DAY TWO – Second Day in Paradise

By: Zoe Boomgarden, Chi Chapter, University of Missouriphimuleads4

This morning we woke up with our fingers crossed. Yesterday our counselors told us that if there was bad weather we would be unable to do our low ropes team building in the morning. After holding our breaths, in between the small rain showers we made our way through the mud to stations set up amongst the trees.

My small group’s experience on the team-building course included a mixture of laughter, swinging and mud! No matter the struggles we faced at each task, in the end we celebrated with a Phi Mu chant. The most important takeaway was communication and the importance it has for completing tasks and using teamwork to its full potential. In the end, it wasn’t just a learning experience that we could take back to our chapter, we were able to bond and get the chance to contribute to the group.

After a break and lunch, we went back to our small group to talk about our personal values and how they connect to the values of Phi Mu. After the entire discussion and talking to my group, we found that the hardest activity was naming our five most important values and then slowly eliminating them down to the value that best describes us. After the discussion, most of us came to the conclusion that this activity was difficult because we had chosen the original five values because they were characteristics we couldn’t live without. We had to explain why we eliminated the ones that we did , and this helped us understand more about why they were so important to us in the first place and how the helped us be unique leaders.

The final two sessions were about gender roles and ritual. I especially enjoyed the gender roles discussion because I like hearing many sisters’ perspective on the issue and seeing the variation depending on where that sister grew up. To finish off the night, we had a wonderful presentation about the importance of our ritual.

I had the pleasure of hearing Rick Barnes speak earlier this year at my school and enjoyed listening to his connections to other organizations both Greek and non-Greek just as much the second time. After talking about values all day, his presentation really made an impact on me, and I made a lot of notes about things to take back to my chapter. We analyzed The Creed with Jennifer. We started by picking out “our line” or the line that was most important to us, and we had the privilege of hearing a handful of girls share why this was.

By far, out of the whole day, the activity that really touched me was the final activity that Jennifer led for us about The Creed. Another sister and I got to stand in front of everyone and start the creed and then watch and listen as everyone stood and joined in, reciting the creed when their favorite line came along. There was a short pause at the end, and then I could see everyone turning to each other talking about the goose bumps that they had just experienced. This was definitely a memory that I will take with me as I try to practice my favorite line, “To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand” and hopefully share it with the rest of my chapter.