Team Building Activities for a Retreat

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Teams work together as individuals in a group to build a sense of unity while working toward a common goal. Teamwork, communication, trust, and selflessness are key components of a successful team. Team building exercises help team members build trust among the team and often lay a solid foundation for teams to grow upon.

Words of Encouragement

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Expressing positive feedback, compliments and words of encouragement builds morale among team members, while simultaneously promoting individual self-confidence. Team members can anonymously express to each other characteristics they admire in each teammate on separate sheets of paper. Once the exercise has been completed, team members can read their teammate's feedback, which in turn boosts morale and results in a united front.

Obstacle Course

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A classic, yet very effective method of helping co-workers, classmates, and even military personnel work toward reaching goals as a team is completing an obstacle course. Often in an outdoor setting, an obstacle course is meant to be challenging enough to promote close teamwork while performing at maximum physical, mental and emotional capacity to overcome obstacles, efficiently and successfully. Ropes courses, which require physical endurance along with mental strength, help promote selflessness and a sense of encouragement, which are essential to a strong team.

Prepare a Meal

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Have cookbook handy and vote on a meal as a group. Elect a team leader and assign the leader the duty of leading the team in the preparation of the meal. Team members can volunteer for a designated role in the meal preparation, i.e. completing steps in the recipe. The team leader's responsibility is to oversee the task and resolve conflicts. As part of the exercise, designate a table prep team and a kitchen clean-up crew to ensure everyone has a sufficient role. At the end of the meal before the clean up commences, the team leader can give a toast in tribute to the meal. As part of the toast, team members can express what teamwork means to them. As a result, the team can enjoy the fruits of their labor, a goal is accomplished in a timely and unified manner, and the team can enjoy the rewarding result of true teamwork.