Overcoming Challenges through Teamwork

With a fresh start this morning our students were faced with new tasks and obstacles to overcome. These tasks or initiatives are uniquely picked by Camp Manito-wish staff to test the individual temperaments of the students. In other words, students will find themselves exposed to their own fears or weaknesses that require the coordination of the group as a whole rather than individually in order to succeed. Some students had to maneuver their way through the sides of a cube made out of pool noodles, which their teammates were holding together. Others had to get across an unmarked maze as a team without talking.

In our continuing quest to build teamwork and individual leadership, we took to some low ropes obstacle challenges. Later in the week, we will challenge ourselves with high ropes courses. After lunch we continued the conversation about ecology that we started at the North Lakeland Discovery Center. In an activity called Nature Skills we started to talk about animals, their ecosystems and behaviors, and most importantly – our ability to learn about and connect to them. Learning about other living things in our environment requires quiet and keen observation. Today we practiced going out and observing the details in our surrounding environment. This takes patience, sustained attention, and the ability to take notes of what we observe, in a way that makes sense for us as individuals. By choosing quiet and secluded spaces outside and orienting ourselves using a compass, we applied the nature skills we had just acquired. Tonight at dusk, we will go to those same places and take note of any changes we observe in these spots.

Forming new groups after dinner, we tested our newly acquired team building tactics in a Skills Olympics. When Jonny suggested choosing an orangutan for his team’s mascot, he worked with Cat, Joseph, Tara and Sarah to draw one using a single marker attached to strings that they each held. Kalin lead his group in flipping a tarp from one side to another while they all stood on it. His group was composed of the more students than the other groups (Alyssa, Joanita, Brian, Chris and Jocelyn), so to flip a 5×5 tarp was quite a challenge – and one that they succeeded in. Paula, Chelsi, Teagan, Jonathan and Jean-Paul worked together to transport marbles down a flight of stairs using the tools provided. All in all, the team leaders were impressed by our students’ abilities to work together in problem solving.

We can feel the excitement emanating from our growing leaders, and are looking forward to the challenges tomorrow will bring.

Chelsea crossing the zig-zag obstacle course with the support of her teammates.

Kalin takes a minute to smile for the camera at Boulder Lake before turning to quiet reflection.

Getting ready to take to the challenge of building a cube out of noodles.

A big group game of “giants, wizards and elves” (played like rock, paper, scissors)

Working together to climb through a giant spider web.