On Friday night, all 25 of our chapters officers arrived at Mount Lebanon. We welcome the guys with some brother chapter competition. For example, Baylor & Texas Tech are brother chapters, TCU and Florida are brother chapters, NC State and Georgia are brother chapters, etc. We paired them up in January of this year to help facilitate the vision of BYX beyond just the school they attend. Our “Battle of the Brethren” used these brother chapters pairs working together to compete against other brother chapter pairs all weekend. Friday night we had 12 fun games such as Trivia, Best Rendering of the BYX Crest, paper airplane contest, singing of our national anthem, etc.. to get the brothers working together to accomplish goals. It was a great time had by all.
Saturday morning, we started with some worship lead by Drew Christman and an encouraging word from Executive Board member and Pastor David Daniels. David encouraged the men to understand the “Why we are Here” of BYX in foster Biblical community. After the first teaching session, we all headed out to the basketball court for our brother chapter dodgeball tournament. Dodgeball has become a staple event at BYX retreats lately and is always a great time of competition and fellowship. Here is the link to the BYX dodgeball championship between Texas
A&M/Auburn and TCU/Florida. It was a great match.
After dodgeball, we returned to another teaching session on hazing. It is important for our officers to know what is appropriate activity for pledgeship and what is not. We outlined several guidelines for them to use in determining appropriate activity. We as BYX need to be above reproach in our treatment of our pledges. It is a part of our policy that our members need to serve our pledges as Christ came to serve. We answered many questions for them men, but overall they left with principles and questions to ask themselves with regard to all our activities.
The afternoon brought the first breakout teaching sessions. Nick England took the treasurers, Tyler Rogers took the pledge captains, and Nathan Miller took the vice presidents and walked them through their roles and responsibilities for next year. Each session took roughly 2 hours and each officer had the opportunity to dialogue with other leaders in their same role and ask their questions to the staff. During that time, I took the presidents, chaplains, and secretaries and walked them through our BYX Constitution that outlines the framework of how we do BYX.
Following the breakout sessions, each brother chapter competed in a massive game of Clue. The men were running around campus asking questions to board members in an attempt to narrow down the possibilities. Ultimately the A&M/Auburn team solved the puzzle and earned the most points.
Our evening session began with worship by Drew Christman, a talk on spiritual leadership by Chuck James that encouraged the men to be the leaders that God has called them to be and then a word from me on the history of BYX, and the vision of where we are going. In my talk, I outlined for the men how all of what we do can be traced by to the Gospel. Jesus has changed our hearts and given us a passion for brotherhood and unity in Christ. I outlined our three priorities as a national fraternity in 1) taking good care of our existing chapters 2) starting new chapters and 3) alumni association development. I explained how each chapter can take part in those three priorities. I was pretty excited about the word the Lord gave me to share them men.
The evening wrapped up with breakout session 2 with Nick England taking the chaplains, Tyler Rogers taking the presidents, and Nathan Miller taking the secretaries and walking them through their roles and responsibilities. I had the VP’s, Treasurers, and Pledge Captains and walked them through the BYX Constitution.
Sunday was just a couple of hours of wrapping up. We gave them some time as officers to meet together and discuss some of the ideas they gathered from talking with all the guys and wrapped up some expectations for the coming year for the officers. We concluded the retreat with our final competition, “Are you Smarter than a Board Member”. After several challenging questions such as “Who is the red ninja turtle?” and “What year was the Emancipation Proclamation made?”, Mizzou ultimately won the this competition by knowing the address of Sherlock Holmes in London. In the end, Oklahoma State and UNT won the brother chapter competitions and took home a gift card for each officer team to Chili’s. We concluded the weekend with the singing of our fraternity song and sent the brothers on their way back to their schools.
It really was awesome to spend such a great weekend with the 150 officers who will lead BYX in its 25th year in 2010. We as a staff are really looking forward to working with them soon.