USF Challenge Center




Unlock Your Team’s Potential

High-level team performance depends upon effective group member relationships. Team-building programs use fun, highly interactive activities to build stronger collaborative relationships. Action-oriented activities are used to promote trust, cooperation, integrity, and respect among group members. Potential program outcomes include improvements in communication, collaboration, group decision-making, and accountability.


Strengthen Leadership Capacity

Challenge Center programs emphasize skills, strategies and behaviors necessary for effective leadership within your organization. Through tailored, action-based learning experiences, your team will practice the skills needed for high-level performance. By empowering individuals to leverage individual strengths for team effectiveness, group members will practice techniques for demonstrating leadership in their day-to-day activities.


Encourage Innovation and Collaboration

Organizations are more productive when team members feel effective in their roles. Our programs encourage groups to combine creativity and effective decision-making strategies to establish empowering work environments. Whether your team members belong to a new work group, existing team, or participate in multiple teams, they will benefit from the opportunity to practice critical thinking skills, develop new points of view, and build stronger relationships.


Promote Shared Vision

We’ll help your team move forward together. Our services are designed to arm your group with the skills needed to establish common goals, clarify roles, adapt to change, and create a common vision for the future. We use an intentional assessment and planning process to achieve tailored results and accelerate your team’s performance.


Plan Your Retreat

Integrate a team building program with your organization’s retreat utilizing one of the many comfortable meeting spaces at our three Joliet campuses. Rooms are available at our main Wilcox Street Campus, the downtown Robert W. Plaster Center, and Guardian Angel Hall at the St. Claire Campus. Catering is available through the university’s Sodexo Food Service for all your dining needs.


Choose Your Site

Come to us, or we’ll come to you. Our on-campus facilities include an outdoor low ropes Teams Course. The Teams Course consists of a series of activities designed to challenge groups to work together to accomplish a common goal. Most activities are no more than a couple of feet above the ground. The Teams Course is semi-wooded and located in a quiet residential neighborhood a short walk from the USF Welcome Center. Indoor meeting space is also available, and we offer catering options through Sodexo Food Service.

Team building can happen anywhere.  Off-site programs can be arranged at a location of your choosing. Whatever the setting, our facilitators will utilize a unique mix of portable activities and group facilitation tools to target customized learning outcomes.



The low ropes Teams Course is located a short distance from the USF Welcome Center at 409 Nicholson Street in Joliet.


Program Fees

Challenge Center Program Fees August 2016



The low ropes Teams Course is located a short distance from the USF Welcome Center at 409 Nicholson Street in Joliet.

map for challenge course


Our Mission

The USF Challenge Center provides high-impact transformative learning experiences. We are guided by the principles that:

  • learning can and should be fun
  • challenge motivates change
  • reflection is central to learning
  • shared learning builds community

Programming supports the University of St. Francis’ goal of developing citizenship and servant leadership among our students and the community.


About Us & Contact Information

In addition to serving USF and the community, the Challenge Center is a real-world laboratory for students in the Recreation and Sport Management and Leadership Studies programs. The USF Challenge Center is managed by Dr. Sydney Sklar, associate professor and chair of the Department of Recreation and Sport Management department. Dr. Sklar is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and has been facilitating experiential education and challenge programs since 1996.

For pricing and scheduling, call 815-740-3691 or


Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.