Students Vets Take a Challenge, Not a Break
Instead of taking a break, student veterans take on a challenge. At the end of this past Spring Semester, a group of student veterans completed the challenge course offered by Clayton State University’s Department of Recreation and Wellness, through its Outdoor Adventures. The course presents both physical and mental challenges that promote team building. The event was organized by the Clayton State Veteran’s Resource Center and proved to be a big hit with the participants.
The team maneuvered through tasks that required agility and critical thinking. One challenge required team members to pass through netting without touching any part of the apparatus and some parts of the netting could be passed through only once. Getting all members through presented quite a challenge, but the team managed to work together and complete the task. Student veteran Kelly Bloom, a former Air Force medic, drew upon her experience of transporting injured military personnel from the field. She devised a plan to lift team members through areas of the netting that were too high for individuals to go through without assistance.
“I was so impressed at how quickly the team assessed each challenge and developed a strategy to conquer it. It was obvious that their military training was kicking in,” explains Tina Lake, Veteran’s Resource Center coordinator.
Other tasks required team members to have trust in one another in order to accomplish the task.
Student veteran Kevin Nguyen, comments, “the Clayton State challenge course reminded me of the most important lesson the Navy taught me, which is teamwork. It was really inspiring to see our group of veterans apply that lesson and complete the challenges faster than the average student group.”
Staff members from Recreation and Wellness facilitated the event and ensured group members had clear instructions for each task and that they were performed safely.
“The event was a great way to end the semester. I learned that the military members’ pledge, ‘I got your back,’ remains in effect even when they are no longer serving,” Lake observes.
“Outdoor Adventure greatly appreciated the student veterans utilizing the challenge course,” says Interim Director of Recreation and Wellness Nick Kilburg. “The teamwork, communication, and task completion demonstrated by the students was amazing. Clayton State students are very fortunate to have a challenging program in a fun environment.”