’d think we would be hunkered down in the cold in late January, but things are just starting to heat up at UP. We hosted our 3rd LIT meeting of the year at a kibbutz down south (not far from our summer camp) on the 29th and 30th, and nearly 60 LITs spent over 24 hours working and hanging out together getting prepared for the big events coming up this spring.
Our 3rd years are getting ready to graduate into assistant coaches at summer camp, which means they are knee-deep in their individual projects. They are embracing ultimate-related projects like acting as TD for UP’s quarterly games – no tiny feat; and two LITs have logged over 35 hours in traveling to coach in both Arab and Jewish communities around the region. Another LIT is taking to the peace-side of UP’s work and conducting a series of identity and conflict-resolution dialogues within the cohort.
Meanwhile, the 2nd years are getting really excited for the USA Friendship Tour. The Oompa Loompa team spent the weekend discussing what shapes their identities, asking questions like how you get your accent and whether you get to choose your religion; and practicing for panel presentations for the tour. (Spoiler alert: we are heading to Washington, D.C. and Boulder/Denver, Colorado!!!!)
3rd years helped the 2nd years with pointers about the tour in fundraising and presenting, and then led a joint ultimate practice run by LITs and LIT graduates dipping our toes (or cleats) into zone defense.
The 1st years are in the pivotal stage where they shift from get-to-know-you activities to the work of the 1st year program: running the LIT day at camp. They dabbled in different decision-making strategies and chose their teams; then got to work on the ultimate field learning how to teach drills.
The weekend highlight was the Friday night activity: an ultimate rules scavenger hunt with trivia questions and demos built with the help of volunteer mentor coaches (thanks Chelsea and Yaya!). Teams comprised of all 3 years worked together to solve tricky questions about pulls, travel calls, and marking and receiving fouls. Head coaches: we’re hoping you can keep this learning going in the local communities by encouraging them to use their knowledge of these rules in on-field calls and discussions.
The groundhog said spring is coming and it’s only a couple more weeks until the next LIT meeting. This is going to be a special meeting as we are coupling it with our quarterly games, so it looks like February 26th-27th is going to be a big weekend for all of Ultimate Peace!