Joliet university opens invites the community to use its Challenge Center

USF invites organizations to explore teambuilding through ‘the power of play’

The University of St. Francis in Joliet is now opening up its Challenge Center for organizations, departments and groups that wants to host fun, affordable exercises for team building and “effective leadership,” according to a news release from USF.

“Teams are more productive when members feel effective in their roles,” Syd Sklar, USF Challenge Center director, said in the release. “Through the power of play, our programs encourage groups to combine creativity and effective decision-making strategies to establish empowering team environments. Teams will benefit from the opportunity to practice critical thinking skills, develop new points of view and build stronger relationships,” the release said.

Challenge Center action-based programs “emphasize skills and behaviors necessary for effective leadership” are tailored to groups of all ages, the release said.

These can include “team-oriented games, puzzles and experiential challenge activities” to help address “communication, trust, leadership, diversity, inclusion, dependability and accountability,” the release said.

The Challenge Center also offers the “high adventure activities” of Crate Stacking and Power Pole, the release said.

“The themes our programs address have universal applications,” Sklar said in the release. “The experiences at the Challenge Center are transferrable to work, school, life and relationships.”

A program can be scheduled on-campus at the outdoor Challenge Center, which is located behind the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library on Taylor Street. Or the program can be held at a site of the group’s choosing, the release said.

Programs are available year-round.

For more information, program rates or to book an event, visit stfrancis.edu/usf-challenge-center, email challengecenter@stfrancis.edu or call 815-740-3367.

Denise  Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor for The Herald-News in Joliet. She covers a variety of human interest stories. She also writes the long-time weekly tribute feature “An Extraordinary Life about local people who have died. She studied journalism at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, now the University of St. Francis.