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News | May 28, 2020

“Get Out Challenge” keeps employees active, connected

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Virtual workouts, picking strawberries, mountain walks and volunteering at a local food bank are activities McKesia Hester said took place during the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate’s "Get Out Challenge." 

Hester, a contracting specialist within the directorate’s Strategic Contracting Division III, said the directorate’s culture climate group came up with the concept as a means to get the employees collectively involved, connected, motivated and active during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

You may recall, this is the same group that had their favorite recipes complied into a virtual cookbook.

"This was an effort challenging those in the directorate to get outside, relieve stress and promote both mental and physical health wellness with the hopes this would become a part of our daily lifestyles," she said. 

The challenge, which implemented the social pillar of DLA’s resiliency model during COVID-19, was broken up into two increments, Apr. 20 - May 1 and May 4 - 15. Members were encouraged to share photos and a short synopsis of their adventures. Forty people provided two photos each during the challenge. 

Hester said she found time to stay fit by working out with her personal trainer virtually, while Contract Specialist Kenya Allamby said she went strawberry picking at a farm in Richmond. 

"I am always up for a challenge. Whenever I hear the word challenge, I get motivated! Because I am doing activities by myself or with family, which can get boring, this activity gave me resilience to keep moving and helped me feel connected to team members," Allamby said. 

Management Assistant Heather Groff said she used her challenge time to spruce up the flowerbed in front of her house. She also teleworked in the fresh air when the weather permitted.  

"I thought this would be a great idea. It allowed us to see what our co-workers are doing, maybe learn something about them, get some great ideas or just share good fun," Groff said. 

Randy Dortch, deputy director for the Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate, said he couldn’t be prouder of how his people are remaining resilient during these trying times.  

"I’m excited at the resiliency of the workforce to maintain and enhance culture in a virtual environment," he said.