Team Building Fun for Nashville Mercy Residents
April 21, 2016
Had you visited the Nashville Mercy home the past two Fridays, you would have seen the residents in all kinds of curious situations, thanks to Mercy Nutrition and Fitness Manager Janelle Avery. As a part of a team building series, Avery facilitated several activities and games with the residents to promote effective communication, trust, teamwork, brainstorming, creativity, problem-solving, and fun.
“When organizing the team building activities, I wanted to incorporate activities that were full of purpose,” said Avery. “My goals for the activities were for the residents to realize they had good things in common and to interact with residents that they normally wouldn’t talk to. I wanted them to learn how to have effective verbal communication and listening skills, brainstorm together and draw out creativity. Lastly, I wanted everyone to exert energy and have fun!”
Throughout the home, stations were set up consisting of such activities as a pair matching game called “Salt and Pepper” to a hoop passing game called “Loop de Loop.” For one particular “Egg Drop” activity, the girls worked for 20-30 minutes in teams to construct a carrier that would keep an egg safe from a one-story drop. The teams were given miscellaneous materials such as magazines, straws, tape, boxes, streamers, and rubber bands to make their carriers. They then dropped their eggs in the carriers from the home’s interior balcony to see which eggs would survive the fall. Squeals and cheers came with each drop.
In an upstairs hallway, the residents entered the “Minefield.” They worked in pairs, with one partner blindfolded and the other acting as a guide. The goal was for the guide to verbally direct the blindfolded partner around obstacles placed from one end of the course to the other without setting off any “mines.” Each pair needed to communicate clearly and put their trust in action in order to complete the course.
The Mercy residents enjoyed the series of team building activities and gained insight about themselves and their Mercy sisters in the process. “What I enjoyed most was how everyone got along so well and how everyone was so happy to work as a team,” said resident Diana. “I learned that I am capable of working with others. I also learned that I have things in common with others!”
“I really loved the excitement and encouragement, and just having fun with the whole house was awesome,” said Brianne. “I learned that sometimes I get frustrated when someone doesn’t listen to me but I also learned other people’s strengths.”
Sarah said, “I enjoyed doing something with everyone and being creative. I learned I am capable of communicating with others effectively.”
“If you focus, you get more done. Don’t rush,” said Faith. “That’s what I learned about me and other people.”
“I think that balancing a home with structure and fun can be just as beneficial as listening to teachings. You develop skills that will help you interact with people in this world. You learn how to communicate in different ways and problem-solve with others’ opinions,” said Avery. “It was really cool to see other staff come together to make this activity successful. This is what makes my job so enjoyable, being creative and having fun with purpose in mind.”
To learn more about Mercy’s unique residential program for young women, please visit our About Our Residential Program webpage.