Annual Weekend in the Mountains

After five weeks of classes, the Chi Eta chapter decided it was time for a weekend in the Great Outdoors. So 54 brothers spent the February 26-28 weekend at Mt. LeConte Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Some brothers spent the first night playing cards and shooting pool inside the cabin. Meanwhile others enjoyed a beautiful starry evening relaxing in a six-person hot tub or playing guitar on a spacious back deck. The next morning, brothers were treated to an egg, bacon, and sausage breakfast, paid for by the chapter. Full from breakfast, the brothers split into groups to see the sights of Gatlinburg and neighboring Pigeon Forge. Brothers walked the shops, rode go-karts, played putt-putt, and enjoyed local dining. Meanwhile another group of brothers spent the afternoon taking a hike.

Saturday night, the brothers grilled steaks for supper.  Then they celebrated one last night of brotherhood with remarks from graduating seniors and the singing of favorite fraternity songs. By the time everyone came back Sunday morning, Chi Eta had celebrated a weekend that will forever be in the hearts of its brothers.



Academy Summary

On the morning of January 7th, three groups of brothers departed for St. Louis and Fiji Academy.  Brothers Tyler Wittmer, Corey Johnson, Nick Burnett, Josh Amos, Bryan Hartzell, Dylan Ward, John Whitaker, Kent Jones, and Graduate Brothers Michael Snyder, Jeff Baynham, and Bob Anderegg attended the 36th Fiji Academy.

The academy was a ‘rollercoaster of emotions,’ as Brother Tyler Wittmer stated.  For many, it was their first experience of Phi Gamma Delta outside of Chi Eta, for others this was just another chance to improve relationships and meet up with friends from Phi Gamma Delta abroad.

Academy is a great tool for developing a chapter of Phi Gamma Delta.  A large part of Academy is the educational tracks that help to train leaders.  Brothers Burnett, Johnson, Whitaker, and Wittmer attended the tracks corresponding with their respective leadership positions, while the other brothers supplemented on the remaining tracks.  Brother Amos took notes for Brother Jury on the Presidential track, Brother Ward took notes for Brother Kinney on the Corresponding Secretary track, Brother Hartzell joined Brother Burnett in the Treasurer sessions, and Brother Jones accompanied Brother Wittmer in the session dedicated to learning the Historian position.

Academy brought new relationships for all brothers. We quickly realized that Executive Director Bill Martin does not forget names. We enjoyed our time to strengthen our relationships with our colony brothers at Beta Rho.  Academy also enhanced our chapter’s brotherhood through many great conversations and having the time to be able to hang out and just be with Chi Eta brothers. Experiences like these make me very proud to not only be a Fiji but be a part of the Chi Eta brotherhood.

While we were in St. Louis we were fortunate enough to be able to attend a St. Louis Blues hockey game and we had the opportunity to get to walk around downtown St. Louis and see landmarks like the Gateway Arch.

The highlight of the weekend, besides the brotherhood, had to be the Frank Norris Pig Dinner.  It was truly amazing, especially for the newly initiated brothers who proudly sang, “ bringing in the pig…” From the exile’s toast to the steak dinner the dinner was truly a great event that did not disappoint.

In conclusion, Fiji Academy was a success.  We learned new ways and ideas to make Chi Eta better.  At times like these I can only say I am honored to be a Chi Eta brother and be a part of our great brotherhood.

As always, I am very proud to be a Fiji,

Kent Jones