Building connections with the Team Building program
As the leader of the Student Wellness Ambassador Team (SWAT), Jim Almeda ’93, M.S. ’02, knows the challenges of developing a cohesive student organization. Almeda, coordinator for Health Promotion and Wellness, has enlisted the services of Campus Recreation’s Adventure program to create team-building activities for his group over the last several years, and the experience has proved to be a successful one.
“We have about 50 students in SWAT, and they need to learn how to work together, overcome obstacles and challenges, and get used to doing things that take them out of their comfort zones,” Almeda said. “Team building helps our group to do that in a short amount of time.”
Team-building activities can take on a variety of different forms that can be tailored to each group depending on its goals. Activities can be held inside or outside, and help groups learn to communicate effectively, build trust, improve problem-solving skills, and provide a great morale booster. SWAT member Naomi Ishihara has high praise for her experience.
“I’ve been in this RSO (registered student organization) for a while, and it is important to make sure new members feel like part of the group,” Ishihara said. “This encourages conversation between all group members, which helps build a stronger bond together.”
Team-building activities can benefit any group, new or old, small or large. Activities are easily accessible for campus groups at a budget friendly price with qualified facilitators that get everyone involved. SWAT’s most recent experience led them to a fun day at the low-ropes course on campus.
“Team building allowed all the participants to engage each other in a lighthearted and fun way,” Ishihara said. “Also, since we are a wellness-oriented group, it was good to see members being physically active.”
“All of the group facilitators we’ve had do a wonderful job of working with you to help ensure that you meet your team’s goals while making it a fun time,” Almeda said. “Our members learned not to get frustrated, how to listen to everyone’s ideas, how to utilize each person’s strengths, and how to be supportive of everyone.
For more information about how your group can get involved with Team Building, call (309) 438-8417 or email Adventure@IllinoisState.edu.