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Eat. Play. Learn: Your Guide to Your Next Employee Retreat

October 15, 2015

If WhirlyBall, scavenger hunts, and rope courses are on your mind, chances are either that you're reminiscing about youth camp or you've just returned from your company’s off-site retreat. Tapping the playful instincts in an employee, who has kept their head in the sand for too long, unleashes fresh passion and energy for that employee’s job and workplace. Unique activities offered on a strategically-planned retreat open communication channels, which leads to deeper connection and trust levels. Here’s how to retreat within the Tri-State region:

In the Wild

Discover Outdoors manages all retreat logistics for ski, camping, and survival-skill building expeditions. Team exercises can also take place with seaside BBQs, sandcastle building, rock climbing, and waterfall canyoneering. http://www.discoveroutdoors.com/corporate

Technology meets nature at Mohonk Mountain House, which offers geocaching across Shawangunk Ridge. Teams are given the latitude and longitude of seven cache positions that can be found with GPS devices. http://www.mohonk.com/

Whodunnit?

Watson Adventure Scavenger Hunts stage their competitive searches at national landmarks, such as New York’s MOMA and Grand Central Terminal. Espionage and Leonardo da Vinci-themed murder mystery programs are played out in nature. http://www.watsonadventures.com/

Back to School

The Leaders Institute integrates specific curriculums into modules that guarantee fun. Gaining consensus and enthusiastic cooperation are sample topics that have headlined one-hour sessions. http://www.leadersinstitute.com/teambuilding/CreatingTeamCulture.pdf

Eye on the Ball

Chelsea Piers is known for gladiator games, bowling, and batting cages—plus creative gaming. In a competition that simulates rock-climbing, team members are guided by climbing staff while building a tower of gym mats. http://venues.chelseapiers.com/se/corporate-events/index.cfm

The Artist's Way

Make Meaning’s crafty approach to bonding will provide your team with scented candles and painted ceramics. Staff members guide projects. An in-store café caters events. https://www.makemeaning.com/locations/

Your Retreat Checklist: 

Engaging all individuals in a company will require a range of ideas. Foolproof your retreat planning by incorporating various employees with unique interests.

> Be inclusive. Select activities that appeal to a wide variety of personalities, and keep in mind that certain employees might lack the ability required to participate in a physical activity.

> If budget is an issue, look at staging a weekday afternoon at a local game center or planning a very interactive town hall in the workplace.

> Involve employees’ families if the retreat goal is simply to socialize and get personal.

> If conflict resolution between individuals or teams is the priority, hiring mediators or ombudsmen in the role of a referee for a sporting event could help resolve the core issues, but also lighten moods, change attitudes, and provide a healthy environment to vent negative energy.