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Outdoor Team Building Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Teams will work collaboratively to solve puzzles, complete trust exercises, and communicate effectively. These activities are designed to be completed outside by teams large enough to create competitive small groups.

Outdoor Activities to Facilitate Team Building

A great way to get your team focused on team building is to get them outside the office. Changing someone's environment stimulates that person. When your team is stimulated, they will be able to focus in ways that they might not be able to while indoors.

The activities offered here are designed for managers and/or teachers to use with teams and/or young adults to facilitate strong bonds and team building.

Scavenger Hunt - With a Twist

This activity creates competition between teams while it compels members of the same team to work together.

Materials

  • Paper/pencil
  • Clipboard (for ease of writing)

Instructions

  • In an outdoor environment, divide your team into even groups.
  • Tell your team members that they need to create clues for a scavenger hunt. Tell them:
    • The clues you create will be given to an opposing team to solve and find.
    • You must have exactly one clue per team member.
    • The clues must point to items readily available in the current area.
  • A couple of examples are:
    • I'm pointy and hurt when I fall on your head. (Answer: pinecone)
    • Don't scream; I'm more afraid of you than you are of me. (Answer: bug)
  • After the clues have been written, ask teams to swap clues.
  • Give a start signal and have the teams race to solve and collect all the scavenger hunt items.

Managerial Instructions

  • You may need to motivate the teams to create difficult clues by offering incentives for winning. This will encourage the teams to attempt to trick their opponents with clues.
  • Observe closely to see who takes charge during the clue creation and solving steps of this activity.

Lead the Way

Do your team members trust each other? This activity will help you find out.

Materials

  • Blindfolds (optional)

Instructions

  • Have your team members line up.
  • Give all members of the team a blindfold, if you choose to use them.
  • Ask all but the first person in line to put on their blindfolds tightly enough so that they cannot see.
  • Now, ask the team members to place their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.
  • Finally, instruct the first person in the line to walk around the outdoor area in random patterns, leading the rest through the area.
  • After a minute, stop the line and have the first person go to the back of the line. Now the next person in line is the leader.
  • As each new person takes over the lead, have that person call out to the rest of the group, 'It's _____ at the front of the line now. Follow me.'

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