Team Building Adventures: Where Reality TV and the Corporate Boardroom Meet the Great Outdoors

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In today’s complex, team-based, and increasingly competitive corporate world, managing colleague relationships and rewarding employees are essential. In addition to recognizing performance, experiential learning programs are proven to support employee retention, enhance productivity and to build morale and profits. Some companies are offering businesses a chance to embrace this opportunity by taking colleagues out of their normal surroundings and into the great outdoors for some excitement, adventure, and team building.

Working with companies both large and small, these adventure companies provide innovative outdoor special events to simply reward employees, or to reach deeper and with a team of experienced facilitators, seek solutions, resolve conflicts or focus on other specific issues.

“Historically, corporate team building programs were about bringing facilitators into the boardroom, or going to specific destinations with facilities that accommodate team building programs. What we have created are some truly unique programs that can be brought anywhere, be it an office, city centre, or resort,” says James Corbett, owner of Canadian Outback Adventures. “More and more companies are realizing the return on investment and are embracing the importance of experiential learning through team building adventures.”

Though the corporate boardroom may sometimes seem intimidating, the “Survivor” event is definitely not! Groups are split into separate tribes with local First Nations tribal names. Each tribe’s goal is to complete the various challenges as effectively as possible. Challenges such as Blind Leading the Blind, Triage, Squamish Scramble, and Buried Treasure test strategy, communication, and other essential business components. No special skills, athletic ability or previous experience required!

Amazing Race
Amazing Race is a team-building event combining communication skills, planning, strategy, teamwork, and a race against the clock. Groups are split into teams and mini-teams whose goal it is to work together to complete the race in as little time as possible.  Racers are set out on a course filled with interesting route markers that provide additional route information, road blocks that outline a specific task that someone on each team must complete before moving on, and detours that run throughout the area. Amazing Race is the perfect answer for adventure-seeking enthusiasts.  The resort of Whistler BC is one of the most popular locations for the Amazing Race, and many Whistler hotels also offer this as an activity individuals or small groups can do while in Whistler.

With the increased popularity in crime stories, CSI has grown to become one of the most watched shows in the North America. Canadian Outback Adventures has adapted orienteering and the theme of the CSI into a group format allowing teams to compete in an educational and exciting activity. With each member proficient in a specific navigational or crime solving skill, teams must work together to navigate their way to a series of crime scenes. At each location teams must carefully search for clues and document evidence to solve each particular case. Upon completion, the teams will hand in their evidence and receive lab results. The final challenge will be to solve the mystery: who has committed/masterminded the crimes!

Eco-Challenge is geared toward corporate teams searching for top performance results. This unique teambuilding event is intended to re-create themes as problem solving, creative thinking, communication, team interaction, trust and building confidence, all in an inspirational outdoor setting. Eco-Challenge begins and ends at an Adventure Base located in the Squamish Valley, just one-hour from Vancouver and Whistler. Teams work their way through the Squamish Valley to experience various challenge components, all of which are designed to encourage teams to work together, both physically and mentally, and to highlight individual and team strengths. Components include mountain biking on backcountry roads and trails, rock climbing, kayaking in river kayaks on Alice Lake and river rafting on the Cheakamus River.

Groups can hit the water with the exciting RiverQuest activity. RiverQuest combines a day on the river with various problem solving and teambuilding events that encourage creative thinking, communication and team interaction. RiverQuest begins at the Adventure Base in Squamish where team members are briefed on the day’s objectives and outfitted with all the gear needed to ensure a safe journey. The adventure begins on the banks of the Cheakamus River, a fun river with small gentle rapids in a stunning setting. Once on the water, teams will be given both written and verbal instructions to retrieve various items from checkpoints located in the river or along its banks. Between checkpoints teams will encounter several challenges in which they will have the opportunity to compete individually as well as to go head-to-head with other rafts.

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