Emerald City Event Stresses Leadership, Teamwork Skills

Residents working on puzzle Disc slam

With last year’s Emerald City Field Day Challenge at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center having to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Recreation Specialist Cortez Smith was determined to make this year’s event held last month even better. “Experiencing the pandemic made us stronger and gave us a better perspective on life,” Smith says. “So with our 3rd Annual Emerald City Field Day Challenge, I wanted to reconnect with my cluster (Units 65-68) bigger and better, with the hope that our worst days are behind us.”

The Emerald City Field Day Challenge tests residents’ leadership, listening skills, strategies, decision making, patience, communication and teamwork abilities while navigating a 7-course obstacle. To provide the extra support, each unit's staff assist them through each obstacle. COVID-19 protocols were strictly observed, with one unit at a time going through the entire obstacle course, followed by equipment cleaning between each unit. The seven “obstacles” were Potato Sack Race, Blind Balancing Ball Act, Disc Slam, Water Cup Pass, Football Toss, Mystery Puzzle, and Water Balloon Toss.

Smith points out that the goal of the Challenge is roughly equivalent to DJJ's expectations for our residents when they return to their communities. “They, too, can return as better citizens and hope that their worst days are behind them with the appropriate support system in place,” he says. “Anything is possible.”

Staff member throwing football Balloon toss