What is Noble Man Institute?
In essence, Noble Man Institute is Sigma Tau Gamma’s national new-member education program. It is a weekend, camp-based retreat focused on leadership development and fraternal education. It was conceived in 2016 and is now in its third year. Responses from program participants have been overwhelmingly positive.
Why is Noble Man taking place on two different weekends?
We believe that holding Noble Man Institute on two consecutive weekends will allow greater flexibility and options for the program participants. Feedback received from this year will impact the scheduling of 2019 Noble Man Institutes.
Why do I have to be Initiated / A New Member?
At Noble Man Institute, you will discuss concepts that can only be fully understood by an Initiated Member of Sigma Tau Gamma. All of us have sworn an oath to protect the Fraternity’s Ritual and Secrets of the Fraternity. Additionally, Noble Man Institute is specifically designed for new members of our organization, and having older, more experienced members participating detracts from that experience.
Why do I have to pay a registration fee / no-show fee?
The Fraternity and the Foundation greatly subsidize the cost of Noble Man Institute to increase accessibility for our new member. The total cost per person is $200, and we only charge a $60 registration fee. Once the attendance guarantee deadline has passed, we must pay for you whether you participate or not. Part of the national dues and fees that every member pays go towards facilitating this program, and so we must be good stewards of our members funds.
How do I register? How do I pay?
Participants do not register themselves individually. Just like registration for Grand Conclave Phoenix, each Chapter should submit a registration form, located on the website, that includes all attendees from that chapter. Headquarters will then bill the Chapter for the appropriate registration fees. The Director of Finance must decide whether to pass those fees onto the members or cover the cost of registration using chapter funds.
What should I pack?
Attire for the weekend is casual. As this program takes place in November, be sure to bring jackets and outdoor active wear. Wear layers and comfortable shoes for walking outdoors. Close-toed shoes are required for the ropes course. Bedding is not provided, so bring sheets or a sleeping bag, and a pillow. Remember to pack toiletries and a towel! You will be staying in heated cabins with private restrooms/showers. Remember to pack any medications you may need.
Can I drink or do drugs at Noble Man Institute?
Absolutely not. Noble Man Institute is a wholly educational developmental experience and as such is a substance-free program. This policy applies regardless of state law or the age of the participant. Without exception, any member found in violation of this rule will be dismissed from the program, their chapter will be billed a $200 no-show fee, and they will be referred to the Chapter Standards Board. This rule applies to undergraduate participants, undergraduate facilitators, alumni facilitators, and HQ Staff.
What can I expect at Noble Man Institute?
You will be attending Noble Man Institute with about 60 other new members from various chapters around the country. You will spend time in a large group, which we call the Learning Community, and is co-facilitated by two alumni members. You will also spend a significant amount of time in a small group, which we call Circles. Your Circle will be facilitated by an older undergraduate member. You will spend time both indoors and outdoors, including about three hours working your way through a challenge course.
What are the facilities like?
Noble Man Institute is held at campsites, usually YMCA or church camps. These are located in rural areas and are rustic in nature. You will meet as a large group in a lodge and eat in a dining hall. You will sleep in heated cabins, and you can expect to walk a significant amount on dirt or gravel throughout the weekend as you travel from different camp areas. There are typical camp activities for you to participate in during any free time you may have in the evenings.
What will we eat? Should we bring food?
You will be provided regular hot meals with Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Sunday breakfast and lunch. There will be some snacks provided, but you are free to bring your own. Keep in mind that there will not be refrigeration or much storage space available in your cabins. There will not be beverages provided outside of mealtimes, so bringing a water bottle is a good idea.
Can I arrive late / leave early?
No. The program begins at 4:00 pm on Friday and ends at 12:00 on Sunday. You are expected to attend the entire program or will be charged a $200 no-show fee. Emergency situations will not be penalized, but you must inform Ben Nelson. If anyone is found to be leaving the camp without authorization during the program, they may be dismissed and charged a $200 no-show fee.
Can I fly?
Yes and No. Noble Man Institute takes place at rural campsites which are over an hour’s drive from the nearest airport. No transportation to and from the airport will be provided. All participants are strongly encouraged to drive in to the Noble Man Institute. A list of attendees at your campsite will be sent to you once registration closes so that if possible, you can coordinate a carpool with nearby members/chapters. If you decide to fly in, you will be responsible for getting yourself to the campsite, which would be about $100 for an Uber or Lyft.
Is there anything I should not bring?
Both campsites forbid firearms or other weapons, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or unapproved medicines or pets (except service dogs.) If Sigma Tau Gamma is charged for a violation of camp rules, that fee will be passed on to the offending members.
When will I receive my Attendee Handbook?
Everything you need to know about attending Noble Man Institute will be posted to the website.