Are You Smarter than a Swift Kicker?: How to Host an ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader’ Themed Retreat

July 10th, 2017 marked the day of the Swift Kick Q3 retreat!  With that date also came me, Ryan Lingle, the “noob” to Swift Kick. Upon arriving at the SKHQ address, I was immediately confused.  I got out of my Uber, looked around at all of the buildings and thought to myself, “Well it’s a good thing I got here early,” wondering which building to go into.  After some trial and error, I made my way into the correct building.  Up the elevator, I went to meet the team in person for the first time!

Little did I know that the day would be a lesson in running a retreat with the theme “Are You Smarter than a Swift Kicker?”

Step 1 :  Pop quiz!

Immediately out of the elevator, I was greeted by one of the greatest people ever, Tom Krieglstein.  We sat out in the lobby area and talked for some time until Sabina and Melissa came out to say hello and hand us a quiz.  Upon receiving this quiz, I knew I was going to do excellently, until I realized it said “5th Grade SK Quiz.”  After reading that, all my hopes of doing well disappeared and I felt like the adult on the TV show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

After a few minutes of us struggling and laughing at the fact that neither of us could remember any of these things from 5th grade, we went into a meeting room to review our quizzes.  Not surprisingly, I did just outstanding, scoring a 4/11 correct. Tom scored 7/11.  Once the embarrassment of reviewing the quiz answers had passed, we got straight into the retreat!  

Step 2: Complete classwork

Since it was retreat day, we had to get the real work done. This meant picking a theme for Q3 and choosing the projects to complete over the next three months.

Our theme: Put it on the Fridge

This means that every project, blog post, and program we do during Q3 should be something we are proud of – something mom would totally put on the fridge.

While we worked, we munched on fruits, veggies, peanut butter, and animal crackers, to feed our inner 5th grader.

Step 3: Play Cards Against Humanity…with Nonfiction Books??

During lunch, Sabina brought out a game similar to Cards Against Humanity*, called  Bring Your Own Book*.  This game uses random books of your choice in place of the playing cards. Sabina and Melissa led us to the bookshelf at the office, where we each picked a book to start the game with. We quickly discovered that the book on cats* that Tom had picked out was the most random and hilarious book to play with.  The book talked about the different cats’ lives, putting you in their perspective.  After reading through some pages of the cat book, I definitely feel more connected with my inner feline.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Tom received a random package during lunch that literally had ten different flavors of peanut butter. Casual.

Step 4: Do homework

After lunch, we got back to work and mapped out all the tasks for Q3. Before everyone realized it, it was 5:00PM.  The Swift Kick team officially planned out the entire quarter!  This all happened with several random outbursts of laughter, lots of peanut butter ate, and so much fun.  

Step 5: Have a family dinner

Before too long, the Swift Kick team headed over to our dinner spot.  Along the way, Melissa and Sabina were, well, being Melissa and Sabina. The Uber driver was having an absolute ball driving us as they continued to laugh and share stories along the way.  Needless to say, I think they made the driver’s night.

Finally, we arrived to the restaurant and began to chow down on some amazing food.  Although the food was great, watching Melissa eat was even better.  She attempted to juggle around her onion rings on top of her burger.  She received an A+ for the effort!

Dinner was a great chance for us to get to know each other better, outside of the classroom, er, I mean office.

Step 6: Participate in Trivia Night

Lastly, we headed downstairs to the restaurant and joined in on Trivia Night with the NYC Trivia League!  We quickly learned that trivia might not be all of our strong suits, but nonetheless, it was an absolute blast.  We also realized that complimenting the trivia night host didn’t result in any additional points, sadly.  But for the music round of trivia, we didn’t need the bonus compliment points to help us.  The objective of the  fourth round of trivia was to name the artist of the song played.  Once the round had come to a close, the #FreeHuggers were awarded the round win, getting 8/10 artists correct! Our prize? A free round of shots.  It’s safe to say that we killed the music round.

As the night wound down, and the trivia had ended, it was time to hit the road.  Getting up to New York for the first time in years and meeting the amazing Swift Kick team was a night to remember.  Between all of the new quotes board entries, to discovering that I should probably go back to 5th grade, it was a great experience.  I’m extremely proud and excited to be a part of Swift Kick and join in on the #TeamHuman family! To everyone on the Swift Kick team, thank you for the great night. I’m looking forward to the Q4 retreat already!

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