Sunday, January 26, 2014

Zip Lining & Team Building

This past fall my company took all the administrators & managers for a day and night of adventures and team building at Long Point Eco Adventures. (As you can tell this is a pretty long post but I want to record everything for myself. )

Our team building started at 1:00 on Sunday with games focused on communication and getting everyone to work together.  Our first task was introducing ourselves with our names, a animal that used the same first letter, and the action of that animal. I was Tortoise Tammy.  Our guide, Buffalo Bill, complicated matters with this one because we had to remember everyone's animal & action before us ( I was third to go so I had it pretty easy, hahaha)

The second task was a timed group effort to flip over 30 numbered disk's in order in a circle.  Only one person could be in the circle at a time and only our hands could be within the circle as well, any breaking of the rules got a 5 second time penalty.  Our first efforts were ok, 1 min & 31 sec including 2 penalties.  We tried two more times and managed to get down to 59.1 seconds (our goal was to be under 1 min) with no penalties - Go Team!

In the third task we were blind folded two or three at a time and had to be verbally lead thru a mine field of objects within a circle by our other co-workers. The blind folded person could not talk.  If you touched one of the objects you were frozen and another group member going thru had to touch you to be released.  This task was awesome!  You had to put complete trust in the person/people guiding you.  The course was only about 15 feet long but once you put that blind on and started it felt like you were being guided to South America.

We took a walk on our fourth task, which was more of a bridge task taking us to another location.  We paired up and one person was blind folded and the other was the guide.  The guide couldn't talk.  We strolled thru the woods trying to keep our companions safe.

Once we arrived at the fifth task the blind folded person could see again and the guide could talk - which was good because the not talking part was killing me!  This task required us to all be on a low platform that balanced.  The goal was to get half the group on the very edge of the platform, without it touching the ground, while the rest used their weight as a counter balance.  Once that was complete we had to switch places so the others could get to the edge.  It was hard but we did manage to do it the first time.

Task six - we're almost to the end.  Our instructions were to build bridges over "piranha" infested waters with only using 3 boards that had to sit on concrete blocks and couldn't go in the "water".  This one we figured out pretty fast.  Once we got people positioned to move the boards back and forth it was a breeze.

Our seventh task was up an insanely steep hill that took forever to level out.  Our objective was to get from one "deserted island" to the other, crossing over "alligator" infested waters with only using our friendly "snake" - rope (We definitely had to use our imaginations on this one because it was completely flat and dry, and to be honest gators are not problem here in SW Ontario).  We chose one person to take the only "boat" across to the other side where that person kept the boat.   Our exiled person threw our snake friend over and the rest of us had to figure out how to cross without touching the ground or tie a knot in our "snake".  After some discussion we figured it all out and constructed a primitive suspension bridge from tree to tree. All eight of crossed successfully - not one lost to the alligators.

The final walk back to base was task 4 with the guide now being the blind.

All in all a very cool way to spend the afternoon.  We learned so much about each other and our strengths.

We had some free time to check in to our tents and socialize before dinner.  Let me tell you - this place has glamping all figured out.  The beds & pillows were big, fluffy and oh so comfy!  There was a complete bathroom in every tent, which even included a shower that was open to the sky.  My morning shower was amazing!

Our prime rib dinner with all the fixin's, including salad's and desserts was catered by our hosts.  It was fabulous and I ate way too much.  We reflected on our day and speculated on our biggest adventure to come.....THE BIG ZIP!

Let me just say if you have never been zip lining before PUT IT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST!!!! It's a little scarey at first but our guides were great! The first time you step off the platform your heart is racing and you feel SO alive. By this time the weather had turned on us and it started to rain and probably a little cold but we hardly noticed we were all on an adrenaline high.  Our adventure consisted of 8 zips and 2 suspension bridges. Most of the zips were short enough that from the take off platform you could see the light on the landing platform so you could judge the distance.  However, our last zip was the best - over 700 feet of gliding! I absolutely loved it but was sad with the knowledge that it was over.  All the was left was a 40 foot free repel to ground level - another shot of fear and adrenaline!  We all made it down successfully - cheering each other every step of the way.

We had booked a visit to the observatory for a wind down after zip lining unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate with completely cloudy sky's and light rain :( so we headed to the fire pit for roasted marshmallows, companionship, and a few beers.  All in all a very successful day.

I don't think it took very long for any of us to fall asleep - the camp ground went quiet pretty fast. Our big comfy heated beds kept us toasty all night.  Getting up to crisp fall air and an open top shower left you in awe.

Our hosts provided an amazing omelet chef extraordinaire.  Cooking up made to order eggs for everyone with toast, fruit, muffins, everything you could ever want for breakfast. But once we were finished eating everyone had to head back to work.  The bitter sweet reality...

It was an amazing weekend that I'd love to repeat.

Stay Sweet!