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Genius is the intersection of ideas and effort. Thomas Edison famously said that his inventive ratio was one part inspiration to ninety-nine parts perspiration. In CLC, we believe that while anybody may (and does) have good ideas, few put in the work needed to make them seem “genius”. While CLC has been described as “genius”, we think we may look so smart because, from start to finish, we are a place where effort is expected, appreciated and rewarded. We work.

Yes, we have good ideas, and the work ethic to bring them to life. But one more critical ingredient is needed that Edison didn’t mention: collaboration. Our real genius is to take that inspiration plus perspiration and multiply it with collaboration. Ultimately, we look so smart because we work well together. In a great team, we don’t just care about our own success, or “team” success, but also the success of every individual team member. We push, pull and sometimes carry each other to the great heights.

Once our inspiration/perspiration/collaboration approach is churning away, are are a few more guiding ideas to add to the mix:

  • Our outdoor program puts us in locales that motivate, reward, and discipline. Nature inspires but it must be approached with respect. Nature’s rules apply evenly to all, and out there, we receive immediate feedback and real consequences. When you get it right (or wrong) out there, it’s all on you.


  • Every person in CLC rises according to their contribution and ability. While all status is earned, we appreciate that just showing up and trying hard is itself a healthy contribution. New, young and inexperienced members are highly esteemed because they have stepped out and taken the risk to try something new. That’s not nothing; it’s a big deal. Once upon a time, each of us was new to the game. Regardless of seniority or experience, we each face challenges at the edge of our own abilities whenever we dare to learn something new.



  • The notion of fun is always present, but it is “Deep Fun”. Deep Fun means making the choice to enjoy the growth, even in the form of growth pains, because the big results always demand real sacrifice. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, so we have decided that even when the going is difficult, we are having fun. This commitment to fun is contagious, and our people support each other through thick and thin.


This is all to say that “genius” is not something that just shows up for a person. It is a an active quality, not a latent one, and it needs to be worked for. Genius is the result of creativity and effort, and it shows up more frequently when people work together to accomplish difficult things.

We hope you enjoy our new website. It’s filled with images of people discovering their genius. Please come back often because we will keep it fresh and inviting. But mostly, we hope it inspires you to come Out There with us.

-Mark Steelquist

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