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  • HDT Team

Back to Basics 2020 – Our Longtime Partnership with PR-B Schools

We’re about to hold the 14th annual Back to Basics sustainability event and everyone on the Happy Dancing Turtle staff works with a passion and vigor for months before the event even takes place (Saturday, February 15). Yet, even with our “all hands on deck” mentality, we must ask for outside help, and that’s why we’ve continually returned to the Pine River-Backus school system year after year.


We use countless rooms in the PR-B school and even though our event causes disruption, teachers and staff continually agree to let us hold B2B at the school. Why? Because they’re awesome!

As B2B has increased in attendance and prominence in the region, we’ve discussed if now was the time to move to a larger, more centralized facility. We’d hold these discussions and we would, every time, come back to the conclusion that the PR-B school district bends over backwards for us.

Let’s go over what awesome work the PR-B school district does for B2B.

  1. Tech Volunteers – Every year we are fortunate to have stirring and motivating keynote speakers. Some have speeches, others prefer a session of Q&A, most have a slideshow setup, and sometimes, they even sing songs. Having the sound system set up and ready for all variations of topics is something that our organizations doesn’t have to worry too much about, because we have always had a tech volunteer who mans the setup. They are there for most of the day and are readily available for all room troubleshooting problems, too! Not, just in the cafetorium! Almost every presenter uses the smart boards in the classrooms. Guess who helps out with those problems, as well! We’d be sorely pressed to have all rooms taken care of on the tech side without the help of our tech volunteers!


These cinnamon rolls don’t just make themselves! The great PR-B kitchen staff takes real good care of participants. Why? Because they’re awesome!

Kitchen Staff – One way to make sure everyone is satisfied throughout the (long) day is to make sure everyone is fed. With discussions taking place as far as several months prior to the event, campus chef Chris G. and PR-B food service director Jill B. nail down a noon-time meal that is a hit for all. PLUS, the kitchen staff takes care of the breakfast meals and serve and clean up all day. We would be sorely pressed to have the quality food available without the help and support from the PR-B director and the kitchen staff!

  1. Teachers – B2B doesn’t just take place in the gymnasium and cafeteria. It takes place all over the school. Elementary rooms, middle areas, band & choir areas, the library, and even home economics kitchen rooms. We ask a lot of the school, which means we ask a lot of the teachers in the school. We ask to use their teaching space, use their equipment, and maybe even use their smart boards. The chance that something could go wrong or messy or disastrous is not zero and our district’s teachers are aces when it comes to us invading their spaces. We would be sorely pressed to find a location that let’s us have run of the place without the patience and enthusiasm of the teachers at the PR-B school district!


We use all pieces of the school and we make large messes. But, does the custodial staff complain? No. You wanna know why? Because they’re awesome!

Custodial staff – We’ve already covered that B2B uses all of the school. We use the classrooms, hallways, kitchen, gymnasium, and practically everywhere else. That means every bit of the school is open to the possibility of giant messes, slushy snow being tracked in, food spills, or any other disaster that would lead to general disarray in the school. Without the attendance of the custodial staff, we would have to set up all teachers rooms, prepare the gymnasium, line up and count all chairs in the auditorium, bring down all tables for lunch, clean up on all classrooms, hallways, entryways, and TONS MORE. (I’m not even bringing up the bathrooms!) For sure, we would be sorely pressed to find a partner that takes care of all of these necessary steps for the event if we didn’t stay at the PR-B school.

We keep coming back to PR-B not only for these reasons, but because staying in Pine River adds to our community resilience. When we hold our largest event in Pine River, we are saying “YES” to our community. We know what they can do. We understand that if we all work together, we can put together something incredible.

So, THANK YOU to all the staff, teachers, and volunteers that show up, year in and year out, to make Back to Basics the success that it has become. You are awesome!


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