Using Brotherhood Events as a Foundational Part of Your Chapter

By Brian Baudoin

National Advisor

As a social fraternity, we are expected to engage the campus in many unique and creative ways. Our chapters all across the country are hard at work filling their spring calendar with exciting social events that allow their schools to experience great times and great events. 

However, it is important that our officers do not neglect efforts to build the brotherhood from the inside out. The reach that we will be able to have with our campuses can only go so far if we are not reaching out from a good foundation of brotherhood. While socially engaging the campus is crucial to our mission as a fraternity, any efforts made in that sphere of who we are as a fraternity can be for naught if we are intentional building brotherhood.

At surface level, the idea of brotherhood events can be redundant to some. As a fraternity, establishing brotherhood and unity is central to who we are and what we do. Everything we do goes to establish this in some way. If we are already doing so much as a fraternity, then why is there a need for intentional events based on guys just hanging out?

We do these events because college life is crazy. The reality is that many of our members are involved in activities outside of BYX. After your pledgeship semester, it becomes more necessary to work at building up your relationships within the fraternity. If you only attend chapter meetings and cell groups, then it’s possible that there are many men in the chapter that you won’t get to know on a personal level, especially if you reside in a large chapter.

This is where brotherhood events come in. Designated hangout times for only brothers put on with the intention of using fun activities and relaxation time to strengthen the unity of the chapter. These events are some of the easiest events that you will put on in the course of the semester. All you need is a simple activity and guys. After that, everything takes care of itself. These end up being some of the most memorable times in a brother’s BYX experience. Without having to worry about taking care of guests at a party or the lovely lady you brought to a date event, brothers can be more relaxed and simply just be guys around each other.

Remember, a brotherhood event can be a set night on your calendar that you plan out, or it can be a twist that you put on an existing event. An example would be games played at chapter meetings such a food eating competitions, the newlywed game (with bigs and littles), air guitar competitions and much more. These require no extra time from your semester calendar and can be a good break from the usual routine.

Another way of building brotherhood could be a unique tradition within the chapter. Some chapters will pick a designated song that can be played during any event or chapter meeting. When the song is played, it has a certain significance. An example is playing the song “Thunderstruck,” which kicks off a Dr. Thunder chugging competition. You can pick other songs that signal the beginning of a food eating competition and pits cell groups against cell groups, or pledge classes against pledge classes.

Keep in mind that you can have events that are strictly spiritual in nature. Prayer nights and worship nights are great examples that are easy to do. However, most brotherhood events can be put on simply for the sake of having fun bonding time with your brothers. While these events may not be strictly spiritual, keep in mind that the stronger bonds that we have with each other as brothers, the more likely we are to open up to each other in a spiritual way. These events serve to build these relationships on a friendship level which in turn translates to spiritual openness and connections down the road.

Here are some examples of brotherhood events that you can do as a chapter:

  • Sports competitions: Simply pick a game like ultimate frisbee or volleyball and get everyone together for a game.
  • Movie nights
  • Grill night: Everybody brings their own meat and you grill out with everyone.
  • Card Games: Poker, Blackjack, etc.
  • Worship or Prayer nights
  • Camping
  • Cigars and Guitars: Have a cigar night and a sing along with any brothers who can play that six string.
  • Attending sporting events (painting up for these is a bonus.)
  • Manly skills exhibitions: Pick skills that men should know and have brothers present humorous instructional presentations on how to properly execute these skills.
  • Bro-lympics: Have cell groups or bigs and littles compete in a variety of competitions.
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Road Trips

  
Hopefully, this blog gives you a great point to brainstorm from and get started planning your own brotherhood events. The men in your chapter will love these and you will be well on your way to laying a solid foundation of brotherhood in your fraternity.
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