Thoughts from QUEST Camp 2015
By: Joseph Piscitelli
Bright and early at 7:30 a.m., a talented group of students from the worlds of business, engineering, and science gathered at Van Munching Hall to embark on a trip that would introduce them to one of the most cohesive and dynamic groups on campus: QUEST.
Familiar faces were seen, old friends reunited, and new friendships were created as everyone began to sign in, eat their breakfast, and head to the bus.
For some, expectations were high, for some, the unknown was ahead, and for others, it was simply just too early in the morning.
After unpacking upon arrival, each cohort participated in group icebreakers. While the games were a great way to meet each other and learn leadership tidbits, the icebreakers proved to be much more.
“I liked doing the icebreakers right when we got there because it inspired us for our [pilot] product,“ said Christy Cwieka of Cohort 25. “The ice breaker where we ran around with a blindfold actually helped my team realize the lack of awareness blind people feel and then we tried to fill a need for them when creating our product.”
While QUEST Camp was all fun, it was more than just games. Each team also created a pilot product and gave a short two-minute pitch in an attempt to sell their product to future investors.
“Doing the product presentation was a great way to get to know your team and see how you would work together,” said Isabelle Lock of Cohort 25. “I liked how we were put in a low pressure situation, but still got to see how we interacted as a team.”
Additionally, groups got to partake in high and low ropes courses. While low ropes courses helped groups bond through collaboration to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, the high ropes, although done individually, helped bring groups together as teams and mentors cheered each other on.
“I wasn’t nervous for doing the high ropes at first, but once I got up there, I was a little scared,” said Sanjay Tohan of Cohort 25. “It was a great team building exercise. It was cool to cheer on my team and watch my team do the course.”
Following team name introductions and a campfire that evening, groups presented their products the following morning.
“I was actually surprised at how cool and creative some of the groups were,” said William Dawkins of Cohort 26. “I actually liked seeing all of the different products and presentations of each group.”
On August 27th, as Cohort 25 ended their time at Camp Letts, Cohort 26 was ready to start their experience. Representatives from QSO led both cohorts in mixed icebreakers where members of QUEST truly pushed their creativity.
Christy said, “I really enjoyed doing the icebreakers with Q26. The charades were a fun and creative way to meet everyone in the other cohort.”
“It was a good time. It definitely exceeded my expectations,” said William Dawkins. “Even though I don’t start 190H until the spring, it was still cool to meet my team and see how we work together.”
Overall, QUEST Camp proved to be a unique and exciting experience for those who attended. It was definitely a great way to introduce and ease the new cohorts into a new chapter of their college careers.