Outdoor team building activities

Outdoor team building activities and games can be great for building morale and learning to work together, but improperly planned and implemented they can backfire! This means that the first step is figuring out which activities will work best for your group and your venue.

If you live where it is cold and sleeting in the winter, you probably want to save outdoor games till weather permits. Once you have decent conditions, you can tailor a plan built around the facilities you have access to.

Before you begin, take a look at your goal. You should evaluate your team's strengths and weaknesses as a whole. Where weak spots exist, look for an underlying cause. If you already have a fairly good team, look for ways to improve performance and communication.

Once you have identified in what areas your team needs to improve, you can begin the selection of exercises or activities that will help deliver the desired result. Outdoor exercises are great and easy to get everyone involved in, but many leaders have trouble showing the team how they can integrate what they’ve learned in their workplace.

An ideal team building program will combine outdoor activities with ongoing education in the office itself. You don't build a team in a day – it's an ongoing process and takes time to get every member working in tandem. This means you have to choose the right activities and focus on the areas that need most improvement first, with a long term goal always in mind.

When you choose activities, ask these questions


・ Will it accomplish your goal (bring about the improvement looked for?)

・ Will everyone participate? (It does no good to force people)

・ Do you have time available, a place to do the activities, and enough budget?

・ Is there physical or psychological risk? (It's best to have insurance in case of a freak accident)

・ Do you have a backup plan in case the team can't meet the objective?






It is imperative that you get support from your team members and they be excited about participating. Better for one to stay home than bring the rest of the team down.

Such a member can be asked to perform another activity, such as a written questionnaire or test to make them think about being a team player.

Don't forget to have each team member fill out a survey afterwards so you can evaluate how well the activities help you. You can track how things go after each team building event, and see what helps performance improve.

Outdoor Team Building Activities

Some activities are geared toward full team participation. A task is given them to perform, which is only possible to achieve if all members help out. A good example would be having to put a bucket of water up on top of a large pole that is 6 feet tall – using only ropes, and remaining at least four feet from the pole at all times.

Another good team activity is to ask them to construct a package to hold an egg out of flimsy materials. The team which can drop their egg from the highest level without it breaking wins.

Individual activities give each team member the chance to lead, while the others help or make their job harder. A good example would be to blindfold one person and set them in front of an obstacle course, then have the rest of the team take turns telling them how to navigate it.

You can also put teams against each other, as in a game of capture the flag or a paint-ball war.

Once you have chosen the best outdoor team building activity for your group, all that remains is to develop a way to get the point across and apply the lessons learned in the setting of the workplace!

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Free team building exercises

Home page from outdoor team building activities


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