The inspiration came on an NCC missions trip to Eastern Congo. Our team had divided up into groups, each focusing on a different task: there was the media team, the education team, the prayer team, and among others — the Fun Team.
At first, I was fairly certain the Fun Team was a joke, a creative way to get out of having any concrete tasks. The two men on the Fun team were just that—jokesters who were rarely prepared for their updates at team meetings, but still managed to make others laugh anyway. It wasn’t until we arrived on the ground in Congo that I fully realized the importance of their contributions.
Despite the long days and emotional toll that comes with witnessing so much material poverty, the Fun Team was intentional about making sure the team members stayed in good spirits and were constantly encouraged.
From them, I learned an invaluable lesson: fun and encouragement don’t just happen naturally, but rather are cultivated through intentionality.
Our team wasn’t being led by two guys who happened to be funny, but rather by two people who made encouraging others a priority.
Though this experience, the Chi Alpha Fun Team was born. We have a Fun Colonel who is in charge of the team, and Fun Captains who help make it all happen.
Our goals are simple: to embrace whimsy and fun in an academic environment that often provokes the opposite. We wanted to create an atmosphere of encouragement when we are often taught in class to criticize.
I think we forget that in the fast-paced reality of life, we have an opportunity to give the only encouragement some people may get that day. What a privilege.