Da Vinci’s Challenge

Written by John Burley February 15, 2018

When you hear the word “Da Vinci” what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

For me, it was the mediocre film released in 2006 featuring Tom Hanks. However, for the people in Paderno Del Grappa, it has a different meaning. While only some of us here at CIMBA experienced a variety of activities within the first two weeks, from hiking mount grappa to exploring Venice on a day trip, every single one of us completed the “Da Vinci Challenge”.

This challenge consists of an assortment of team-building tasks which enhance the internal trust of the participants in order to unify them as a group. …or should I say a team. These activities were difficult for a few reasons. First, we didn’t really know each other yet and it became apparent communication was the key to success. Second, it took place in a hot gym which we weren’t expecting. Lastly, most of the tasks required us to step out of our comfort zones.

Early on we did a task focused on communication. We stood in a circle and received one tennis ball. We were instructed to toss the ball around the circle to another person and say their name as the ball left our hands. Quickly, more tennis balls were added to the circle and they were all flying around at the same time. This is when the challenge began. We had to communicate exactly who we were throwing to and at what time in order to for one person not to be holding more than one ball at once. Luckily, we figured this task out and moved on to some even more challenging ones. Never once have I heard John, my name, called out so many times in one minute

Post lunch we had to complete the 12-foot wall challenge.  At this point, we were all divided into small groups consisting of 13 people. The task at hand was for everyone to get up and over this huge wall. As we stood at the base, we began to communicate what strategy we wanted to go with. After that, we set a time goal in which we wanted to complete this challenge. In order to complete this challenge, we had to communicate, trust and use our critical thinking skills. My group was able to complete this challenge in 2 minutes and 8 seconds!

Throughout the entire day of challenges, I’ve come to understand that one of the most important aspects of a team is to support each other. None of these challenges would have been completed if we didn’t support one another whether that was someone’s strategy, opinion or even their physical strength.

In the end, this was a great experience. We all got to know each other more than we expected. We had to push each other out of our comfort zones and at the same time had to trust each other. New friendships were made and many laughs were shared. 

We are now approaching our first travel weekend! I will be sure to cover what everyone has or is going to experience throughout this entire semester on this blog. Stay tuned and as always trust the process.

Ciao for now!