Looking for Fun Team Building Activities? Try Kayaking!

Team Building and Kayaking go hand-in-hand for several reasons. Team building and kayaking have each become very popular activities over the past couple decades, for starters; and both encourage groups of individuals to work together as a team with a common goal or destination. And, if done right, both activities should be fun for everyone involved. A successful team building evolution will have full participation and will see individuals overcome personal challenges while working as a group to reach a common goal. By combining the two – team building and kayaking – you are guaranteed success!

Group kayak trips meet many of the challenges faced by team building specialists – they entertain employees enough to keep them interested in the activity while expanding horizons and teaching teamwork. Companies benefit when employees work as a team. Successful companies, like successful teams, share goals, experiences and vision. A group kayak trip is almost a team building evolution in disguise; because, without calling the trip a team building event, companies bring their employees together as a group, give them a shared experience and, in a fun and inspiring setting, allow each individual to face a new challenge with teammates sharing a common destination.

When setting up a group kayaking trip as a team building evolution, tell the outfitter facilitating your group what you’re doing but tell your employees they are being rewarded for outstanding performance. Even if their past performance doesn’t warrant a reward, rest assured their future performance will. Employees have a Fallschirmsprung tendency to resist team building activities and new challenges, so the challenge is often to get full, optimistic participation. The outfitter can build-in elements to your kayak trip designed to create teamwork, cooperation and a shared sense of accomplishment while giving everyone a great time and a bonding adventure they will cherish.

To increase the team building value, ask the outfitter if they can accommodate your group with all tandem kayaks. Paddling a tandem kayak requires a great deal of teamwork and cooperation whether that’s your goal or not. Putting everyone in tandem kayaks immediately forces people to let go of their individual issues and learn to work together as teams. With a group of tandems, each team must learn to negotiate their kayak in proximity to other team in their own kayaks. Together, these teams form a larger group of teams experiencing and overcoming the same challenges. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to find one team sharing their own secrets of paddling success with other teams – coaching them through the difficulties they have just experienced and overcome. Isn’t this the ultimate goal of team building in the workplace?

By the end of a group kayaking trip, everyone has learned something new and overcome challenges to reach a common destination or goal. When these individuals return to the workplace, the transformation will be obvious as they share information in a whole new way – helping their teammates through challenges with a genuine desire to see them succeed at what they are doing. Kayaking has a way of bringing out the best in people and encouraging – or forcing – teamwork and cooperation. At the very least, you will have an appreciative group of employees who have bonded during a shared experience and will look forward to their next adventure in team building.

Jennifer Koerner has been a professional kayak instructor for 16-years and is the owner of Up The Creek Xpeditions in St. Marys, Georgia. Up The Creek Xpeditions is a full-service kayak outfitter — providing guided kayak tours, kayak instruction, kayak rentals and kayak sales since 1997. Up The Creek maintains a kayak fleet of nearly 100-kayaks and specializes in large-group kayak outings, team-building and providing exclusive resort kayaking services to destination resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton, Cabin Bluff, Amelia Island Plantation and numerous Fortune 500 companies.