CBR Postdoc and Research Associate Retreat at Loon Lake

By Dr. Georgina Butler, Research Associate, Overall Lab

If you didn’t go, you missed groping around in the dark with a dozen RAs and postdocs from the CBR. Perhaps I should explain …… this year’s Postdoc and Research Associate Retreat at Loon Lake near Maple Ridge, BC included a scavenger hunt that culminated in an escape room. None of the teams managed to open the final door (except the first team because the organisers had left the door open), but that was through lack of time, not brains ….. really.

RAs and Postdocs from the Conway, Hancock, Ma, McNagny and Overall Labs plus our Education Coordinator, Stefanie Mak, carpooled from Vancouver and met at Loon Lake for ice breakers and muffins. First we had to introduce a “new friend” to the group. My friend was Hugo Cesar Ramos De Jesus who recently joined the Overall Lab from Brazil where he worked on degradomics of the ant Atta sexdens. Then we played “Blood Bingo”, where we had to fill in a chart, “bingo style” which had small descriptions of CBR research topics in each box. We had to talk to others and find someone who was working on that topic. Houra Loghmani (Conway lab) won that game. Finally, we played “word salad” where everyone wrote a random word or phrase on a piece of paper and our 2 teams took turns picking and guessing what was on the paper from: round (1) a description not including the word/phrase itself; (2) a single word; (3) charades – not so easy with random thoughts like “jumpy little flea”, “soccer is the best game in the world”, or “Joey Tribbiani” – of course, “macrophage” was a piece of cake!

After breaking the ice, we ventured out for a walk in the forest. The only disappointment of the day was that the hand-ferry was broken – even though we overloaded it last year (http://cbr.ubc.ca/how-many-scientists-does-it-take-to-sink-a-ferry/), I don’t think it was us! After lunch, we paired up for a scavenger hunt which was won by team “George Michael”, RAs George Butler (Overall Lab) and Michael Hughes (McNagny Lab). We ended the day with a survival task in the forest – constructing overnight shelters from tarps or a hollow tree (top tip: use what’s available) and using flints to make a fire to toast marshmallows (my friend Hugo’s first toasted marshmallow!).

It was a fun day getting to know our peers and working out how we might collaborate by combining our expertise. Join us next time?