Saturday, October 12, 2013

Team Gemstone: Sophomore Perspective

Each September, the newly formed Sophomore Gemstone teams get a special opportunity at the CRS Challenge Course, located behind the ERC.  The teams work together to climb the Pirate Ship challenge course and experience a unique environment to help facilitate team-bonding and cohesiveness.

Sophomore, Lauren Amrhein of Team SAVIOR, weighs in on her experience at Team Gemstone:

Team Gemstone was a bonding activity as well as a way for us to get to know each other as teammates. One of the best things we were able to do was cheer each other on as we climbed the challenge course! Hearing everyone’s encouraging voices and seeing everyone put their all into getting to the top of the tower was so exciting and empowering! I personally made my way to the top of the challenge course, even though I
slipped a few times off my footholds. It was exhilarating to be able to get to the top of the tower with the help of my teammates belaying me. I loved belaying my fellow teammates and allowing them to get to the top of the tower as well! It was such a wonderful feeling! We were also able to take tons of team pictures throughout the time, giving us some great ways to pose and get some laughs in as a team. We took over 100 pictures! The pictures were silly and allowed us to have a laugh and become better friends with all our team members!

We participated in some icebreakers and get to know you activities as a team too! Some of the games were meant to get us active by using pool noodles to tap each other like samurai, and others were meant to have us work together as a team. The games with pool noodles were used to help us understand what everyone enjoys and to help us bond on a personal level. The game that had us work together was much more challenging. We had to lower a hula hoop with just one finger touching from everyone at all times. The game was designed to get us to work together on a single project. It also allowed us to reflect on the challenges we had as a team trying to work as one. Some challenges we really had were trying to put blame on others when we should be trying to solve problems, and yelling over each other to try and be heard. We overcame this by accepting that it is important to listen to all members of the team and keep an open mind that everyone is trying their hardest to complete the task. We were able to discuss these issues and how we can carry the simple messages learned from the hula hoop activity into our actual team work in the future.
Overall, team Gemstone was a great experience for Team SAVIOR. We were able to bond as our friends and as a team who will be working together as efficiently as possible! We had even made matching shirts to commemorate the occasion! I think we have a better understanding of how our team dynamics are right now. I also think that we are all closer friends as a result of Team Gemstone! It really was a blast!

-Lauren Amrhein: Class of 2016: Team SAVIOR

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