Team Building for Fraternities and Sororities
One of the great things about becoming involved in Greek life during college is the life long friendships that are created. Although I was never involved in Greek life personally, my son who attends VCU has been a member of Delta Chi since his freshman year. Since he joined, I had been encouraging him to bring out his brothers for a day at our ropes course facility. Perhaps it was because he is the son of the owner and has grown up around Challenge Discovery his whole life, but he never seemed to embrace the idea. Finally, this spring he finally decided to get a group of Delta Chi brothers out for a day when we were in the middle of conducting our annual spring staff training. This opportunity worked out well for him because he could bring out his group for free while giving our facilitators a chance to work with a live group. Oh, there was one other hiccup that almost got in the way of his group coming….VCU was playing in the NCAA tournament that day! Needless to say, the game was early enough and they were able to watch the game and then come out.
As with most college kids, nobody ever really wants to commit to anything in advance so I was a bit skeptical if he would even get anyone to actually show up, but he did. They arrived in jovial form ready for the experience. I had told him that we would make the day fun yet challenging and suggested our Recreational Program for his group. In our Recreational Programs, we focus on the activity of climbing through the Odyssey Course. The Odyssey Course is comprised of eight different team challenges located 25–40 feet up in the air. Unlike traditional ropes courses that often have one person climbing while the rest of the group watches, the Odyssey Course is done with the entire team. Once geared up, all 10 brothers climbed up into the course together navigating across each of the unique problem-solving events.
It was fun to be part of the experience with them. The tough guys were humbled, the fearful gained confidence, the independent became interdependent and the sense of brotherhood was reinforced through a powerful, shared experience they won’t soon forget.
I knew the Odyssey Course would be a fantastic experience for them, but as we know, it is hard to commit time to something that is new and for that matter unknown. Every one of these guys had a choice to make: sleep or Challenge Discovery, study or Challenge Discovery, party or Challenge Discovery. In the end, these 10 guys chose Challenge Discovery and they were glad they did. Even though they are a close band of brothers, this experience makes that bond even tighter. They now see the value of the experience they weren’t sure about attending in the first place. Since then, I have checked back in with them and they are already planning to make this an annual event in the spring of each year and we fully expect that as the word spreads, so will the number of attendees. We had 10 this year…next year I’m sure we will have 30.