About this Article
- Location Jacksonville, FL
- Submitted By Regina Taylor-Murphy, CSX Employee and Secretary for the CSX Military Affinity Group
What a blast was had by all! In late July, members of the CSX Military Affinity Group (MAG), including John Reich, Tom Potter, Steve Toomey, Regina Taylor-Murphy (that's me), Tracy Hickey, Terri Guy, Dori Holland and Bill Bergeron donated several hours on a Saturday to teach students at the local Youth Crisis Center (YCC) Conflict Resolution and Coping Skills.
To kick it off, I facilitated a discussion about resolving conflict and "good" vs. "bad" conflict. John and Steve debuted in a short role play as two students in conflict with their teacher (Tracy). Next, the students were given a short puzzle to complete with insufficient time, which led into a discussion on developing coping skills, facilitated by Dori, Terri, Tom and Bill.
A couple of team building exercises came next. First, a Ginger Bread Train project. Each team of 3 was provided with a kit of everything needed to make a Ginger Bread Train. The contents was placed on the table and the team was allowed 2 minutes to look at the kit box. The box was then taken away and the group had 15 minutes to build the train. Many laughs were had as the trains were being built. Most of the students had never constructed anything of ginger bread, let alone a train, but they did a great job.
The next exercise was a riot – each team was given the opportunity to traverse an obstacle course while blind folded, with only voice commands to guide them. Another team set the course and placed obstacles made up of chocolate pudding and peanuts along the way. Oh, did I mention the student who traversed the course was barefoot? You can guess what happened when an obstacle was found! The students repeated the exercise over and over again as they began to trust one another for guidance.
To complete our time, the MAG provided pizza and sodas to all.
The takeaways were numerous. MAG participants learned what it means to serve. John said, "Steve was right at the beginning of the program when he told the kids that we were going to help them and they were going to help us. I had an enriching time and I think we did some good for those kids."
The feedback from the students was also positive with comments such as: "Now I know I can always walk away from a conflict." "I've learned that things can be fun, if given a chance." And our favorite, "Can you come back next week?"
Yes – People Make The Difference!