The air up there

The Gamma Gamma Sigma girls had quite an adventure Saturday. They did the Sojourn course (https://sojournadventures.org/) at Perimeter Church. This church has a huge outdoor recreation area complete with ropes course, zipline, pool, tennis courts, track and field and play areas. They also have an indoor rock-climbing wall. One of their huge missions is Camp All-American, a summer day camp for kids. It’s designed to be childcare for working parents so it runs all day long. One of the facilitators Saturday said they started the challenge course because parents who had kids attending CAA asked if they could put together a team-building program for adults. He said at first they just had a group maybe every month or two and now it’s just constant. The do programs for youth and adults in any group, business or organization.

So Gamma Gamma Sigma planned to go last spring then changed plans due to a conflict with another activity so we finally got to it this year. Maggie, the leader, said she thought (and I thought, too) that you just called and scheduled a time and did a standard program. She learned differently when she spent an hour on the phone with the director. Programs run from three hours to all day and they tailor a program specific to your needs. He asked what challenges the group was facing and she said none at this point. She explained we’re kind a new group and she wanted to the girls to get to know each other, learn to work together and go to school on Monday and tell all their friends they did something really neat over the weekend.

My and Katy’s adventure started with finding the place. I knew where the church was but once we got there, we had to find the right place and drove around quite a bit. The campus is 110 acres and the directional signs pointed out everything except Sojourn, pool, tennis court or anything like that. I asked a man in a suit who was crossing the parking lot and he said “over in that right corner”. I finally found it. Maggie said she was about to call me and see where I was!

Our session started with two team-building games. The first game they had a ball and a pool noodle and had to whack each other’s balls off their hands. You had to have the ball on your flat hand. Then they paired up and had one person hold and defend the ball and the other person wielded the pool noodle. Then they discussed the advantages and disadvantages of working alone and working together.

 

Katy’s ball was knocked off so she had to “take a knee”. She could knock a ball if someone came near her but couldn’t move from her spot.

Edie and Katy were partners in the partner version of the game.

Edie and Katy

It was nearly a fight to the death between the last two teams.

It was nearly a fight to the death between the last two teams.

The second game was a real teamwork activity. They had to flip a tarp over and the first time the beach ball had to stay on the tarp the whole time and the second game they had to ditch the beach ball right before they flipped the tarp. It goes without saying no one was allowed to touch the beach ball. And in the second game only girls wearing blue tops (that was three of them) could talk. They were really good at this. I don’t think we’re going to have many issues communicating and working as a team down the line.

Flipping the tarp and not losing the beach ball.

Flipping the tarp and not losing the beach ball.

Next it was off to the low ropes course. Our girls did two sections. On you had to climb the tree, climb over or under the rope that was the handrail, walk across, then hug the tree and find a way to get across the handrail rope to the wooden platform. Getting down was the hardest part. Katy did the other section where you had to hold onto ropes dangling from a rope above you. With this type of course you are attached to a guide on the ground who walks along with you. Katy doesn’t like that type of course (she did one on a church retreat) so she barely made it halfway before she decided to come down. It’s actually safer than having your safety rope attached above where you pull it along but she did that type at Stone Mountain a few years back and being her first experience, that’s what she prefers. Perimeter has that type of course but you have to be 16 to do it. Anyway, here is Katy attempting the low ropes.

The ladder only goes halfway up the tree

The ladder only goes halfway up the tree

The rest of the way was u-shaped metal hooks in the tree for holding onto and standing on.

The rest of the way was u-shaped metal hooks in the tree for holding onto and standing on.

Getting to the rope is a step of faith.

Getting to the rope is a step of faith.

 

About one step after this is when she decided she'd had enough.

About one step after this is when she decided she’d had enough.

Being lowered down by the guide

Being lowered down by the guide.

This is the section the other half of the group did and you can see it's a little different. Katy wants to try that one next time.

This is the section the other half of the group did and you can see it’s a little different. Katy wants to try that one next time.

Two of the girls didn’t quite make it on the ropes course but they all did the zipline. Another two needed a little more encouraging at the top of the tower but they all did it. It’s 55 feet tall and the girls were able to see downtown Atlanta, Buckhead and Stone Mountain. Then they zipped a quarter-mile over the pool, tennis courts and track.

Climbing the rope ladder

Getting hooked up and getting instructions. The guide said the hardest part is stepping down onto the platforms.

Getting hooked up and getting instructions. The guide said the hardest part is stepping down onto the platforms.

 

Off they go! Katy is the speck on the right.

Off they go! Katy is the speck on the right.

This was a fantastic program. The facilitators were fun and extremely encouraging. They clearly know what they’re doing. I’d recommend this activity to any group.

 

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