One of the best attributes of Phi Sigma Pi is the fact that although every Member and Chapter are different we are all connected. The same thing stands true when planning events like Brotherhood Retreats. Many Chapters hold these every term/year (like this one the Gamma Iota Chapter held) and just like every Member and Chapter is different, the Brotherhood Retreats also differ from one another. Today we are featuring the Brotherhood Retreat the Alpha Omicron Chapter planned in August 2014.
The Alpha Omicron Chapter plans a Brotherhood Retreat the first Friday or Saturday of every semester. “The event is essentially a way to “jump start” our semester by calling together the Brotherhood.” Blair Wriston (Alpha Omicron Chapter ’16)
Blair had the opportunity as Fellowship Chair to plan the Alpha Omicron’s Fall Semester retreat. The retreat was held about 20 minutes from the University of Virginia campus. When Members arrived they were placed into a series of stations (8 of them) aimed at fostering fellowship. Here are what three of the stations included:
Talking in Circles
This group exercise focuses on good communication.
- Place everyone in a circle around the string.
- Have everyone grasp the string with both hands and hold the string waist high.
- Without letting go, the team will have to form shapes with the string; a square, a triangle, a figure eight, a rectangle, etc. But they will have to do this with their eyes shut! This will require everyone to communicate clearly and listen well.
- Make the shapes progressively harder and periodically have them stop and open their eyes to see their progress…or lack there of.
The mission of this game is to learn to communicate with one another. Although challenges we face as a Brotherhood may be simple initially, such as making a string into a shape like a circle or a square, often they are more difficult than expected, such as making a star. When faced with adversity, find the ways you can work together as Brothers.
- Everyone must write their name on a piece of paper.
- After everyone has done so, please tear it off and fold the piece of paper in half with your name inside.
- Put it in the middle, and have someone mix them up.
- Each person should draw a name from the center (if you have drawn your own put it back or exchange with another).
- Afterwards, everyone go around in a circle and say 2 things they appreciate about this person, and one thing they want to know about this person. Use this opportunity to really let someone know what you care about them, as well as a chance to learn something new about another brother.
- Afterwards, everyone in the group will guess who it is. Each person will get a moment to respond.
The mission of this event is the give each Brother the affirmation that they are a valued and important member of the Fraternity. Too often we fail as friends, Brothers and family members, to acknowledge the things we love and appreciate about one another. I want everyone to know that their presence in PSP is indispensable.
The group task is to keep a beach ball or balloon in the air for a specified number of hits without letting it hit the ground. Additionally, no one person can touch the object twice in a row before everyone else has hit it.
- Set a goal with the group for the number of hits that the group can make following the rules.
- After your group meets its goal, it can increase the target number or go for a “world record” and see how many hits the group can accomplish.
The mission of this game is to challenge the group in a more informal, fun environment to reach newer and better goals. Although it can be easy to settle as Brotherhood for “second best,” we should never compromise. We can always improve, even when it seems impossible. By playing a fun, competitive, and interactive game, it challenges Brothers to explore the different ways that they can work effectively together to achieve and surpass their goals.
Now Tell Us:
If your Chapter would hold a Brotherhood Retreat like this, what station would you add?