Kind. Beautiful. Smart. Inspiring. Outgoing. Do these adjectives make you smile? Yeah, us too. The Theta Sigma chapter of Alpha Xi Delta participated in our Spring retreat on February 20, which included these uplifting words and more. The theme “amaXIng race” that we wore proudly on our backs led each and every sister through a journey that grew us each individually, and as a whole. Each sister chose a shirt color, which we later learned would separate us into four different teams while running the “race”. The teams were randomized, so this really gave us a great opportunity to bond with some sisters that we might not have gotten a chance to before. This retreat was all about realizing our potential and gaining confidence in ourselves and in the women around us. The race consisted of four different rooms, each holding a different task behind its’ doors. So here is how it went:
Room number one had each sister called up to a white board with our backs against the board. On the count of three, every other sister on that team got to run up to the board and write descriptive words about the person standing there. Standing at the board and watching a group of girls race to the markers just to write nice words about you was a feeling that cannot be described. Some got funny with inside jokes, because how can you resist? But every word used was above and beyond anything that any sister ever expected.
Room number two ended up being a contest of who can tell over who with the nicest words, but that is definitely the best kind of contest there is, right? In this room each sister wrote their name on an index card (of course some decorated and doodled on it too) and then they were collected and shuffled. The team was sat down in a circle, and one sister was called to stand in the middle and be the “guesser”. Another sister then showed a name card to everyone sitting, and the game was to yell out descriptive words in order for the person standing in the middle to correctly guess the name on the card. Here it started out with physical features such as hair and eye color, but then it got deeper. Phrases such as “has her life together”, and “is SO for the kids”, or “is always smiling and making others smile” were yelled out and stacked on one another. Believe it or not, the guesser was always able to get it right. This shows how each sister does have something unique about them, and it does not go unnoticed.
Room number three really showed our chapter how much good exists between us. We were given a blanket to all hold onto with two hands, and then were read some directions. We had to take a hand off, one by one, if any of the statements said by the leader were true. The first time around these statements were somewhat negative, however we all had our eyes closed and therefore had to be truthful. The blanket did end up dropping to the floor, meaning all of us had completely let go at some point because we had done negative things, but then the negativity was reversed. We were instructed to pick up the blanket one hand at a time if any of the next statements were true, such as “complimented a sister at least once today”, or “helped a sister with school work”, or “volunteered somewhere off campus”. The blanket was eventually picked up off the ground, however there was a difference. The leader told us at the end that it took until the very last question to drop the blanket completely, however the blanket was picked back up within the first two questions. This proved to our chapter that there is much more good than bad, and that anything can be picked back up and turned into something positive.
Lastly, room number four taught us as a chapter that it is ok to not be perfect. Here each sister had a chance to voice her opinion about the chapter and thoughts about what needs fixing or changing. It is a fact that no perfect chapter exists, therefore the only thing we can do is keep striving to get there. The leader of this room had a giant piece of paper and a thick black marker ready to write down any and every suggestion that each sister had about how to make our chapter even better. This allowed every woman to have an opinion and have a say in what our chapter does. It showed all of us that Alpha Xi Delta is not run by just a few people, rather it is a communal effort by every single sister, and we cannot survive without each and every one. We came up with some ideas for more bonding activities and little hints and tricks to better our sisterhood. Our bond with each other is extremely strong, but these things written on that piece of paper will make it even better.
After each team successfully made it through all four rooms, it was time to eat (yay). We were provided with Publix subs and salads, along with different flavors of munchkin donuts. These sweet treats were much needed for the big activity that came next. We were finally told where the next venue was, and upon pulling up to a giant warehouse we all saw the words “Hard Knocks Laser Tag”. This was the perfect ending to our day as we got to run around and play Laser Tag for a few hours. There were many different rooms with different themes, and a wide range of real feeling and sounding guns. As each team went in against each other, the rest of us stood outside watching the sisters inside on a giant screen. As they were having fun running around and playing, we were having fun watching them as well. The faint sound of the guns were heard, however screaming and laughter was the prevailing noise that echoed through the warehouse. After a whole day of proving to ourselves and each other how strong our sisterhood really is, the most perfect way to end it was by some friendly and super fun competition.
This Spring retreat was a turning point and a strengthening point for the Theta Sigma chapter. Sisters that we thought we did not have such a good connection with proved to have amazing things to say about us on the white board, and proved to know us better than we thought with the index card game. We learned how strong our bond really is when we were able to pick up the blanket within the first two questions, and ended with tips to do it all over again and strengthen us once again. Our sisterhood is about helping each other realize our potential and being there for every single woman in our chapter, and this retreat did exactly that.