Every year, AYO hosts an all-day extended event that is free for all matches to attend as a way to bond and develop deeper relationships with one another. This year, on September 10th, seven matches participated in AYO’s annual Ropes Course Event at West Pines Training Facility in Wheat Ridge. Matches were challenged both physically and mentally to overcome obstacles, all the while building a stronger relationship with their mentor/mentee. The activities of the day enabled the matches to develop their physical strength and teamwork abilities through a series of high and low rope challenge courses. Many matches stepped outside of their comfort zones, exceeding their own expectations, and pushed themselves and their mentor/mentee relationship to new heights (literally and figuratively).
Every activity served as a metaphor for the mentor/mentee relationship. Matches were forced to trust and rely on one another in ways that they have never had to before. They needed each other for support, encouragement, and guidance—and it was evident that many of the match relationships experienced profound transformation throughout the course of the day. Before the event was over, each person was given a bracelet that was made from old ropes that were once used to support the course itself. The mentors and mentees placed these bracelets on each other’s wrists as a symbol of the supportive bond each match possesses. Every match walked away from the day feeling supported and encouraged, and most of all—had fun doing it!
It was an amazing experience to witness the strength, determination, and trust that each match revealed, both in themselves and in their mentor/mentee. Not only was this a fun and exciting day, but it also was a day in which relationships were strengthened, trust was fortified, and confidence was developed. AYO can’t thank the matches who participated in this fulfilling event enough, and we also want to extend a huge thank you to the West Pines Training Facility and staff for keeping us safe, motivated, and smiling all day!