II Form Orientation Goes Virtual!

This past Tuesday through Thursday from 4PM to 5 PM, the II Form attended virtual orientation led by the Ropes Course Instructors (RCIs).

This past Tuesday through Thursday from 4PM to 5 PM, the II Form attended virtual orientation led by the Ropes Course Instructors (RCIs). While orientation typically takes place on the Joshua L. Miner Ropes Course (“The Josh”), this year the group of 20 RCIs were tasked with creating a virtual orientation experience. Over the summer, V Former Head RCIs Harrison Abromavage, Owen Donayre, Caroline Foster, and Arata Fujii planned various activities, carefully picking out and designing games that nurture team spirit and communication skills.

On the first day, II Formers were given various icebreaker activities to create meaningful connections with one another, such as learning each others’ names, hometowns, favorite hobbies, and sports. The next day’s theme focused on communication, and II Formers had to complete tangram puzzles together to create different animals and objects using eight different triangles, squares, and parallelograms.

On working together with his group, Kevin Morrow ’24 said, “Our group was supposed to make a sailboat, but it was really hard because our communication was really off and we didn’t actually finish. However, over the next few days our communication definitely got better as we started learning from our mistakes.”

The third day allowed II Formers to focus on problem solving. Students were asked to create five identical arrowhead shapes by cutting out shapes of different sizes. This seemingly impossible task encouraged them to think outside of the box and communicate their methods with one another clearly. On the last day, the II Formers focused on Harkness. Each participant was given a clue to solve a mystery, and they all had to work together and provide their own perspective and clue to retrieve the answer.

Andrew Howard ’24 reflected, “I really enjoyed the last day because it felt like a real challenge—the activities got harder and harder over the days, so it was interesting to work together through all the challenges.”

Reflecting on the whole event, Foster said, “We were definitely nervous going in. This situation was so novel that even returning RCIs weren’t returning [in person], but in the end we came out more connected than ever. Everyone learned new skills, especially Zoom navigation, and I think that we were able to offer a great orientation.”

Soleil Saint-Cyr ’21 agreed, “Obviously this year was different…One of the best things about the ropes course is the physical connections you can have with your group. Because a lot of the things we do are very interactive, we really had to navigate through the lack of physical connection online, but overall, we did the best job that we could do as RCIs with the limitations that we were given.”


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