There are many methods of team building, from climbing mountains to falling backwards off of high walls. These methods are memorable, but often only because they give TV stations a chance to show executives looking silly.
If you want something that can be taken seriously, try a fire pit. There are many opportunities for teamwork that can arise from fire pits. Which ones will be relevant to your team depend on the industry you’re in. Also, several aspects can be combined in one outing for a more all-around experience.
Building the pit is something that may be of interest to those involved in construction, engineering, or even seemingly-unrelated fields. If a team constructs one from stones or bricks, the members can easily see how their individual efforts fit with the work of others to make a complete structure. To add even more teamwork to the task, members can collect the stones from the surrounding area rather than having them brought in beforehand.
Once the fire pit is complete, building a fire is the next step for the team. Members can collect the sticks, logs, or other such material and bring them back to the pit. Then the materials will need to be arranged properly. If one member thinks he’s a fire-making expert and tries to hog this part of the job, take the opportunity to remind him that the entire team needs to be involved.
Cooking something over the fire is the next logical step. Since not many people can cook at the same time, it’s probably best to break this part down into meal courses. Have a couple of people cook some vegetables, a couple do the meat, and possibly have some others do s’mores if your team is big enough that you need to come up with other things to cook.
If you have a manufactured fire pit, there is still a lot of room for teamwork. The fire will still need to be made and the food will still need cooking. You will also have the convenience of a grate that fits the pit, so you won’t have to worry about the food falling into the fire.
Of course, not all teamwork exercises are really about doing work. Some companies may find that a pit is better used for warmth and thinking up business plans while sitting around the fire enjoying drinks.