Stepping out of your comfort zone and into adventure

Chyna James

Some organizations choose to participate in workshops, have socials or anything else they may find beneficial to help with team building and bonding, but one organization decided to take a different approach.

Members of Phi Sigma Pi, a national honor fraternity at Georgia Southern, decided to participate in a challenge course together at Southern Adventures in the Recreation Activity Center(RAC).

While Southern Adventures offers several different courses, the group decided on the Accessory Ropes Course which includes zip lining, a “pamper pole’’ where they climbed on a tall telephone pole while attached to a harness and the ‘’giant’s ladder’’ where the members worked together to climb a huge vertical ladder.

Program director, Dave Rector, notes how the course entails not only an individual effort but a lot of teamwork as well.

“It’s always nice to see your friends right there with you when you’re trying to accomplish something,” Rector said.

Why Southern Adventures?

Phi Sigma Pi President, Cortez Sherman, says the organization wanted to try something different together and about a third of the group was up for the challenge.

The course was not required. The group just wanted to bond and have some fun. In fact, it was free for the entire group to participate.

“I thought that was one of the best things about it,’’ Sherman said. “Being able to do something like that at no cost was cool because it was always available for people to try at convenient times.”

It’s encouraged for the groups to know each other prior to the course and be comfortable working together.

“We try to do things that we normally wouldn’t do on our own and we saw it as a chance to step out of our comfort zones,“ Sherman said.

Phi Sigma Pi takes pride in scholarship, fellowship and leadership and strives to incorporate those elements in what they do as an organization.

“This course involved developing some of those skills,” Sherman said.

After realizing how the Accessory Ropes course could strengthen their values, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity. According to the Southern Adventures Website, the course focused on goals like communication, confidence, fun, empathy, trust and leadership.

One goal some of the members associated with most was trust.

Trust at the Forefront

Trust was one of the defining characteristics for the organization and one of the primary goals the facility sets for groups.

Alexandria Richbourgh, Scholarship Chair of the organization, referred to the entire course as a “trusting activity.”

Imagine being roped up with another person several feet in the air on a free hanging ladder, while trying to climb up a ladder made of logs. The challenging part is that height only increases.

They had to depend on each other to both get to the top of the ladder.

“It’s about trusting yourself and trusting the people around you,” Richbourg said. ”It’s a great activity for friends, organizations and just people in general to learn how to trust.

Although the president didn’t finish some of the course, he still attempted and would do it all over again, .

“The whole thing was about trust,” Sherman said “You might have been going into something you’ve never done before or something that made you uncomfortable but everything worked out.”

The Experience

The course was scary and hard work for everyone but the organization got through the obstacles; some of them at least.

“A big part of it is facing your fears,” Rector said.

One of the group members’ favorite part was the “pamper pole’’ There is a series of large staples that you have to climb on and stand up until you get to the top of the pole. Once you’ve reached the top, you have to jump and hold on the a trapeze.

“I was thinking I was going to fall,” Richbourg said. ”You feel like you’re going to fall but you have to trust the harness.”

Another member, Myia Simmons, didn’t think she would be the person to do the type of activities Southern Adventures offers. But after zip-lining, she realized it was the best part of the course.

“When i did it and accomplished it, it felt like I could do anything I put my mind to,“ Simmons said.

Some parts of the course like zip lining were done individually but others like the “giant ladder” required teamwork. Although the zip lining isn’t done together, the team still motivated each other to finish.

“It’s a good course for building character, showing you where your strengths lie and exposing your weaknesses with your group,” Sherman said.

For more information on how you can get a group together and enjoy some adventures, visit Southern Adventure’s website.

“It was about team building and working together,” Richbourg said.“Each member encouraged each other to keep going.”