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The Lanakila Odin: Preparation for Life

By The Aloha Team

A group of Lanakila campers gathered around Jeremy Culter as he writes on a board.

Just over 35 years ago, I was honored to become the 14th Odin at Lanakila. The memories of the actual ceremony are now hazy, but the values and lessons I learned in pursuit of this goal have stayed with me. While it is hard to capture them all, here are some of the more salient ones.

In 2018, Alex Ecker completed his Odin and the camp celebrated.

Set goals:  No one earns their Odin by accident. If you want to achieve something, set a goal. Measure your progress. Let others know what you want to accomplish. You may be surprised at how many people are willing to help.

Be positive:  Every day on the right side of the grass is a gift. You can embrace it or not—embracing it is much more fun.

Be persistent:  Many times while attempting the skills required for Odin or other Viking Honors, I did not pass. I probably failed the 100yd butterfly test 6-8 times. There will be setbacks. Setbacks turn into failure only when you quit.

Keep learning:  There is always something to learn, whether it be a formula in school, a life lesson, or just some random fact. The quest for learning exercises your brain and makes you a more interesting person. There is always room to grow.

Practice humility and thankfulness:  While the Odin honor is bestowed upon an individual, many people are part of that success. Dozens of counselors worked with me to perfect my skills. Fellow campers encouraged me. All of them sacrificed something to help me achieve a goal. Remember to thank your parents, your friends, your teachers, your mentors, your colleagues.

On that note, I would like to thank the hundreds of Lanakila counselors and campers who were part of my Odin journey. Thank you for teaching me not only about portaging canoes, tying knots, and swimming the butterfly—thank you for preparing me for life. I am eternally grateful.


Rudy Glocker is an Aloha Foundation trustee and the founder of Burgeon Outdoor, an outdoor apparel company based in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Burgeon is dedicated to bringing manufacturing jobs to mountain communities.