This weekend, my family and I went camping with our neighbors. Keep in mind that, although I’m a country boy from rural Arkansas and spent many-a-weekend in a tent, I’ve become accustomed to king-sized beds and concierge lounges in my recent years. In fact, it was funny when my wife told me about the invitation…

“I know you’re not really the camping type,” she said.

I was offended… “I can skin a buck and run a trot line, I’ll have you know.”

Well, within a few hours I was back in my rustic roots. My neighbor pulled in his camper and expanded the sides to fit the queen beds. I plugged in my portable hotspot and unpacked my iPad. Just the great outdoors and a little Direct TV. (This is way better than I remember when I was a kid.)

Anyway, the point is that my wife and I have known the neighbors for a year or so now, but we got to know them much better throughout the last 48 hours. We talked about different things. We laughed together. It wad nice and relaxing.

It was a shared experience.

One of the reasons that team building events are so valuable is that they create a shared experience for the entire group. It is something that is not work. It’s not the normal stress and pressure at the office. It let’s the group get to know each other on a personal level.

Teams work much better together when the members of the team have strong friendships. Those strong friendships develop from the shared experiences. So when you schedule your next convention or annual meeting, make sure and look for ways to create a fun, shared experience for your team. Good team building events and activities like charity team building events can create that emotional impact in a shared experience.