Every season, nearly 40,000 people come to ACE just to go rafting. Some are families, some are nonprofit groups, some come for fun, some come to work. Work? Yes, work! Many companies come to work on their communication skills, leadership skills, trust in the group and other such dynamics.
Team Building retreats and activities have progressed from the basic “Trust Fall” and silly conference room games to activities called “Mission: Possible” and “Weeble Wobble.” ACE offers these activities and more! Here are five different ways to work on your group’s team building, communication and trust skills.
1. Low Ropes and Initiatives: These are ground-based activities where the group is presented with a problem or situation, rules and some materials from the facilitator (guide). They must then solve the problem or accomplish a goal. Once the feat has been conquered, the facilitator debriefs the group, analyzes what happened and how it affected the group. My personal favorites are the Horizontal Spider’s Web, Tank (love it!) and Hear No Evil/See No Evil.
2. High Ropes: Participants wear harnesses and are tied into a rope that is being controlled by a team member on the ground (the fancy term for this is “belaying”) – as in rock climbing. Here, group members over the age of 13 are taught how to belay other team members as they challenge their limits on the Tower. Groups must communicate with each other about where to go and how they’re doing, while working on trust and teamwork, as group members also work as safety back-ups on the ground. ACE’s trained facilitators stand right beside the participant belayers for maximum safety. Activities such as the Giant Swing, Net Leap and High-Y are all run by facilitators, with group members as safety back-ups. These adventures in the air help challenge a person’s individual limits, while using group members to help accomplish individual goals.
3. Paintball: No fancy names for this – it’s the paintball game you know and love. It’s a great team building activity for larger groups. Groups of six or more are split up into two teams; the teams then play a series of games on one of ACE’s paintball fields. Groups must communicate with each other and work together to create strategies in order to win a single-elimination game or Capture the Flag challenge. Paintball is a fun, high-energy way to get your office group into team building mode. Plus, you get to shoot each other. How fun is that?
4. Mud Obstacle Course: Getting dirty was never this much fun! ACE has a one-of-a-kind mud obstacle course, where groups must work as a team to get through numerous obstacles created out of mud pits to finish the course. Before the group can move on to a new element, all members of the team must finish each element, the team does a group cheer, and then moves on to the next. It’s a workout and a spa visit combined into one, since all that red clay just does wonders for the skin!
5. Whitewater Rafting: Put your team to the test during a full or half day whitewater rafting excursion. Crews must work together to successfully navigate whitewater rapids, while also following commands from a certified guide. This exhilarating ride provides numerous team building situations – paddling in sync, working together if (OK, when) someone falls into the river and maneuvering through difficult terrain. What better way to bond than to experience Class V whitewater than on the gorgeous New or Gauley Rivers?
Whether it’s playing games, getting dirty or having the thrill of a lifetime, ACE is the ultimate place to perfect the team atmosphere among your (work, sport, scout, church) group. Whether you are looking for a retreat, company meeting or getaway, just think of ACE.
Got more questions about the team building experience? Just ask below!