Teambuilding and the art of getting lost

Teambuilding and the art of getting lost

Posted on: 12/05/2019

I am greatly honoured to invite myself back to do another blog for Black Cat Treasure Hunts. I mean, as an individual, I have plenty to say about the benefits of a treasure hunt on teambuilding. If you stick with this you will also discover there can be a good time to get lost on route too!

If you read my last blog you will have seen how I inspired readers by setting out clearly what they would need to do to become a successful treasure hunter. Skills such as determination, perseverance and resilience were picked apart and analysed in depth. And I must say well done to the Bobble Hat Appreciation Society from Market Harborough who demonstrated those skills in abundance by actually getting through the whole blog last month. Unfortunately, they were lacking in all other treasure hunting skills, particularly navigation. We will award them with their special prize just as soon as they get back.

One of the other skills I talked about in that blog was team working. Now, I happen to know that Black Cat Treasure run an excellent team building activity. Once you have got over the disappointment of Sharon from HR mistaking Black Magic for Black Cat and that you won’t, after all, be going to the Nestle sponsored Gin, Chocolate and Prosecco Festival in Malaga that you all voted for, you will see this as an excellent opportunity to help build a good team. You might even end up finding a way to forgive Colin in accounts for borrowing your stapler and not returning it.

To be successful in this team building hunt is going to require those three skills I mentioned at the top of this blog plus a lot of interaction with your teammates. You cannot answer the questions all on your own. And don’t necessarily do what Dave from sales tells you to. Working the cruises in the Med for six years playing bass in one half of the variety act, Turkey and Stuffing, does not necessarily mean he is the most worldy-wise of all of you and therefore the de-facto leader and decision maker. He can have his say as part of the team but he should not make all the calls. You should be working together to tackle the challenges ahead.

Don’t worry about problems like getting lost. Amongst all the bickering that will go on it will be the least of your problems. Seriously though, it will be a lot of fun. To complete the task, you will all need to think and work as one unit and focus on the end-game. Don’t get distracted. Concentrate!

Unlike me some years ago...

We live in an army town and I recall a joint family day for the police and military, when I was about 7 or 8. We went to the army barracks for various activities which included, for us kids, the free use of their assault course. Let’s take a moment to process those words ... ‘we were allowed free use of their assault course’. There must have been some soldiers around supervising, surely? Not that I can recall. If there were any, it was a notional presence, probably a private standing somewhere telling us to be careful before we went on it. What about parents? Yes, of course they were there; ‘there’ being in the canteen having a cup of tea (military / police get together – I’m sure ‘tea’ was available) and a bite to eat.

Let me be clear: this was not, in any way, neglect. Our parents cared for us and loved us very much – they’ve made that very obvious over the years. This was just how it was then (back me up, older folk). The 50 page risk assessment for the day was spatially on the premises but temporally thirty years away. To be fair, my sister and I were with slightly older family friends, Paul and Julie (who, being 12 or 13) were fully qualified in all aspects of army assault training.

I thought this was fantastic. I was dashing about all over the place, trying out all the equipment.  The only thing I steered clear of was the 5 metre crawl through the tunnel full of water because we had been told that could be dodgy. But after a while I got distracted and ended up in isolation, away from the others. I was belting along towards my next target when, all of a sudden, the ground disappeared and so did I. Now, I hold up my hands here – my mistake. I should have time-warped to the open day of the future and seen the sturdy barriers and the four people around in high-vis jackets holding up the signs saying, ’Danger: Massive, deep hole. Do not enter’. I now found myself in danger and fully entered in the aforementioned massive, deep hole. Used as part of the soldiers’ training, it must have been at least ten feet deep. Incredibly, I was not hurt. But I did feel lost and alone. Incredibly so. I knew I was a way away from the others and was very concerned. It went through my young mind that no one would think to look for me here. It was dark and scary. Not nice.

I don’t want to ruin the suspense but I did get out. Paul heard my yells and screams and went for help. I was in luck. If you’re going to fall down a deep hole, do it where the combined might of the local constabulary and a significant proportion of the country’s military personnel are nearby having a few cups of tea together.

It was a big learning point for me. I had gone rogue and paid the consequences. Now when I come across a difficult situation at work, I don’t put the blinkers up and hare on ahead into a black hole. Instead, I reach out to my colleagues around me, ignore their cries of ‘Leave me alone; I’m busy,’ and we work together as a team.

So, to sum up: Enjoy your day, don’t let Dave take over and stick together, whether your colleagues want to or not. It will be worth it.

Before I leave, I just want to say commiserations must go to the Quilt Making Business Association delegation who came all the way from Singapore to take part in Black Cat’s special ‘Robbie Burns’ day. Apologies for the bad phone line and misunderstanding. Your quilts  provided a lovely contrast to the traditional Scottish attire worn by the other teams who took part. It was a shame it was such a hot day. We do hope you are all better.


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