It’s a very exciting time for my family and friends because I’ve got a new tent. They’re all asking lots of questions: which one did you get, what colour is it, how many does it sleep and the all-important, has it got a fitted carpet?
In a study carried out by the Camping and Caravan Club, 93% of campers said camping can make you happier. Getting out in the great outdoors without the distraction of digital devices means that people really talk, families bond, problems are solved together, fun is had and friendships are strengthened.
Do not underestimate the importance of getting together, away from desks and work pressures and experiencing time together in different scenarios. Teams and families that play together, stay together. They’re better problem solvers, they understand each other better and appreciate each other’s talents.
So if you don’t have time to go camping with your team, or if you simply don’t have a tent big enough, or no-one really wants to share a tent with Ian from IT support, there are things you can do.
Time Required: 2 hours
This messy, yet classic and engaging problem solving activity requires splitting the room into two or three large groups with the task of building an egg package that can sustain an eight-foot drop. A variety of tools and other materials should be provided to the teams.
After the packages have been built, each team must also present a 30-second advert for their package, highlighting why it’s unique and how it works. At the conclusion of the presentations, each group will have to drop their egg using their package to see if it really works. Aside from teaching the groups to work together and communicate, it also brings them together with the common goal of both winning the egg drop and successfully creating an egg package.
Time Required: 10 minutes
This problem solving activity requires little more than a couple of sets of children’s building blocks. The instructor will build a small sculpture with some of the building blocks and hide it from the group. The participants should then be divided into small teams of four or however many is suitable. Each team should be given enough building material so they can duplicate the structure you’ve already created.
The instructor should then place their sculpture in an area that is an equal distance from all the groups. One member from each team can come up at the same time to look at the sculpture for ten seconds and try to memorise it before returning to their team. After they return to their teams, they have sixty seconds to instruct their teams how to build an exact replica of the instructor’s sculpture. They must not build themselves.
After one minute of trying to recreate the sculpture, another member from each team can come up for a peek before returning to their team and trying to recreate the sculpture. The game should be continued in this pattern until one of the team’s successfully duplicates the original sculpture. This game will teach participants how to problem solve in a group and communicate effectively.
Time Required: 25 minutes
Any game that involves marshmallows is bound to be a winner. This is an in-depth team communication exercise. As the facilitator you can give the group feedback on whether they made a good plan, how well they communicated during the task and what the power dynamic was like (did some people do most of the talking and did others take a step back).
1. Split the group into two or more teams.
2. Each team will be given a pack of spaghetti and a pack of marshmallows.
3. Give the teams 10 to 15 minutes to build a free-standing tower from the materials. At the end of the time they must prove that their towers can stand up without support for at least 30 seconds. The tallest tower that stands by itself for at least 30 seconds wins.
4. Allow teams to feedback on what they noticed in terms of team-work, who took the lead, did people listen, what happened under the pressure of time etc.
If you’re interested in creating a happy team and want to find out more about how we can help you create a high performing engaged team without having to take Ian from IT on a camping trip, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0844 8001701.
If you have any team bonding exercise you would like to share, please use the comments box below.