If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? ~1 Corinthians 12:17
This past Saturday Kyle's youth group had a fun activity, the ropes course! What is a ropes course? I had no idea at first. Before the day began, all I knew was that Kyle signed me up to join him and the rest of the Sacred Heart / Saint Cecilia youth group on their chosen outing.
Sometimes, I am just amazed how God works, even blessing us and our outing with such a pretty sunny day. Enjoying the cool bright morning drive, we headed out to Ligonier, making our way up a secluded side road just outside the town. The ropes course was held at the Ligonier Camp and Conference Center. Great! I was never there, and what are we doing again?
After meeting our counselors, Marty and Jeb, they led our group about a quarter of a mile up a hill towards the woods. Unbeknownst to everyone at the time, our real journey was about to begin.
We started off with the standard, 'get in a circle and introduce yourself'. However, they added a fun twist. We were to introduce ourselves and tell everyone what our super power would be. I chose flying, while others chose super strength, invisibility, mind reading and such. Ok, neat idea to get everyone thinking and listening to our neighbor. Where's the ropes course?
Next, we completed a serious of individual and small group exercises. We did the listening game of Shlaw and a fun sword game. Comical as it may seem, and it was, we ran around with one arm acting as a sword and the other hand positioned in the middle of our backs, acting as our week point to be struck with an opposing sword. Yes, we ran around in a large yard that was marked off, trying to strike each other down. This is what really cracked me up. When a person was slain, they were not permitted to just kneel down and be out of the game. O no! We had to act out a dramatic death scene, dropping to our knees. That was just getting us warmed up. There's more!
Let's not forget when we teamed up in groups of four and acted as a dragon, trying to get the other dragons tails, a.k.a. the handkerchief. Then, there were the teams of two. Only one person could see to guide the other. Toward what you may ask? To pick up stuffed animals and propel the soft ammunition at our opponents of course. At first, we were allowed to speak to our temporarily blinded partner in crime. That was just for practice. The second time we played, there was no talking, only reading body language. For me, I had Mikaela who is about Kyle's age. So I basically drug her around the large grassy area and used her arms as extensions of mine.
When do the ropes course come into play? That's what I was wondering! Not that I wasn't having fun and learning the hidden lessons with each of these games. But I wanted to swing like Tarzan.
Then came our first group activity! Marty and Jeb borrowed a water bottle and gave us instructions to move the water bottle of its current position on the ground to Marty's hand. Everyone was to use at least a pointer finger and a pinky finger to move the bottle together as a group. Yes all at once, all eighteen of us around a small water bottle. That certainly took teamwork, and everyone following the called out instructions from those with strategic insight. Did we do it? Yes!
Seriously, the entire time that we were working on this challenge The Wonder Pets song was playing in my head. Kyle loved that cartoon and he used to sing the theme song all the time. Indulge me for a moment...
Linny: "The phone, the phone is ringing!"
Ming-Ming: "The phone, we'll be right there!"
Tuck: "The phone, the phone is ringing!"
Linny: "There's an animal in trouble..."
Ming-Ming: "There's an animal in trouble..."
Tuck: "There's an animal in trouble somewhere!"
Tuck: "A baby [animal]
Ming-Ming: "This is se-rious!"
Tuck: "We have to help him/her"
Linny: "Let's save the [animal]!"
Tuck and Ming-Ming or All then All: "Let's save the [animal]!"
Ming-Ming: "And Ming-Ming, too!"
All: "We're Wonder Pets and we'll help you!"
Linny: "What's gonna work?"
Tuck and Ming-Ming or All: "Teamwork!"
Linny: "What's gonna work?"
Tuck and Ming-Ming or All: "Teamwork!"
All: "Wonder Pets! Wonder Pets! We're on our way
To help a baby [animal] and save the day!"
Ming-Ming: "We're not too big,"
Tuck: "And we're not too tough,"
All: "But when we work together we've got the right stuff!
Go, Wonder Pets! Yay!
Naturally, at the time I couldn't remember the entire song, but regardless, it seemed to fit our situation. Anyway, once we accomplished the first water bottle challenge, we were given the same activity only with another twist. We needed to have someone place their nose, two people add their elbows and two pinkies (I believe) on the bottle. All while EVERYONE, was touching the bottle in some way. We needed to lift our object off the ground with a nose, two elbows, two pinkies and thirteen fingers on the bottle, at the same time. Then move as a group toward our goal, Marty, to deliver the object of focus. It was a bit awkward, but we did it!
Now the ropes course? Not quite yet. We had to sit in a circle among the trees and discuss the lessons we learned with all the previously executed exercises, including the themes of strategy and teamwork. This was a way to encourage everyone to speak up and continue to be an integral part of the team. Not to mention ensuring everyone was learning the lessons taught.
We started moving toward the theme of the ropes course when Marty and Jeb were talking about safety, teamwork and strategy. Something along those lines. I was too excited for the long anticipated "ropes course". I had already built up this grandiose idea of what we were going to do. Better yet, how I was going to fly among the trees and jump from one set of ropes to the other hundreds of feet in the air. Or climb a rope with one hand that was over fifty feet high. All of which did not happen, it was much harder than that.
After I was forced out of my dream state, I realized the time was at hand. Our team cheer was the youth group motto, Helping Hands. On the count of three we broke and headed toward our next destination.
Now the ropes course! Eighteen of us lined up standing on a log. We needed to shimmy around a bit to get our group to fit, but we managed. Then, we needed to split into two groups to tackle the course from each end. Simple enough. No! No one, not from either side was allowed to ...
Read the full story What's Gonna Work? Teamwork!
More from parenting