Whether you’re traveling or want to get out in your home city, team-building activities are a great way to get your staff out and about—and summer is prime season. Fast-paced race around the city? Relaxing day in the sun? There’s something for every organization! Here are some of our favorite outdoor team building exercises.
Not only do guests have to work as a team to complete different challenges, but this team-building activity is also a great sightseeing opportunity! Teams are given smart phones loaded with an app with special locations/clues that they need to find. Most Vendors can offer this activity either turnkey (at least in major cities) or built custom with landmarks chosen to enhance your company message. Planning for an architecture firm? Customize with locations of the most architecturally significant landmarks in the city.
This activity can also incorporate a give back! One of many companies that offers a scavenger hunt app, American Outback offers a program called “Play it Forward” where the tasks given to teams consist of random acts of kindness all over the city.
Electric Boat Scavenger Hunt
The perfect team-building activity for a sunny Seattle day, is to head out onto Lake Union aboard a fleet of electric boats. Each team of up to 8 people board one of the 21’ long electric Duffy boats. The water’s-eye view is one of the best around! Oh—and you get to captain your own ship!
Teams are given clues to find specific points of interest, like the houseboat from the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” or Gas Works Park, that encourage them to explore the lake — and the city from a new perspective. In the process, teams learn communication skills, collaborative strategy, and have lots of fun on the water. End the day with an on-board picnic and some local wine & craft beer. Pretty sweet, right?
Similar the City Chase activities, Geo-Caching gives each team coordinates of different objects hidden all over, and teams have to work together to find and collect as many as possible. For this one, you can set a theme, and hide “trackables” in the search areas and teach teams the history and significance of each item/location as you go.
Here in Seattle, one of our favorite geocaching activities is inspired by the New York Times best-selling book “Boys in the Boat.” In 1936, a ragtag group of young men overcame countless obstacles and naysayers to win gold at the Berlin Olympic Games. The University of Washington crew team stunned the world with an astonishing showing at “Hitler’s Olympics,” and inspired generations. Teams follow their GPS to find key points around the UW campus related to the team’s story, while learning some local history!
A classic team-building activity, ropes courses come in all shapes and sizes so you can easily tailor this to your team’s needs. If you’re not familiar with them, a ropes course is a series of challenges where each person navigates obstacles and physical challenges and must work as a team to successfully complete each one.
For a more adventurous group, try a high ropes course. As the name suggests, these take players up in the air, usually around 15 feet or more off the ground (securely harnessed!). Expect some climbing walls, rope bridges, and sometimes even short ziplines!
In this challenge, each team has to work together to determine whether they’ll sink… or swim. Teams are given materials and must make their own (usually cardboard) boat in a certain amount of time. They’ll encounter obstacles as they go, like supply shortages or team member switches.
At the end, they’ll be evaluated on how well they worked together to complete the task, and of course whether the boat floated or sank.