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Team Building: Kayaking at Oleta River State Park

When Communication, Listening and Compromise Help You Avoid Crashing Into The Mangroves


Do you have to row so hard?!?

This past week the Velez Real Estate Group and Acosta Tax & Advisory, PA joined Clicc Media for a team building / client building event at Oleta River State Park!

As business owners, we understand that personalities within a team may clash at times, or how we want certain team members to be more vocal and become more of a leader. That is why we came together and brought our team members to not only enjoy a beautiful day out but to grow closer and stronger through the efforts of clear communication, listening and compromising in order to complete the task at hand successfully.

Oleta River State Park – The Corporate Package

We decided to do a corporate event through BG Oleta River Outdoor Center, where they would set us up with our own tour guide and catered food for once the kayak tour was over.

Our tour guide, Faye, was absolutely amazing and so were her 2 other helpers who joined in on the adventure. She set everyone up with life-vests, paddles and a tandem kayak. She then began with a quick intro on how to properly row our paddles, how to properly turn, how to go straight, slow down and even stop. Considering we had a pretty big group we completely appreciated her patience with us (especially with those who fell behind on the tour). We paddled through calm and choppy waters to reach different spots on the river in which Faye would provide us with background information about the mangroves, wildlife and some of the area’s history.

The tour itself was two hours long, 20 minutes of which were spent on one of the nearby islands where we were able to get off our kayaks and take a swim in the water. The sun wasn’t too hot, the water not too cold, the company amazing, making the day was absolutely perfect. Once the tour was over, we walked over to our reserved pavilion where we had our catered BBQ set up and ready for us to dig in!

Left. Left. Right. Left.

The Good, The Funny and The Ugly

The point of these team building events is not about only having fun with your group, but to put individuals in a situation where they must come together in order to successfully accomplish the task at hand. In this situation, success equated to keeping full control of your tandem kayak (meaning 2 individuals per kayak), and getting from point A to Point B through proper kayaking techniques while enjoying the process throughout.

Some were more successful than others and the ones who were falling behind on the team building scale were easily spotted as they were the ones who kept crashing into mangroves and kept zig-zagging their way through the water instead of going straight. In some cases the two individuals were headstrong leaders in their own right and struggled to give way in order to control the kayak. When one wanted to paddle right, the other wanted to paddle left, which made getting from point A to point B a longer journey. This only lead to frustration and sometimes even anger (which was controlled well on their end haha).

When it comes to kayaking, the person in the back should needs to have the ability to steer properly in order help keep the kayak in control. They must also be able to work with the person in-front by either directing them properly on what needs to be done to keep straight, turn or stop, or adapt to the front person’s techniques and follow them to the end by understanding the directed path (follow their paddling flow instead of speaking the directions). Sometimes the person in the back lacked confidence in what they were doing and position on the task which hindered their ability to steer the kayak or would get frustrated with the person in the front which would lead to a negative result as well.

Towards the end the majority of the team members were able to talk it out and find success in working together to enjoy the adventure to its fullest. While other’s may have not been so successful they still had a great time sharing stories during the BBQ afterwards in which we all laughed and bonded further.

Kayaking Brings Teams Together

If you are looking for something fun and effective to do with your team, we highly recommend going kayaking. You will definitely see who is a team player, and see how willing to adapt your team is to create a successful event.

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