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Outrigger Canoe Team Building – Out-paddle the Competition!

outrigger canoe team buildingAloha! Last week we gathered with TYR Sport in Long Beach to enjoy a sunset paddle for our Outrigger Canoe Team Building Race event. Participants were treated to a brief lesson on the history of outrigger canoeing in California and a hands-on lesson in paddling. Then it was into the canoes for the tournament!

Our experienced na ho‘okele (steerers) captained each canoe and urged the teams to huki (paddle fast)! Their expertise was welcome since outrigger canoes are much more difficult to navigate than regular boats. Outrigger canoes require synchronicity and communication between teammates. Hence, outrigger racing is perfect for team building! If crews are able to work together they can get their vessels cutting quickly through the waves. Their speed when manned by a cohesive team invokes the memory that these canoes were once used as powerful war vehicles.

outrigger canoe team buildingHere in California, outrigger racing has been a popular sport since 1959. That’s when we held the inaugural race from Orange County to Avalon, Catalina and back. FireFly’s race is much shorter, spanning a football field’s length of sheltered channel. Crews gathered on the sand to cheer on the other teams and await their turn to compete. Soon the instructors shouted “HO‘OMAKAUKAU!” meaning “get ready!” Team members piled into the canoes and set off for the starting line. The chase boat followed along, directing the participants and transporting yours truly to get the best action shots of our athletes. Crews chanted to keep rhythm like dancers or drill sergeants “One, two, one, two!” I think singing Moana songs would have been equally effective. We held many heiheis (races) until we ultimately crowned the victor.

The winners showed off their medals as the sun sank below the horizon. The event was equal parts exhilarating and tranquil. The thrill of physical competition was complimented by the peaceful protected bay and gorgeous weather. Our participants worked up a hearty appetite and certainly deserved the dinner that they headed off to as they outrigger canoe team buildingtraded stories of the day.

Outrigger Canoe Team Building with FireFly Team Events

If your team is up for an adventure, contact us to schedule your own Outrigger Canoe Race and learn the ho‘owala‘au wa‘a (canoe lingo).

team building graffiti

3 Creative Los Angeles Team Building Ideas

Los Angeles is a mecca for the arts. From Hollywood starlets to modern art exhibits, LA is saturated with creativity. You don’t have to be a skilled artist to benefit from the out of the box thinking the city is known for. Many worry about the quality of their artistic exploits, but as with all team building endeavors it is the process that yields the value. To encourage innovation from your group, consider these unique, creative team building ideas.

Launch It!
Who ever said scientists aren’t creative? With Jet Propulsion Laboratory minutes away, be inspired to blast off! We provide the materials and guidance to help your sales team go to infinity and beyond during our Rocket Design Challenge. Construct your team’s bottle rockets with an eye for distance, accuracy, and design. After you’ve used as much glitter glue as possible to attach the awesome cardboard wings you designed, we’ll set up the launch pad where teams will compete to see who made the best rocket designs. It’s 3, 2, 1…blast off as your rockets soar into the sky. You’d be blown away by how far these things fly!

Play It!
Want to inspire creativity and inspiration? Everyone loves playing games like Tetris and Pac Man, but we don’t want to isolate ourselves with these single player pleasures. At our Team Arcade we get everyone in on the fun. Utilizing a makeymakey controller, we allow your team to become game designers where anything can be a button. We pair challenges with creativity techniques that can boost your innovation curve back in the office. Teams will collaborate to create solutions that land outside the box in this team building event. Don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy, we’ve simplified the technology so ANYONE can be a creator.

Paint It!
As you travel through Los Angeles you’ll notice there’s some graffiti that looks more like art and less like tagging. That impressive graphic was more likely a commissioned masterpiece than a misdemeanor. In fact graffiti has landed on the walls of art museums all over the world. Experience this unique modern art form with our team building graffiti events. We bring in a world class professional graffiti artist to help each person design their own tag, and then we have everyone contribute to the group mural. No art degree is required, just be ready to have fun and maybe get a bit of paint on your hands.

Don’t be scared by any perceived lack of talent. Our creative team building events are focused on fun and innovation. To get your creative juices flowing contact james@fireflyteamevents.com

corporate escape rooms

Escape Rooms and Corporate Team Building – Do They Work?

If your pulse is pounding, the door is locked, a zombie is chained to the wall, and the only way out is to solve a puzzle then you know you’re in an Escape Room. It’s the latest craze to capture the interest of companies that want a unique team building experience. Many escape rooms are advertising their experience as a “team building” opportunity. It’s true that escape rooms require groups to communicate, collaborate, vie for leadership, solve problems, and produce results under pressure… But the shared experience alone is not enough to have a true impact on your team and their workplace performance.

In team building the experience is only a vehicle.   Whether you’re escaping a room or assembling bikes for charity, the true impact occurs when teams reflect on their experience: why they made certain choices, how they approach conflict, who stepped into leadership roles, what language they used. ”Team building” occurs when the group reflects and finds meaning in the experience, and applies it to their patterns of behavior in the workplace. An escape room can be a valuable tool for team building when utilized properly.

Making an Escape Room a True Team Building Experience

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of an escape experience.

Partner with a Professional Facilitator :  A facilitator will work with the escape room to explore challenges the team will be facing, methods of observation, and formulate a plan for processing the experience.   Following the team’s escape the facilitator will help the group reflect and draw meaning from the experience.

Book More Time: Most escape experiences last about an hour. If you’re partnering with a facilitator consider tacking on at least an extra hour to debrief the experience.

Consider 2 Escapes: After the first room your team will be armed with new insights that they can test in the second escape. A second escape creates more data that will help illuminate behavior patterns, breakdowns in communication, or team strengths.

Is an Escape Room Right For Your Team?

Escape rooms are not a perfect fit for every group. It’s a tool or sometimes a pleasant distraction and should be fitted to the group.  Here’s a few points to consider when escape rooms are an option:

Puzzles, Puzzles, and Puzzles:  The people drawn to escape rooms are puzzle people because escape rooms focus on puzzles.  In a corporate event you’ll have a mix of people that love puzzles and those that don’t. Because this is a “work event” your non-puzzlers can’t opt out. If they’re not engaged then they can become a distraction or at the very least feel like they can’t contribute.

Require People to “Pretend”: I love a good theme but it shouldn’t cross the line into acting. When I approach any event design I make sure we’re designing for the group personality and not an individual’s. I’ve found that most group personalities do not appreciate being asked to “pretend” or suspend disbelief. I get the most rolled eyeballs from people when they recall an event where they had to pretend to be secret agents or cross a river of lava.

Can We Supersize That: Consider that most rooms have a participation cap of 3-10 people. You will occasionally find some with 15 and the rare one that can handle 15+.

Escape rooms are a great way to engage and challenge your team in a unique environment. If handled properly they can be a great tool for team building. Before you face down the zombie consider what it might represent in your business. What rooms has your team locked themselves in? What does escaping the room represent on your team’s journey?

We’ve recently added an escape style event to our roster. As life long game designers escape rooms fit like a glove. Schedule your next team building adventure with us – 877.267.7149

We love working with team building groups in Las Vegas, Orange County, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

Orange County Team Building that Gives Back: Corporate Social Responsibility

Charity team BuildingCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in team building usually refers to adding a charitable or environmental element to your event. The combination of CSR with team building can lead to community involvement, environmental stewardship and it shows the world what your company stands for. Studies have shown that employee retention is stronger when employees are allowed to devote a portion of their work week to volunteering. A great CSR event is energizing and inspiring and often leads to a more productive workforce.  In 2014 Hewlett-Packard had 40,000 employees in 82 countries log more than 1.6 million volunteer hours. What will your impact be?

Need ideas? We LOVE partnering with companies that want to make a difference. We are constantly finding new ways to partner our clients and worthy causes. Our most common charitable team building events are the Charity Bike Build and the Care Package Assembly. These are common sights at Sales Conferences, quarterly meetings, and incentive trips here in Orange County. The beauty of either of these events is that there is always a need and we can complete an event in a couple of hours.

What if I want to do MORE? Your people are your biggest resource because of the skills, knowledge, and heart they bring to your organization. What if you could leverage that skill on behalf of a local charity? You probably have people dedicated to sales, marketing, and technical areas. Why not channel their talent to revitalize the processes, marketing materials, and website of a local charity? Instead of helping a few people, you lay the groundwork for exponential good. Charities often lack the funds or expertise to accomplish what your team could do in a single session. Charitable team building shouldn’t always be about donating it should also be about empowering, teaching, and inspiring. Our  Help-A-Thon service is perfect for facilitating these types of interactions. Interested? Call us at 877.267.1939 or email james@fireflyteamevents.com

 

Team Building Events in Irvine, CA – Graffiti Art

Team Building GraffitiMural Madness – Graffiti Team Building

Want to stand out? Need a memorable Irvine team building event? Treat your employees to a hip urban adventure that centers around graffiti. We perfectly blend graffiti art and our high energy fun team events to create a unique outing for your group. Watch as your coworkers create amazing murals on canvas using spray paint. Our professional artists and facilitators will guide your team through the creative process. Along the way we’ll use team building challenges to allow them to earn bonus items like new colors, stencils, and more. This is a rare glimpse into an exciting counter-culture that people will talk about for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do i need to be artistic?

Absolutely Not!!! This is event is for everyone! In addition to spray painting there are team challenges and more to keep everyone involved.

Can we do this inside?

This event thrives outdoors. It’s a great chance to get outside, soak up the sun, and have some fun. We don’t recommend doing this event indoors.

Where do you usually do this event?

Public parks, parking lots, and parking structures are common spots. Graffiti is an urban art form and we love finding unique city locations like alleyways, plazas, etc where we can get permits to set-up up canvases and have fun.

What do we paint on?

You’ll create what we call a “piece” or “masterpiece” by painting on either cardboard flats or a canvas depending on the end goal for your event.

Will this get on my clothes?

Nope, we provide all necessary protective gear like smocks, gloves, and masks.

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To get a quote or ask additional questions please contact James Bennett at 949.439.9641 or james@fireflygroupevents.com

 

2 Alternative Team Building Ideas: Orange County Team Building

Already done a scavenger hunt? Need a new idea? We love fresh new corporate team building events that we can offer our clients! Here’s two ideas that are definitely NOT your traditional team event and perfect for Orange County, Anaheim, or Los Angeles.

Mural Madness – Graffiti Lessons as Team Building

Move over Banksy! NO ARTISTIC SKILL NEEDED! Want a group activity to break-up the powerpoints? Let them experience the thrill of creating a new memory through graffiti. Our graffiti lesson focuses on the the act of creating a masterpiece. Your team will get a lesson from our world class graffiti and street artists. They’ll learn about flares, fades, and can control. Then they’ll combine efforts with the artists to create a gallery worthy work of art. It’s a fast, fun, and rewarding team event that they’ll talk about for a long time.

Tactical Team Up – Weapons training as Team Building

Want to add some excitement to the work day or conference?  We’ll put your team in front of advanced weapons simulators & tactical training session. Drop them into an adrenaline charged scenario and let them take care of business! How will your team stack up against our virtual assailants and adrenaline spiking scenarios?

Call us at 877.267.1939 to discuss ideas or pricing in Orange County or surrounding areas. You can also reach us at james@fireflygroupevents.com