Outdoor Team Activities
Just about any of our team building activities can be conducted indoors or outdoors. However some of our team building programs are specifically designed for outdoor venues. Outdoor activities need more planning and may need a “back-up” plan, so a professional team building facilitator can be a great help. Remember, just conducting any activity outside won’t necessarily make it more fun. (It might make it more uncomfortable.) Call our hotline at 1-800-872-7830, and one of our specialists can help you choose the perfect program for your group!
Below are few suggestions that can help make your program more successful and enjoyable for your participants.
- Begin and End in an Indoor Location — Warm-up activities and instructions given to the group work best if they are delivered in a comfortable and private area. Noise, heat, and the distraction of of other people, outside of the group, can negatively affect the outcome of an event. So it’s best to have a more private setting to start and end the event.
- Keep the Outdoor Activities Portion Short — When you insert a competitive spirit into an event, participants tend to expend a great amount of energy. Even though the activity might be low impact, participants will tire quickly. Optimally, start with a 15 minute warm-up/instruction period and go outdoors for an hour or so. Then, end with a 15 minute indoor debrief/conclusion.
- Pay Attention to What Your team Doesn’t Say — As meeting planners, we often pick awesome resort locations for annual meetings, but then, because we have to make the most of the time there, participants are captive in meetings all day and don’t get to enjoy the location. More often than not, when you hear comments like, “Let’s do some outdoor activities,” what they are really saying is, “give us some free time so that we can enjoy the location.” Sometimes, a shorter indoor activity and some well-deserved free-time is a better choice than moving your group into the hot sun or cold wind.
- The Hotter/Colder the Temperature, the Less Time You want to Spend in the Elements — Adjust the outdoor time when the temperature or weather changes. If the weather changes, don’t be afraid to move the whole event indoors. Participants will be much happier if they are comfortable versus struggling in heat or cold. Many fantastic, world-class team building activities have been ruined by 90 degree weather or unexpected cold-fronts. Always have a back-up plan!
The Best Outdoor Activities for Team Building Events
The Camaraderie Quest — High-Tech Team GPS Treasure Hunt: Much more than a common team building scavenger hunt, the Camaraderie Quest is a brainy, challenging, high-tech adventure that is tailor-made to your group and location every single time. No two adventures are the same! This is, by far, the most flexible of all of our outdoor programs, because it can be conducted inside, outside, or a combination of both, and it can be adjusted on the fly by the instructor if the weather changes. So weather is never a problem with this fantastic activity. Want a philanthropic twist? In the Hero Quest version of this event, your participants donate care packages or cash to soldiers who are away from their families defending our freedom. In the Kids Quest, participants donate toys or cash to needy kids in the area. More information about the Camaraderie Quest.
Build-A-Bike® — Build-A-Bike® is a memorable program where your group is divided into teams to solve specific challenges in order to build bicycles for young children from either The YMCA, The Boys and Girls Club, or some other worth children’s charity! This event is a blast when it’s conducted outside, but use caution when deciding whether you want to do it indoors or out. Participants use a lot of physical activity in this event, so if the heat is on, it might be best to move it inside. Also, bikes have a lot of washers, nuts, bolts, etc., so if you conduct one in a grassy area, parts can sometimes get lost. It’s better to have a flat, paved area to conduct the event. One final thing… Remember that when you move an event outside, areas are less private and unsecured, so you might incur an extra fee for security. With all of that said, though, outdoor Build-A-Bike® Events are extremely fun and rewarding. More information about the Build-A-Bike®.
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