Today we took part in the Challenge Course at Haffenreffer Estate. When we first arrived we began by going over safety rules for when we were doing activities and for the possibility of contracting ticks. Then we were split up into groups, my group leaders were Ashley and Johas.
We all had to wear lovely tick socks due to a major tick problem on the land. We also sprayed our shows with some tick/insect replant. A major thing was giving each other tick checks every once in a while to insure nothing had latched on.
I cannot recall the name of our first activity but it started off with laying down four colored handkerchiefs on the floor. Ashley then chose a code that arranged 4 out of the 11 girls with one color our goal was to create the correct code using logic, trial and error. We kept on trying different combinations until we got to 3 correct people on their respective colors after trying everyone in our group we found that none of the girls where correct. We then realized that no one considered Johas as a possible candidate but he was our missing person. We learned not to assume that someone was not in a game because of who they are.
Next we did two eyes, one mouth, and one body. The eyes were two people who could not move or talk but could see, the month could not see or move but could talk, and the body could not see or talk but could walk. Our leaders gave our eyes, in my case Emerald and Sonia, a task to complete. They would then relay that information to our mouth which was Kathy. From there Kathy would yell directions out which I would intern do my best to follow. It was really fun to be the body because I had to fully trust the other three to guide me in all directions to complete an unknown task.
Trust falls were next on the list. We began by learning the correct way for a spotter to stand. Dominate leg forward with the other perpendicular to the dominate leg as well as keeping our palms from turning into claws. Next we learned what to do as a faller, the start callouts and how to keep our hand so no one would get hurt. I partnered up with Lauren who I had not had an opportunity to get to speak with. The experience was really fun allowing Lauren and I to learn that we have many things in common. Pattern up with someone that one has not had the chance to become comfortable with makes the whole situation greater because there is more of a reason to trust them. After individual trust fall we all became a small circle with one person in the middle and they would fall into the circle and make their way around. This was really cool because it felt like you were floating.
Our final activity on flat ground before venturing into the woods was a levitation trust game. One of the girls would lie on the floor and the others would then pick her up using a zipper method of locking arms. The person who was in charge of holding her head would then lead by stating commands so no one went faster than others minimizing the possibility of risk. Personally, I made the decision to step back for this one due to my knee which I hurt a few weeks back to insure that I wasn’t the reason someone got hurt. Watching the activity was nice, I was able to observe everyone working together to carry one person.
After lunch we headed out into the woods where we found our first task involved a giant seesaw made out of wood. Our goals were to balance it while in a line arranged by our age and then by group two groups without the ability to speak the other group. The activity was hard because we have so many who want to become the leader so all the voices are going on at once while the ideas that could work are overlooked. The next part of the challenge was to switch side with the other group without letting the seesaw touch the floor. With this one we were not able to finish do to time restraints.
Personally the last activity was difficult not on the actual physical aspect but more on an emotional level. The words “who is heavier” and “who weighs more” really had an impact on me. Especially at one point someone asked “who was heavier” and then someone asked one of the girls and me to step up it really made me self-conscious. I also heard other girls saying that they were not comfortable in disclosing weight and when the issue was brought up I believe Ashley handled it very well to make sure everyone felt safe and comfortable.
The challenge course overall was not a physical challenge but more of a challenge on the mind. I say this because it really took a second to look back and think how we are going to handle this situation. As well as making sure that everyone’s thoughts were being heard and they were given a chance, if wanted, to be a leader. But most importantly we learned that we need to think of how different things that are said can hurt someone else even if they don’t hurt us personally.