Challenge Meets Unity: Lauren's Account of How Team Building Created a Family

Blog 1a

NFHC AmeriCorps members, Lauren Taylor, Tara Fredenburgh, and Han Lee, climbing up the Alpine Tower at the First Coast YMCA

“Ok, deep breath,” you tell yourself as you are hanging nearly 40 feet in the air trying to figure out how to jump from a cargo net blowing in the wind to a neighboring  wooden post. Realizing this post is almost 3 feet away and you can only comfortably reach out 2 feet, you instantly go into an acrophobic panic. Suddenly, from somewhere seemingly miles beneath you, you hear a voice say, “It’s ok! You can do this; keep going!”  Almost instantly, you muster up enough courage to swing yourself and make the leap to the post! You continue the 10 foot climb and finally reaching the top, you are able to look down upon everyone who cheered you on along the way. For my first time tackling the “Alpine Tower” at the First Coast YMCA, that was my story. The purpose of this activity on Day 3 of Pre-Service Orientation was to further foster ideals of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. For me, I was frightened, out of breath, and my muscles were fatigued (it might have been because I was out of shape), but my fellow North Florida Health Corps (NFHC), AmeriCorps members pushed me 50 feet towards the sky with their words alone.

Blog 1b

The 2013-2014 NFHC AmeriCorps members showing their fun side!

When I first decided to apply to the NFHC, I never thought I would be inheriting a family of sorts. One would typically think the first week (of a three-week training) would be an overwhelming wave of history, program objectives and policies, and cultural competency activities. While these goals were accomplished, it was astounding to me the quickness in which we were able to develop friendships and bonds. These bonds, affectionately coined as the “Espirit de Corps” could be likened to the term “Ohana”, which you may have heard referenced in the Disney movie “Lilo and Stitch”, because the NFHC has indeed become an extended family for me. Being involved with people who share a like mind and heart when it comes to service, healthcare, and future aspirations is so refreshing. Although there may be times within our 46-week service term that will make us want to tear our hair out, the camaraderie of the group will undoubtedly help us prevail. I look forward to great memories, lifetime bonds, lessons, and a selfless and satisfying year of service with my NFHC family!