In DMC employees' never-ending quest to make work as much like college as possible, the DMC Outing Club is a big step forward in employee happiness and a big step back in time to a more carefree age. Dartmouth may have us beat for history and skiing (and even then our skiing is steeper), but the DMC Outing Club has a secret weapon - deep-pocketed corporate backing!
For the uninitiated, DMC has a monthly stipend called the Activity Fund which employees may use to organize events with five or more DMC employees. Within limits, DMC will fund these events.
After speaking with some other employees about our desire to use the Activity Fund for outdoorsy stuff, I decided to take the initiative and found the DMC Outing Club. The response was swift and positive from other employees - they wanted to get out, get dirty, and have it paid for by DMC.
For our first event, we decided to go to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at the tip of Michigan's "pinky". A long time ago, glaciers covered the upper midwest and carved out the Great Lakes. Like a giant scraper leveling the surface of the earth, the glaciers plowed a lot of debris at their leading edges. This debris was ground down into a fine sand and deposited on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, producing massive sand dunes in the middle of the prairie. Unlike the dunes closer to Chicago in Indiana, the Sleeping Bear Dunes were never carted away and turned into glass. Having been to the Indiana and Warren Dunes, I can say that the Sleeping Bear Dunes are by far the most magnificent.
After a long drive on a Friday night we arrived at our typically excellent National Park Service campground after midnight and pitched camp in the dark. The next day started out with a couple whiffs, like getting lost in a national park organized alongside a single highway, and waiting out the rain. However after lunch we found the "real" dunes and were treated to sunny skies and warm breezes.
From canoeing down the Platte River (no not that one) and watching the salmon run to hiking the dunes so far we felt like we were in the Sahara, a great time was had by all.
So in short, come work for DMC, and you might get to do stuff like this: