Destination: Lodi Lake
Packing’s List: National Standards, House Teams, Relay Race, Water Balloons, Wisdom, Reflection
For this year’s house retreat, the chapter decided to head to Lodi Lake. Breakfast was served at 10 AM, right next to the sparkling, blue lake. Once our stomachs were filled, we quickly gathered into our four teams and started off with playing the game, “Human Knot,” as an icebreaker and team-building exercise. We then reflected on the chapter as a whole as we discussed the chapter’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas on which we could improve for each of the Phi Delta Chi National Standards. For this year, the two main goals that the chapter has decided to keep in the back of our minds as the school year progresses are to better the transition of the chapter as the second year pharmacy students leave and to ultimately retain our title as the Thurston winners. Once we had finished sharing our ideas, sizzling hot dogs and burgers were served while the four teams sat down and brainstormed for team names.
The teams brainstormed numerous of names that ranged from being humorous to being witty, but ultimately, Team A was renamed as “The A Team,” Team B was renamed as “The Soaring Bob Cats,” Team C was renamed as “Come from Behind” (CFB), and Team D was renamed as “D’s Nuts.” The house teams program had a great premiere last year as it promoted brotherhood in our active members and fun competition that focused on bettering ourselves as brothers and as a fraternity. Essentially, brothers receive or lose points for participation or absenteeism and at the end of the year, the winning team will be treated to a party and the losing teams are delegated to either set up, clean up, or monetarily fund the party. Once team names were chosen, the brothers decided to have another friendly competition as we played the game, “Steal the Bacon.” The game was intensified as brothers began to slide and roll around the grass and made time pass by rather quickly while we were waiting for our lunch to be finished grilling.
After lunch, brothers gathered around the benches and the executive board members who needed a committee gave an internal preview on what their jobs are and what they will be using their committees for. The executive board members explained that they will attempt to promote individual leadership through the committees this year and encouraged the brothers to take that into consideration as they decide. Once the committees were solidified, we concluded the house retreat with a relay race designed by the recent pledges, John Conty, Alex Chen, Tia Tang, Lanni Lam, and Brian Ho. The relay consisted of balancing and passing an egg on a spoon and tossing water balloons into a buckets that were held above the brothers’ heads. Although quite chaotic, the relay was thrilling and entertaining. As soon as the winner was declared, we all ran straight to the giant buckets of water balloons and had a large water balloon fight, each bro for his or her own.
Overall, this year’s house retreat was a success as it was efficient, well-organized, and new, insightful goals were formed that the chapter is enthusiastically ready to tackle as a team. This event has reassured me that despite how long or far we are apart, our brotherhood will always stay intact and that the Alpha Psi chapter of Phi Delta Chi is ready for the new school year and ready to protect our Thurston title.