Canoeing Orienteering Adventure
Team Building Event
in the Florida Swamplands

Note: This team building event can be held at any
venue where canoes are free to roam.

Location – The Canoeing Orienteering Adventure is a team building event which takes place in the swamps north of Key Largo; about 60 minutes south of Miami. Participants are given objectives to complete, have scarce resources, limited by time and face a variety of surprise obstacles. And they will still be expected to succeed, just like at work!

The team building event starts at 10:00 a.m. at Alabama Jack’s (a mile or so away from base camp). This 65 year-old rustic swamp bar is known for its tasty seafood. It is an open-air affair with few walls, a good view of the swamp and docks to tie up canoes once the team has navigated their way to base camp.

Program Outline – Teams are given canoes, life vests, treasure maps of the swampland area, GPS trackers (with waypoints) and a supply backpack loaded with essential items needed to complete their quest. Each team will be briefed on safety, point structure and strategy. Teams will then navigate the waterways to find buoy markers (that have been previously placed among the mangrove swamps). Each buoy holds a “treasure” and sometimes clues to the next waypoint. Teams intersect at key points along the route and have the opportunity to work together and support each other’s efforts. They key to success is found in how teams tackle these interactions.

The team building event is divided into several phases (each one more complicated) requiring greater teamwork in order for the teams to be successful. At the end of each phase the facilitator invites participants to offer tips, strategies and learning. The discussion focuses on teamwork, support, trust, working together, defining roles, leadership and communication. Teams are challenged to take their support and their overall performance to the next level.

Results – The Canoeing Orienteering Adventure is challenging, dynamic and loaded with business related metaphors such as:

  • The path to success requires first-rate planning
  • At the end of the day, the best route is the one which gets you there
  • Teams always accomplish more than individuals and without trust, nothing works

This team building event dynamically ties the individual and team experiences back to workplace business results. Each participant walks away from the day not only bonded with their team mates, but with a specific step-by-step action plan related to how they will support team efforts back on the job.

Facilitation – Each stage ends with the facilitator leading participants in a discussion of the team dynamics they experienced. Insights are gained around effective team process, the role each individual plays in helping or hurting the team and how supporting others is critical for the entire company to win.

Professional facilitation is KEY to this event adding value to your organization. It is not enough to go out and have a good time together with your coworkers; the connections must be made back to the workplace for the team building event to have impact.

Program Agenda – The Canoeing Orienteering Adventure team building event begins with the trip from Miami to the trailhead. The team is encouraged to carpool and meet the Team Building USA facilitator no later than 10:00 a.m.

8:00 Facilitator sets up site.

8:45 Participants leave Miami for Canoeing Orienteering Adventure.

10:00 Overview: team building objectives, safety and manager’s address.

10:15 Phase 1: Acid River

Teams are trapped on an island in the middle of the swamp and must navigate their way to safety.

11:10 Team division, gear orientation and equipping, stage one maps.

11:15 Phase 2: Alabama Jacks.

12:00 Lunch at Alabama Jacks.

12:45 Break.

1:00  Phase 3: Divide and Conquer

Orientation, maps and additional gear are provided. Teams paddle their canoes throughout the swamp and track down buoys loaded with treasure, clues to their next destination and additional supplies.

4:00  Phase 4: Treasure Triumph Teams compare notes, pool their resources and discover the true test of teamwork.

4:30  Facilitated debrief: personal experiences, team dynamics, work place

applications and personal goals.

5:00  Team building event prizes are awarded.