The Guts & Glory event is a team obstacle challenge that raises money for Covenant House, the largest agency in Canada serving youth who are homeless, trafficked or at-risk. The event brings together teams of six from Toronto’s business community across different industries including legal, finance, and entertainment. Each team is responsible for raising $10,000 in support of Covenant House, which culminates in one night of competition, celebration, and networking. The competition includes challenges that incorporate monkey bars, balance beams, vaulting, and climbing walls. Once the friendly competition is over, the participants enjoy an evening of food and drinks with their colleagues while learning more about Covenant House’s current programming and future vision for providing increased services to homeless, trafficked, and at-risk youth.

Megan Paterson

Megan Paterson, a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Baker McKenzie’s Toronto office spoke to us about her experience as part of the Baker McKenzie team. “This is my third year participating in the Guts & Glory event. In 2018 and 2019, I participated as a Baker McKenzie team member. This year, I was asked by Covenant House to be part of the Guts & Glory Planning Committee as a representative from the legal community.” She said.

“My favourite part about the event is getting to interact with clients and employees of Covenant House and learning about the impact that this organization is making in the community with the funds raised through this event. In past years, Covenant House has put together a team of youth to compete in the challenge and/or has had youth clients involved in putting together the reception. This gives the Bay Street community an opportunity to better understand the important work that Covenant House does and helps us get a sense of the types of programs that our fundraising efforts will go towards. I also really enjoy the unique nature of this corporate event, given that it revolves around athleticism and physical activity. It is a nice change of pace!”

Participating in the Guts + Glory obstacle course raises funds for an important cause, but also offers opportunities for team building. This year, most of the obstacle challenges required team work to complete the tasks. It is well recorded that team building activities builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication and increases collaboration among participants. “This year, one of the obstacles required two participants to make their way across a prism-shaped obstacle at the same time.” Shared Megan. “In order to complete the challenge, the teammates had to hold on to each other’s arms and lean back, trusting that your teammate and colleague would provide the counter support needed to maintain balance. Many of the other challenges require the team to quickly take stock of everyone’s strengths in order to determine who will play what role in carrying the team across the finish line, sometimes literally carrying team members under monkey bars, over obstacles, or attached to equipment!”

To learn more about the Guts + Glory Obstacle Course and The Covenant House click here: