Corporate management has realized that in order to reach a heightened, consistent productivity among its employees, a sense of camaraderie and ownership must exist in every level of the company structure. Various techniques have been used over the years in an attempt to develop teambuilding within companies, including competitions, games, and awards.
Forward thinking corporate managers have realized that methods used in the past have not yielded substantial results. Today, many of these managers are arranging team building trips and activities for their employees. These activities will increase team building by showing the participants that working together for a common cause makes everyone a winner. Generally, an outside company is hired to plan, oversee and instruct participants in order for goals to be reached.
When a corporation arranges a corporate camping trip for its employees, its primary goal is taking them out of the familiar and comfortable environment of the workplace. Many of these people will not have had experience camping before, so it is a totally new activity for them. Those who do have some knowledge must impart that information to fellow campers, so that everyone involved acquires an optimum experience.
A very common problem in the corporate world is the “pass the buck” mentality, where no one assumes responsibility for his/her actions. This attitude can occur for various reasons: fear of appearing incompetent, unwillingness to deal with conflict and perhaps feeling disenfranchised from the group. Camping for corporate teambuilding can isolate these feelings and attitudes and turn them around for improvement of the corporate environment.
Initially, the physical set up of the campsite is the most important activity. Participants must decide the best location for tent(s) and then set them up together. Location of a campfire, gathering wood and kindling must be done and finding a way to safely store food needs to be determined. A water supply must be found, particularly if this is a survival camping trip. Normally, a leader will surface and campers will begin to form into small groups working on a common goal. These small groups will perform tasks, which contribute to the group as a whole.
Generally, after a task is completed, the facilitators of the camping experience discuss the interactions between the participants in an effort to teach valuable lessons in communication and cooperation. The sooner this is accomplished, the better. It should be done while the experiences are still fresh in the minds of the campers.
Throughout the camping trip, various challenges may be offered to the campers. At the end of each challenge, the group gathers with the facilitators to examine behaviors and interactions during the challenge. Since the goal of the camping experience is team building to benefit the sponsoring corporation, emphasis is placed upon enhancing communication, trust, ownership, prioritizing and team spirit among employees. It is known that putting a person into an uncomfortable situation can facilitate change and that is the basis of camping for corporate teambuilding – to change those attitudes and behaviors that do not best serve the corporation.