Wednesday 23 October 2013

Corporate Team Building Day, Borrowdale, October 9th 2013.

On October 9th, Kendal Mountaineering Services once again ran a corporate team building event for the 2013 cohort of Nucleargraduate apprentices. These successful young people are about to start their apprentice careers working within the Nucleargraduate Sponsor Organisations.

All of these young people - some 40 in total have already spent time with Iain and his staff team when they attended the various Welcome Workshops organised by Nucleargraduates and were all subsequently engaged in our Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning Sessions. These sessions were designed to encourage these young people to engage with; and get to know better, others in their group with whom they will be working during the next two years of their Nucleargraduate Apprentice-ships.

The last time we were asked to organise the Autumn Team Building Event was in 2011. You can read a report about that event here.

The objectives for this corporate Team Building Event in The Lake District were that as the apprentices were starting working together for the first time - along with their team bosses, they should focus on teamworking, being task leaders or being led. It was also expected that the event would facilitate further development of relationships and that people would also focus on the issues of trust, support and communication during the day.

We were asked to arrange an appropriate itinerary of outdoor tasks to allow these objectives to be met. The graduates were split down into four groups each with a team boss and the idea was that there would be inter-team competition throughout the day. Although, at the end of the day - it was not all about the team who earned the most points but more about the interaction that took place and what was learned about task planning, approach and execution as well as the objectives already outlined.

The groups spent several hours during the morning undertaking a "Strategy" style Orienteering Event. Each team had to attempt to find a total of 35 orienteering markers set out in the vicinity of the venue. Each marker was worth a certain number of points, some more than others. Each team had to plan how they intended to collect markers and gain points (photo one) There were constraints which had to be adhered to and failure to do so or find the intended markers incurred  penalties.

This event lasted around two hours and some of the groups completed the task very quickly indeed. Following all teams completion, each team had to prepare and then present to the other teams; a five minute presentation outlining the strategy they had adopted for success outlining what had worked well and what hadn't; and how they adapted their strategy to achieve success. We then followed with lunch.

After lunch we continued the day with a "round robin" of four different challenges. Photo two shows a team on the field across the road from the venue around a pile of equipment which was required to successfully complete a task presented in a brief. Each team was required to complete three of the "Team Tasks" at this location and of course there were penalities for failure to complete the task properly or to time etc!

Whilst this was going on, each of the other teams were at different "task locations. Photo three shows a Graduate Apprentice hauling himself across above Lodore Beck on a Tyrolean Traverse. On arrival at this site the group were given instructions on how to rig a tensioning system which would allow them to tighten the ropes enough to be able to travel, suspended over the stream and points were earned by touching the tree on the opposite bank before returning to the start point - challenging stuff indeed!

Another challenge was to attempt an abseil as in photo four above where we see a Graduate Apprentice as she heads off down the full extent of Brown Slabs. This task relied little on teamwork but was more about pushing ones limits of belief and finding that with a little support & encouragement - you really can launch yourself down a 100 foot drop!

Another of our four afternoon challenges involved Rock Climbing - again at Brown Slabs at Shepherds Crag in Borrowdale. Here, we employed the system of "top rope - bottom belaying"  as we would normally during one of our introductory Rock Climbing Sessions in The Lake District.

In a top rope - bottom belay system, the climbing ropes are anchored at the top of the climb and as one person climbs another belays - ie takes in the rope and keeps it tight to protect the climber again falling. Working in teams of three or four this system is a great way for a group to build rapport, trust and support as it involves communication to make it work. Everyone has a job to do - as a person climbs another belays and another acts as a tail person - holding the "dead" rope behind the belayer to act as a safety backup against falling. A fourth person might provide encouragement to the climber and hold on to the back of the belayers harness whilst they lower the climber - just in case there is a weight imbalance between the two!

Photo five is a view from our "office". On this occasion the venue was Borrowdale and the area around the Lodore Falls Hotel.

The view is from the top of Brown Slabs looking North across Derwentwater towards Skiddaw - at 3058, the lowest of the Lake Districts 3000 foot peaks. The day had started off cloudy and with rain, but progressively improved. We were fortunate that by the time we started climbing & abseiling in the afternoon a breeze as well as the sun were drying out the rock. We were also extremely lucky that there were no other users at Brown Slabs as it is a very popular venue for introductory Climbing Sessions in The Lake District.

The final photo from this post about Corporate Training Events in The Lake District is taken at our venue for the day - The Lodore Falls Hotel. Here, one group is conducting a presentation to the other groups at the end of the afternoon and the theme was centred around what had been learnt about the benefits of

  • Working as a team
  • leadership
  • Trust
  • Support
  • and efficient communication
throughout the day.

Having completed all afternoon challenges by 5pm, we finished off back at the venue where presentations were conducted and it was clear that not only had everyone enjoyed this full on day, but each person had learnt something about their abilities, the abilities of other and the benefits of working together effectively to achieve an end result.

Job well done? We think so!

Our thanks go out to the staff team  at the Lodore Falls Hotel who kept us topped up with tea & coffee and provided us with a good packed lunch. We thank them also for the use of their high quality function room for the day which was an ideal base from which to host the event. We hope we will get the opportunity to return next year with the next cohort of Nucleargraduates.

To enquire about our high quality bespoke Corporate Team Event packages in The Lake District contact us here. We look forward to working with you.

No comments: