Today was the ever-awaited Ropes Course Day. I started the day off not knowing what to expect and afraid of getting my clothes messy. However, I left the ropes course without any doubt that it made me a great leader.
In case one might not know what a ropes course is, it is a series of activities that are both mentally and physically challenging. In order to get past them, teamwork must be used and a strategy must be set.
My floor mates in the dorms and I agreed to wake up this morning at 6:00 AM in order to grab breakfast before departing to the ropes course at 8. A majority of us slept in the car on the way there, and I wasn’t an exception. Upon arriving at the area in which the ropes course was set up, my friend Abi, who lives in the bustling city of New York, complained about how she wasn’t used to being in the wilderness. However, what she considered to be the wilderness was what I thought to be a city park or something not so extreme. There were paved roads and a house-type area with cows and other farm animals. It surprised me how different our viewpoints were. The weather was cool but the air still had a slight hint of humidity. This, as well, surprised me. I was expecting blazing hot weather and a touch of suffering because we were advised to wear long pants and I just wore casual sweats, which would kill me, had it been hotter than 70 degrees.
Different groups of about 10 people each undergone a series of exercises that encouraged the groups to bond and work together:
• The Jump Rope Exercise: The group had to find a way to get its members across a turning jump rope without having it touch any part of their bodies. My team realized that we needed to pair up those who were able to do this exercise with those who didn’t have a sense of the beat. We finished in about 7 minutes.
• The Bungee Cord Exercise: The group had to find a way to guide the members individually through a 2x3 (roughly) opening made by a bungee cord. We army crawled and passed this test easily in about 7 minutes as well.
• Levitation: With one person lying down and the rest of the group surrounding her, members of the group would lift up another member while she lay still and trusted her body with them. It was a big trust exercise that strengthened the faith we had in each other.
• The Tightrope: Holding hands, everyone in the group walked across a series of tightropes that were held secure by trees. This was the hardest exercise because lots of us lost balance as we tried completing the tight rope length solo.
As soon as we came back to campus after the ropes course, my fellow ILCers and a couple of other friends quickly changed clothes to attend a pizza dinner held in one of the other buildings on campus. This pizza dinner was in celebration of the partnership program of the ILC. It wasn’t nearly as formal as Mr. Ramsey’s dinners, but nevertheless, there were guests that still loved being asked questions and giving their answers. After the dinner, we were surprised to know that Ms. Williams, our chaperone, came by just to see our dorms. After showing her into Cynthia’s solo dorm, Rebecca, Cynthia, and I walked Ms. Williams to her cab and talked about how everything was going for each other. I’ve never felt so close to the woman and I’m so happy we were all able to casually see each other again.