Adapting Team Building programs to this unusual time

Adapting team building programs to this unusual time

Covenant Harbor’s mission is to draw people from their routines and into opportunities to enjoy creation, recreation and relationships. A part of that mission is lived out through our team building programs. Not surprisingly, these programs have taken on a whole new look in the past two years. 

We recently kicked off fall 2021 with many school groups coming to Covenant Harbor for either a day or overnight experience. However, one particular school has creatively partnered with us to meet health and safety guidelines since an onsite experience was not possible. 

Chicago Booth’s story

All the way back in 1999, the University of Chicago graduate school of business (Chicago Booth) came to Covenant Harbor to provide a team building experience for a portion of their first-year graduate students. That year, about 150 students came to camp as a part of their orientation. They engaged in a short experience of team-building and some time on our high ropes course. 

The next year, Chicago Booth made the experience mandatory for all new graduate students, which was about 585 students. In September of 2000, we hosted one of the biggest team building experiences ever at camp! 

Chicago Booth is one of the best business schools in the country and its graduate student population is diverse in age, background, and nationality. It is not a stretch to say we encountered an international reach through these programs, and we were thrilled to continue the partnership for another year. 

The relationship grows

Our partnership continued annually, and we have welcomed thousands of Chicago Booth students every season for 21 consecutive years. Unfortunately in 2020, this regular group canceled their retreat. When it came time to plan for 2021, so many students asked to have this opportunity that Chicago Booth invited not only their new graduate students, but also their second-year students who missed the opportunity last year. 

Additionally, the University of Chicago Law School Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative asked us to host the same team building programs with their first and second-year students. We were amazed. After a year with few team building groups, two graduate programs were interested in the experience Covenant Harbor could offer their students

The challenge for us was that this year both schools were not allowing off-site experiences for their students. When reflecting on the history of our relationship with the University of Chicago, we knew we needed a solution that would continue the partnership. So we shifted. Our vision is to create space for life change and this time, that space wasn’t going to be at Covenant Harbor. In 2021, that space would be on campus, at the university. 

This fall, we are leading six program days in Chicago, working with more than 1,000 students from the two schools. All the programs are optional, but more than 80 percent of the students are opting in for the team-building components.  

Responsive ministry

Our ministry might continue to change to meet new needs, but our mission and vision never waver. As we create space for life change, our aim is that the people we serve may experience God through Jesus Christ as we build relationships and provide inspired care and purposeful experience. 

In times like this, we find ourselves living our mission and vision in new ways and new places.  This is our call. This is our privilege. 

If you or a school you are involved with are interested in a team building experience at Covenant Harbor, you can learn more on our website through the button below or contact us directly by phone, (262) 248-3600, or email for details.