HNC Teen Weekend
September 18-20, 2009
Tri-State Teens Come Together for Weekend
Teens arrived from up and down the east coast, including NC, SC and VA, to get together for the first NC Teen Weekend held in Charlotte from September 18-20. It was a great group of 23 teens along with 4 chaperons and our lead facilitator, Patrick "Big Dog" Torrey.
Throughout the weekend we were encouraged to build confidence by challenging the limits of our comfort zones, learning to trust and encouraging leadership skills. This was accomplished by building bridges, eating skittles, tossing pennies, passing whirly rings, and setting mousetraps. You would be surprised at how many things you could do with mousetraps! These were just the indoor activities and we really challenged ourselves at the US National Whitewater Center (USNWC) on Saturday where the group strapped on the harnesses and teetered on wires 39 feet in the air, went down Class IV rapids in our rafts and helped each other over a 10 foot wall without the use of ladders, grips or any other devices.
Climbing the wall was a great test of team building as each person was helped by the group and trusted in their ability to 'whoosh' when they spotted the climber and 'grab the meat' to help them get over the top. Each person then had a chance to test their balance and conquer their fear of heights on the low and high ropes challenge. They had to work together as a team to cross a wire that was four stories in the air to get to the next platform and then belay down to the ground. The rafting was outstanding under the leadership of the center guides. We had four boats of 7 people that built up from Class II to Class IV whitewater channels for a wild trip! Many enjoyed a dip in the water when their boats hit the big rapids and a couple had to practice their spider man crawl from under the boat - good thing we were all paying attention in the training! We all had lots of laughs sharing our war stories from the trip down the river.
A big kudos to Jennifer Meldau, MSRN, CPNP, Hemophilia Treatment Center Coordinator at Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic Palmetto Health Richland, in SC, who joined us for our day at the USNWC and really had to leave her comfort zone to climb the rope ladder up 39 feet to treat a nose bleed! We really appreciate Jennifer's help in keeping everyone safe and looking out for us during our day at the Center while joining in all the activities.
Our many thanks to Big Dog for facilitating an excellent program! The Leading Edge program was certainly effective in helping to learn to take positive risks, build self-confidence, expand our capabilities and most of all great FUN for all! We are very grateful to Big Dog for taking the time to spend the weekend with group and share his outstanding leadership as our facilitator. The Leading Edge program was made possible by a grant from Wyeth.
We would like to acknowledge all of the hard work that Joby Robinson, Ph.D., Coordinator with Palmetto Richland Advocacy Program at Palmetto Health Richland, SC, put into organizing and coordinating the group from SC. She donned the driver's hat and safely transported the group to and from Charlotte along with helping out with all the programs through the weekend.
Our program would not have been successful without the efforts of our chaperons and facilitator. Many thanks to our other helpers, Joe Fitzpatrick, Matthew Tucker and Charlene Cowell, for their wonderful assistance throughout the weekend.
Our accommodations at the Homewood Suites Hilton in Charlotte were great and we thank the staff and management for hosting our group.
We would like to acknowledge the support of Baxter, Bayer and MedPro Rx for their support in helping to fund this outstanding weekend!
We have our sights set on the next event and eight teens from the group have graciously volunteered to help coordinate our next outing. Some great ideas were shared and the only stipulation has to be that there is a pool so Sue can get even with those who took part in throwing her in the pool on Friday night!