Why, why in the name of all that is good, do we pay these people to torture us? I’m talking about the fuckwads that think doing dangerous physical stunts will cause “proper group dynamics”. No. It will cause fear and it will cause pain.
When the Student Senate retreat came, we were primed for the worst. Last year they made us stand on a thin log, 16 adults, some of considerable size, and decree that we could not leave this log until everyone had ended up on the opposite side of the one they started on- without touching the ground or anything around us. That particular “community reliance activity” caused the only one who got all the way across to shimmy across the thin log on her bare shins while others stepped over her. She had bruises for three weeks from ankle to knee. But this- this year’s little game has to have been invented by Satan himself.
Between two trees was suspended a giant rope spiderweb. We had to get through this seven-foot-tall spiderweb without touching the rope. But, as is always the case, there is a character-building twist, this one being that each person had to use a different hole. We had people standing on the shoulders of a 6’7" man without training in safe methods and vaulting through a top hole to be caught in basket-toss formation by people hastily instucted by one former high school cheerleader. We had people lifted through, but if they touched the rope, they and everyone holding them up on the other side had to go back and start over.
I trust my fellow Senators, really. However, due to a rope touch by the Vice President and his supporters, there were only three people of vastly differering heights on the destination side. I trusted them to lift me through feet-first. It honestly felt like they had me supported on the other side. Silly me for expecting some safety on this retreat. The people on the original side let go.
And I fell 5-6 feet to hit the ground back-first because they simply couldn’t safely catch me. The activities coordinator, Sadistic Dwight, who is supposed to be watching out for our welfare, after a brief period of many “Are you all rights” from the group, says:
"Well, they touched the rope pushing you through, so you should have to go back and try again."
Thankfully for my poor back, he found himself on the recieving end of several glares of rage that burned with the intensity of the fires of Hell, where no doubt the rules of this game originated. His one exception of the game was meted out.
Retreats are all fine and dandy, but whose fucking idea was it to endanger the people’s lives for some team-building experience? None of us had training in catching people except one cheerleader. We were jumping seven feet high and coming down near not only several tree stumps, but a large patch of poison ivy as well. And in the wishy-washy “learning experiences” chat, he asked what we learned from the activity.
You know what, Sadistic Dwight? I learned that you’re a useless fucktard who does not lift a finger even to point out how to safely catch someone. Something will happen on that course eventually. I got out with nothing more than a bruised back, but it is entirely too easy for someone to be dropped head-first on one of those stumps and break their neck. Fuck Dwight, and to the person who devised such a way to “engender trust in your fellow team members” and “develop important problem solving methods”, may you spend an eternity jumping over a flaming spiderweb in the farthest depths of Hell.