(Rob Stull is the Outreach Coordinator for the Outdoor Education Center.)
During this past year, I learned a college classmate of mine was now serving on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle (BGCEP)—a group the OEC staff has discussed partnering with. I reached out to my old friend and soon we were sharing with each other the mission of our two organizations. We quickly realized the OEC and BGCEP shared some of the same core beliefs and a partnership should form.
In June the BGCEP brought 20 students to the OEC to participate in our Team Development Challenge Course. The children and their chaperones participated in a number of our team building initiatives in the morning—building trust, confidence and communication with their peers. After breaking for lunch, the participants took their adventure to the next level by completing the high ropes course equipped with a 300’ zip-wire.
At day’s end, there was a noticeable, positive change in the overall dynamics of the group. Participants overcame obstacles, helped their friends face their fears, and became closer with each other.
June’s event was a pilot program in order to develop a specific program to completely address the goals of the students. Based on the overall success of the program, the OEC has continued working with board members of the club to schedule dates in the fall for additional students to visit the OEC.
It is our hope to host every student in both the Jefferson County and Martinsburg/Berkeley County Chapters of the Boys and Girls Club. The June program was funded in part by Berkeley Community Pride. If you would like to learn more about this partnership, or to help fund the program by sponsoring a student, please contact Rob Stull at 304.725.0409 or firstname.lastname@example.org.