Team Building Weekend – the unofficial write up

I feel the 450 word write-up I was tasked to do for Clipper didn’t quite do our team building weekend justice. Here’s double that with stolen pictures just for kicks.

I’d been looking forward to team building weekend for quite a while. You see, it had been a WHOLE 4 WEEKS since I’d indulged in any sailing / sailing chat so I was beginning to feel some withdrawal symptoms.

After navigating some rather dodgy country roads, I rocked up in the green machine with Jan and Amancio at a rather cute farm in Kent. By 2pm, we were all gathered. Many of us already knew each other in the room, be it from crew allocation or from prolific Facebooking, but there were still quite a few people to get to know. That was soon put to rest when our lovely team building committee split us up into groups of 3 to go on a scavenger hunt around the farm.

I was put into a team with James and Huw. Cue chicken stalking and prize hiding as we went for the ultimate chicken selfie and tried to sabotage the other teams efforts (one team and all that of course).

A feathered Team Huwer

The scavenger hunt then ended with us all playing a  “Clip on” challenge where we had to navigate the obstacles in a courtyard whilst being clipped on to a rope, each of us having an impediment. Now, I’m pretty impressed I didn’t hurt myself doing this as I was blindfolded. James, Huw and I achieved a good time getting around the obstacles, the final challenge being to use my contribution to the team building weekend: neon day-glo face paint. I’d made sure that this was suitably silly enough and wouldn’t result in any allergic reactions by testing it out on my work colleagues the day before.

The effects were GLORIOUS. I’ve never seen such a good looking bunch of day-glow lunies before in my life! My mini team went for rainbow. It was a strong look.

Looking pretty cool
Looking pretty cool

Way too happy about marshmallows
Way too happy about marshmallows
By this point, it was time to crack out the BBQ, assisted by a smidge of drizzle. Emily had done an amazing job sourcing food and we even had the delights of Spanish nibbles from Amancio – cheese and jamon. So…much…food….so…much…wine. I also did my traditional “there’s a ping pong table I MUST PLAY and get overly competitive!” bit. Cue Jonathan and I getting a bit mesmerized by table tennis rallies.

Post BBQ & Wine, we retired to the communal room for some team song selection where Joe sacrificed his arm to getting Wifi, it only being available in one spot above the fridge (we’ve picked “Geronimo” by Sheppard). This then became a rather serious discussion about how we would manage stopovers in port during each leg. I did find it a little challenging to take this seriously, however, as everyone was still covered in dayglo paint. We all got it sorted in the end.

Really, how could you take this lot seriously?!
Really, how could you take this lot seriously?!
Post-discussion, we retired to the pub around the corner. Here the conversation moved on to superheroes, jamon and I’m not sure what else. We stayed for a fair while, Pablo managing to fall asleep at the table. Our bunks then called around midnight.

Understanding the crewThe next morning, we all gathered for a personality profile session. Joe had sent us all questionnaires to complete before the session so we could understand a bit more about each other, each of us being split into Myers-Briggs personality types. I’ve done this a couple of times already, but it was fascinating to see where everyone came out and understand the strengths we could all bring  I’ve finally embraced my inner crazy lady and changed from ISFP to ESFP, but it was good to see quite a few people were similar. Cue all of those in the “SF”  group going “Oh no, he’s all on his own!” as James was the only “NT”. Appreciate that’ll only make sense if you’ve done MBTI.

Aliens in the water apparently

After all that insight, we got our walking boots on and headed out for a stroll around the delightful Doddington Hall Gardens in the sunshine to work up an
appetite for lunch. We didn’t really “work” much – cue much lazing about near ponds, discussing Swallows & Amazons and following owls around (as you do). Despite our laziness, a roast dinner was very much appreciated as our final activity together. Only then was it revealed that we needed to do a blog write-up of the weekend for Clipper to be submitted by 9am the next morning. I volunteered (I quite enjoy this blogging malarky), resulting in frantic quote & photo gathering etc. for Clipper write up.

Just chilling

Team Huw = Team AWESOME

Team building weekend was brilliant. Everyone was up for a laugh and it looks like we’re going to have a great time all together. It was a shame we couldn’t have had more of the lovely Team Huw Crew there that we’ve all met along the way there.

Looking forward to the race even more now. And hoping for a neon sponsor. 

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Team Building Weekend – the “official” write up

A mere blogette, but for all you Team Huwers, here’s the write-up from this weekend. 

Team Huw brought colour to Kent over the team building weekend.

19 crew members arrived from across Europe at a farm in the “Garden of England” prepared for a weekend of getting to know each other, but perhaps not the chicken-stalking, owl-hunting, pond-dipping and face-painting that ensued over the 2 days!

The event kicked off with a scavenger hunt around the farm. Challenges included getting up close and personal with some feathered friends to capture a “Chicken selfie” followed by a “Clip-On” challenge. Mini-teams of 3 had to clip-on and navigate obstacles across the farm, the final challenge being to see who could paint their faces the most creatively. 20 minutes later and everyone was working the neon look, Skipper included!

The fun continued into the night aided by a BBQ and Stormhoek wine – a heavy helping of drizzle included to give create an authentic British experience. We also sorted some very serious team issues: the team song. After the original team song was nabbed by a rival crew, it was up to the Kent contingent of Team Huwers to listen to many of the remaining 55 songs and come up with an alternative. Much debate and the odd bit of dancing later and business was concluded in favour of the pub where conversation moved onto superheroes and spanish ham. Everyone in the team is now looking forward to what Victualler Amancio has in store, particularly the potential for Jamón the boat (not Jambon as I previously spelt it. Oops). Quote of the weekend had to be from from one crew member who shan’t be named: “I’ll go commando if it means we can have Jamón on the boat!”

After a night in bunks (the sleeping platform of choice for Clipper crew members), the morning was dedicated to getting to know each other even better than a few glasses of wine could facilitate. Joe lead a team session to help us identify the strengths of each personality type in the crew to understand each other better on the boat. We then soaked up the sun strolling around Doddington Hall gardens where botanical knowledge was shared, owls were spotted and even ponds were dipped. All this fresh air helped everyone work up an appetite, so it was off to the local pub for roast before leaving our separate ways, all agreeing that it had been a great weekend.

As crew member Mia Hartwell summed up (OR ANOTHER TEAM MEMBER – VOLUNTEER PLEASE!) “It was brilliant to have the opportunity to meet so many of Team Huw and the coordinaters did a cracking job of organising such a fun event. Everyone really got involved and it’s nice to finally put some faces to names!”