We have recently posted a new video on our homepage. This video show first-hand what people experience when they come to Challenge Discovery. Enjoy.
We have recently posted a new video on our homepage. This video show first-hand what people experience when they come to Challenge Discovery. Enjoy.
Watch our latest video!
:30 second commercial for Challenge Discovery featured at American Family Fitness
Check out our latest video of Sigma Phi Epsilon!
Challenge Discovery has been working with youth populations for more than 30 years in the Richmond metro area. Until recently, our programs almost exclusively were conducted at one of our locations and normally included a ropes/challenge course component. Because of this, we also limited our programming to participants age 12 and older. Recently, we have started to expand our offerings and now include programs for younger ages that are conducted right at school. Challenge Discovery has introduced After School Enrichment programs for elementary age kids.
Rebecca Huber is our After School Enrichment specialist and has more than 13 years experience working in the Chesterfield Public Schools system and has spent the last 15 years raising two children of her own. Rebecca loves teaching and working with kids and has decided to help Challenge Discovery reach out and offer unique and distinguished After School Enrichment programs that are hands-on and that incorporate innovative content.
There are a number of organizations that are offering After School Enrichment programs, and after doing extensive research we have discovered a few things:
Challenge Discovery’s After School Enrichment Programs are carefully designed to engage each child in a themed activity delivered by a professional instructor. Our activities are unique, comprehensive and follow a thorough curriculum that lasts between 4–6 weeks, with each class building on the theme and culminating with a final experience that will keeps the kids talking.
At Challenge Discovery, we know that our participants will talk about their experience. They will either say good things or bad things. The worst thing for us would be if they didn’t say anything at all. We learned long ago that if people are going to talk about us in a positive way, we need our programs to stand apart from anything else remotely similar or even perceived as being similar. Our goal is to stretch the imagination, provide high quality programs and exceed participants’ expectations every time we deliver a program.
We want you to ask your kids, “What did you do in class today?” because we are positive that your kids won’t reply with, “Nothing.” They will tell you about the rocket that they designed and launched!
What to do as a “couple” in Richmond
First, let’s cut straight to the chase here….Challenge Discovery is not a counseling program and we do not promise to “fix” relationships. That being said however, how many things can you think of to do in Richmond as a couple that you would describe as “powerful, enlightening, adventurous, meaningful or life-changing?”
Imagine participating in an event with your significant other where you literally watch each other grow more self-reliant and confident. When was the last time you were truly vulnerable in front of your spouse? Do you really “feel” what they feel? Do you really know what they need? Are you confident that you can really “be there” for them?
Many of these questions can be answered through our programs at Challenge Discovery. We are constantly being asked, “Do you offer programs for couples?” Well, our answer is yes and no. The “no” part of the answer is that you can’t just sign up as a couple and have the two of you come through one of our programs. The “yes” part is that if you are a group of couples (10 or more total), we can put together a program for your group. Many churches have groups organized for couples or even singles as part of their offerings. We have also had neighborhood associations put together groups for a day or evening of fun and adventure.
Challenge Discovery is unique in that we work almost exclusively with groups. We are not a place where individuals can just walk through the door during business hours. Generally speaking, most of our groups are part of an intact group or team that will stay together for a period of time. Examples are soccer teams, youth groups, entire grade levels in schools, scout troops, etc. You would be surprised to learn, however, that we also work with a wide variety of groups that do not easily fit into these categories. Some of the types of groups we are seeing come to Challenge Discovery more and more are bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties, graduation parties, etc. Any group that is interested in sharing a unique experience together and bonding in ways never thought possible chooses Challenge Discovery. We offer safe, challenging adventure for people age 12 and older.
Activities for church youth groups in Richmond
Church youth groups in Richmond have been choosing Challenge Discovery for youth programming for more than 30 years. Why? It’s pretty simple really. Youth ministers, pastors and leaders need to find ways to keep kids involved in the church. As they get older, many kids lose interest in youth group because the youth group activities don’t necessarily cater to the needs of most middle and high school kids.
Challenge Discovery programs are appropriate for all ages (12 and older) and include an equal mix of fun, excitement, challenge, adventure and support. Our programs are designed to level the playing field so anyone can participate and our activities are designed so you don’t have to be an athlete to succeed.
Church youth groups that come to Challenge Discovery do so because they know they can count on our professional staff and trust that we know how to work with youth. Our process, “Experience, Learn, Grow, Change,” helps kids enhance their self-esteem, build meaningful relationships and realize that they need other people to accomplish most things in life. Our activities are inclusive and provide each person with the opportunity to do their own best and then some. Participants get to see each other in a light they have never seen them in before based on the tools of our trade, in particular, the Odyssey Course.
Church leaders have told us that their youth groups stays together longer when they include Challenge Discovery as one of their activities each year. In fact, most churches we work with come back every year even though some of the kids are repeating the experience. How can this be a good thing? Because those kids with experience now become mentors to those new participants. And, even if you have been a participant before, our activities are never a “been there done that” kind of an experience. The possibilities at Challenge Discovery are endless and when you sprinkle a few new people into the group each year, the possibilities multiply that many more times.
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.
Return to Your Grade School Field Trips
How did you hear about Challenge Discovery? Word of mouth? Did you Google team building in Richmond, VA?
Reality is that you probably heard about us from a neighbor, a family member, a colleague, or someone that has participated in one of our powerful experiential learning programs at Challenge Discovery. Why did you hear about us from them? Because they had such an extraordinary experience that they told you about it and they suggested you try it too.
I heard about Challenge Discovery from a job posting resource at the University of Richmond. Some of our facilitators heard about us from a roommate, their dentist, or they were a participant with their own group. Most of our clients don’t even remember how they heard about us. They just know they did, and they’re glad they did.
Have you ever heard that you are only 6 times removed from every single person in the world? We can’t prove that, but if you are in the Richmond area, we’d be willing to bet that you know someone who has heard of or been to Challenge Discovery. Very few of the groups that come for one of our programs come without knowing anything about us.
Last week, the Frank Batten School from the University of Virginia came to our high ropes course for one of our Transformational Learning programs. It just so happened that while the group from UVA was up on the ropes, I was giving a tour of the ropes course to two teachers from Collegiate School, one of our long-standing clients. While standing there watching the team from UVA make their way across the Lateral Limbo, one of eight team problem-solving challenges located 25-40 feet high, the coordinator of the UVA group started telling me about how they had heard of Challenge Discovery. The student president of the Frank Batten School, who was traversing the cables above us, came to Challenge Discovery in fifth grade on a school field trip with her school, Collegiate. The teachers I was with even remembered the student from long ago. When they recognized each other, we were almost speechless. What a small world!
What impacted me more from that moment is that this student had such a memorable experience here ten years ago that she told her peers at the Frank Batten School, “We have to go to Challenge Discovery.” She persuaded them, they trusted her, and their Transformational Learning program more than exceeded their expectations.
I’m sure it wasn’t easy for her to convince her fellow students, let alone the faculty advisors and decision-makers of the school. But somehow she did. It probably wasn’t easy for your friend to convince you to check out our website, our Facebook page, or our blog that you’re reading. Yet somehow they did. Their experience meant enough to them and you meant enough to them to suggest Challenge Discovery for your group. Will your experience be something that impacts the rest of your life?
Start here before you go there…..
Most recently, churches that sponsor mission trips have come to realize how important it is to have teamwork established before heading off to a foreign country to go work as a community helping others. Can you imagine taking a group of people on a mission trip and finding out that they are dysfunctional AFTER you arrive? We hear about these kinds of stories more often than you can imagine. Challenge Discovery is the perfect experience for a mission team to go through before they leave, so they can really learn to work together, appreciate each other’s differences, and be able to leverage one another’s talents.
Challenge Discovery offers two types of programs: Recreational Programs and Transformational Learning Programs. Most groups heading out on a mission trip will participate in our Transformational Learning programs because they know they have a lot of work to do and they want to ensure the success of the trip. These programs are outcome-based, meaning we take the time to learn specifically about your group and the goals for the program. We work intentionally to help build relationships that are meaningful, productive and are based on understanding that everyone is not the same. We learn to appreciate each other for who they are and what they bring to the team.
We help teams learn to deal with difficult situations from both a personal and group perspective. Our process focuses on creating and building a support network within the team. The activities we conduct push the group to solve problems creatively and help develop critical thinking skills that will be put to the test during their trip.
One of our most important jobs is to help build a community of people that will demonstrate teamwork and thrive in a challenging environment while developing an attitude and skill set around servant leadership.
The programs are universal in nature and we do not subscribe to any particular faith or denomination. Our work is intended to be a “back to basics” approach that focuses on the human condition and is appropriate for people of all ages, all backgrounds, and all beliefs.
If your church is planning a mission trip this year, please give us a call and find out how we can help your group.