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Last week we invited all of our staff to come have a day of team and resiliency building on our Adventure Based Counseling ropes course on our Winston-Salem campus. It was an awesome day, with all of us stretching our limits and pouring courage into each other. We are so blessed to have this course, not only for our outpatient client, residential and community foster care, and day treatment communities, but for our employees as well.

Weston, one of our Child & Family Therapists and Ropes Course Guides says that he loved the day and being a guide for the group because “you get to re-live all the feelings you had the first time you pushed your limits, be with people when they have their break through moments, and you are forced to grow right along with them.” He says that the ropes course “is the safest way to allow someone to face perceived risk and have the experience of stepping through their fear to a successful new story.”

Nelitza, another one of our therapists, really had to work through some fears on the course but kept pushing and fighting. It was awesome to see! She said, “I had to remind myself of the strength that is within me to face life’s challenges; to stay the course with determination and perseverance.”

And she even smiled for pictures WHILE she did it.

Kasshema, our Director of Day Treatment, says that the day helped her decrease her anxiety and increase her confidence. She says it was an amazing experience, working together with others and supporting each other, even under pressure. Holly, our Director of Communications, was so thankful for Andrew, Tim, and Weston, our course guides, who provided such great encouragement and support to us while we were on the course.

Making us laugh through the fear the entire time.

Becky, our Program Excellence Coordinator, worked through some doubts but finally signed up and had the best time. “I walked to the Rope Course determined to join my colleagues and make the most of my scheduled time.  I was excited to see other colleagues from the different departments there in the time slot I had chosen.  I had so much fun getting to participate with everyone. It was very encouraging when everyone began cheering each other on and praising each other for individual accomplishments.  I really feel that because of that time, we helped each other in ways that we may not have been able to in an office setting. We talked, we shared, we laughed, we encouraged, and this enabled me to walk away with a sense of accomplishment.”

And also, we followed all that accomplishing with going out for giant cheeseburgers.

Amanda, our Director of Development, loved the opportunity to experience firsthand how the ropes course is used in a therapeutic setting. “Although the ropes course operates on a ‘challenge by choice’ concept, it is not for the faint of heart.  I discovered that the ropes course will quickly reveal your strengths and weaknesses.  For me, it revealed that my strength is a willingness to challenge myself. Unfortunately, it also revealed that my body can no longer keep up with my mind!”

Isn’t that the truth?!

Andrew, our Adventure Based Counselor, says he always looks forward to having staff members on the course. “We have some seriously outstanding people in our agency!” He says the day was so great because it allowed us to come together across departments, interacting and working together when normally we might not get that chance.

“We got to pause and be supported in building meaningful relationships with each other and do the hard work of self-care. It meant that all these people I see work tirelessly for children and families paused and connected with one another, but even further connect with their own bodies, their own fears, their own successes, through this beautifully challenging shared experience. It is always surprising hearing how hard adults are on themselves after going on the ropes course saying things like, ‘I should have…’ or, ‘I can’t believe I only…’ or, ‘I’m such a chicken!’ One of my go-to responses when I hear that is, ‘Would you ever say what you’re saying about yourself to a child?'”

Um, no.

The ropes course not only challenged us physically, but led to powerful realizations of how hard we can be on ourselves and gave us opportunity to be okay with being human! Andrew says, “I think having that type of real-time permission to try things that are hard and to be courageous, while surrounded by a group of supportive coworkers going through the same experience can only make us a stronger organization and community.”

And it definitely has. We are stronger. Closer. And pumped up for all the amazing things to come for Crossnore in the future.