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S.O.S. (Super Opening Social) - Building a Diverse Community in Two Hours


Bringing in diverse groups of people from around the nation for a week long retreat or conference can be a challenge.  It can often take a couple of days to get to know a large facility let alone other leaders from hometowns you have never heard of.  The S.O.S. program was a challenge given to TRI’s Leadership Studio by our friends at National 4-H to build knowledge of 4-H, apply leadership, forge new friendships, incorporate alumni graduate assistants, and quickly learn to navigate a large meeting facility where people frequently were lost getting around for a few days. 

Inspired by the “Amazing Race”, teams of leaders were given 4-H based clues that led to discovering an Inspiration Station where leadership and teamwork skills were tested.  The S.O.S. incorporated a variety of experiential adventure activities designed for a variety of spaces (indoor, outdoor, large open spaces, and confined small spaces) as well as a variety of student leaders (special care was taken to design a mix of ADA friendly, physical, and knowledge activities) in order to bring leaders together. 

The result has been the shortening of the “get to know you” and “get to know the place” time frame from two days to about two hours.  Leaders emerged from S.O.S. with new friends, stronger knowledge of 4-H, and a command of the conference facility.

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