Twenty-plus people gather outside under the big wooden cabled structure on a cold day calling for the worst winter weather we may see yet. “Layers,” they said, “Wear layers.” So with our peanut butter sandwiches in plastic bags and Camelbaks of water, we wander onto the grounds in the early morning wondering who will return and who we have yet to meet. As we get closer we begin to recognize each other underneath our hats, jackets, and scarves. “How have you been?” “I’m so glad you came back!” “I’ve missed you!” “Where else would I be?” “Hi! Who are you? Welcome to our team!”
Amongst the frenzy of greetings, laughs, inside jokes, introductions and hugs, we run around dropping packs, picking up harnesses, opening up landlockers and letting down nets. Our families will have to do without us. Our other work and obligations, we’ve left them behind. Our phones are off and we focus our energy on this group, this place, these learnings. Every year most of us ask ourselves,“Why do we come back?”
When you were a child and you were told, “Go out and play with your friends,” did you ask your mom, “Why?” Did you ask, “What will the weather be? Will I be comfortable? What will I do?” It’s more likely you ran out the screen door without looking back, found your friends, and got lost in a new adventure. You went out to play!
Today the facilitators at Challenge Discovery used golf balls, boards, plastic pipes, buckets and ropes to conquer the Great Aquaduct, fight the Giant Python and put the wobbly tub of toxic plutonium on its pedestal forever keeping the world safe! If we had super-hero capes we would have worn them!
Oh sure, we had requirements to meet, tests to take, tasks to achieve and some of us were a little anxious about “making the cut.” Truth be told, this is our time, as facilitators, to reconnect with friends, make new ones and go out and play. In the coming months, we will observe our groups having these experiences, and we will help them connect behaviors to real-life, corporate-life, school-life…but today was about us.
Maybe that’s why, as adults, when we are called to come back to train for the new season at Challenge Discovery, we throw on our layers, we pack our sandwiches…and we go.
We’re ready when you are. Come out and play.
Submitted by Amy Johns, Senior Facilitator