Growing Consumer Product Company Builds Bikes for At-Risk Local Youth

Safety. Compassion. Integrity. Respect. Fun. These are the core values of Trips for Kids Denver Metro, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to giving underserved and at-risk youth the opportunity to experience and learn about the natural beauty of Colorado from the view on top of a mountain bike. Their mission is to foster positive life skills and healthy development of youth through self-empowerment and community leadership. Recently, Trips for Kids partnered with CBST Adventures to run a team building experience for ALEn, a household cleaning product company. With many company departments represented including finance, sales, management, and marketing, ALEn’s goal for this team build was to build new relationships and new problem solving skills within a working environment other than their office.

For the team build event, ALEn participants were split up into 8 groups where they entered the first stage of the event: the Bike Build. Each team’s objective was to build 2 bikes and 16 in total with 8 teams. At the end of the day, all of the bikes would be donated to Trips for Kids. Putting their collaboration and communication skills to the test, the teams had to build children’s mountain bike from scratch. No small task to say the least. Along with building the bikes, teams were also asked to write a heartfelt message for each child who would receive the bike.

After a mandatory check from a certified bike mechanic, teams were able to move onto the next stage of the event called ‘Challenges.’ During this stage teams find out what their bikes are made of (literally) and ride them through a series of bike station challenges. The teams then broke off into different challenge stations. The first station, ‘Mountain Bike Disc Golf,’ required participants to ride their bikes through an assortment of cones and then attempt to make the Frisbee into a makeshift disc golf goal. Teams next got their limbo on at ‘Mountain Bike Limbo,’ where they had to pass through two different limbo heights, all while riding the bike they built. Other challenges included ‘Turtle Hunting,’ where teams got a good laugh in watching their coworkers act as “turtles,” laying on their backs with their legs up, while other participants had to toss bike tires onto the “turtles” legs. It might sound a little strange but it’s as fun and as goofy an activity as it can get. The teams were grinning ear to ear and cracking themselves up during a good part of this activity.

The day ended with dinner and a special thank you from a Trips for Kids representative, who shared the importance of the day’s activities for Trips for Kids, elaborated on their mission, and thanked the ALEn group for their contribution. We wanted to share that towards the beginning of the month, Trips for Kids had a very unfortunate and disheartening situation – one of their vans filled with at least a dozen children’s bikes was stolen. Since this heartbreaking occurrence, Trips for Kids has desperately needed new bikes to be built, and thus, the ALEn group was immensely grateful to have built and provided these bikes for Trips for Kids.

The event came to a close with hugs, thanks, and smiles on everyone’s faces, as well as positive and an encouraging spirit emanating from the ALEn team. What’s really neat is when you step back and reflect on the day’s event – not only did the ALEn group come together and work cross functionally within their team but they also took part in a charitable experience, first hand. In our opinion, that’s what you call a powerful team build.

If the above sounds like fun and you’d like to learn more about similar events, click here.

Growing Healthcare Consultancy Experiences Powerful Team Build That Benefits Inner City Youth

One of the coolest things that we get to witness is when companies and teams experience a team-build that benefits their local community. We find that these experiences seem to add another layer of meaning and purpose to the dynamics of the team build. Such was the case with a major healthcare consultancy that we worked with recently. Believe it or not, this company hadn’t done a company retreat in over two years. This happens with fast-growing companies but we think it’s awesome when growing companies decide to come up for air and invest some time in their people and culture.

This particular company’s focus is in the healthcare technology and services realm and as a consultancy, fostering a culture of service is extremely important. With that in mind, we knew a Community Impact experience would be a great fit and put the group through what we call our ‘Built for Need Bicycle Challenge.’ This experience consists of 3 stages (similar to a bike race) where teams must create kid-size bicycles, race the bicycles – yes, adults are riding kids bikes (we promise no bikes get damaged), and then donate said bikes and helmets to local children in need through the inner city youth program known as cityWILD. It’s truly a perfect blend of teamwork, fun, and service.

One of best parts of these experiences is watching the teams come together and gel from one stage to the next. In building the bikes, the teams really had to demonstrate strong communication skills and know how to delegate effectively. Once the bikes were built and ready to race, the teams couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at each other as their adult colleagues attempt to race on a kids’ bikes. It’s amazing how a little goofiness and fun can help people grow closer. Lastly, the teams then got to donate the bikes to inner city youth, which is a truly special experience that helps the teams and individuals see a world beyond themselves in the spirit of service.

In the end, twenty-four bikes and helmets were made and then donated to cityWILD. Something of particular note for this experience – we did notice at the start some individuals weren’t crazy about having to do a ‘team build.’ This is totally understandable as many team build experiences are outdated and not applicable. It’s safe to say that most of the participants probably didn’t expect a team build where at the end of the day they would be giving bikes to inner city kids in need. Needless to say, the entire group was ‘all-in’ and totally invested in the experience by the time all the bikes were donated. Like we said at the beginning of this blog, pretty cool, right? We like to think so.

To learn more about our Community Impact experiences such as this one, feel free to click here.

 

 

Article Share: Why Leadership Development Matters for Your Organization

Leadership Development can often be something that organizations overlook when it comes to investing in their business. Yet, Leadership Development can be one of the hallmarks of a healthy and sustainable culture as leaders and managers very much determine the makeup of a company’s culture and workplace environment.

We recently came across an article from ‘Entrepreneur Magazine’ on the topic of Leadership Development and wanted to share this piece as it discusses importance of Leadership Development and the impact it can have on an organization.

Check out the article below:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276203

Article Share: Entrepreneur Magazine Discusses How to Avoid Staff Turnover

Staff and employee turnover can be one of the biggest if not the biggest challenges an organization may face. So many companies could avoid this plaguing problem by simply investing in their employees. We wanted to share this article from Entrepreneur Magazine as it offers some great suggestions for how to effectively invest in your employees. At CBST Adventures, we support such advice as it aligns with our mission and values for helping organizations grow and thrive!

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/290486

 

Game On! From board games to team builds – CBST Adventures helps major natural food company develop their teams


Game on! This was the theme of a large natural food company’s annual meeting in Beaver Creek. While the meeting rooms were decked out with board games and large white paper with markers and crayons galore, when CBST Adventures arrived on the scene, we decided to take things outside for some fresh air and fun.

Keeping in the ‘gaming’ spirit we kicked off our event with a ‘Hoppy Horses Relay.’ Never heard of it? We hadn’t either before this event. This is a new activity that CBST Adventures developed where teams raced on inflatable mini-horses and handed off a ‘Happy the Cow’ stuff animal. Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? It was, but make no mistake, the participating teams loved it! You can imagine how funny it would be watching your co-workers trying to move an inflatable horse back and forth as quickly as they can. And that’s our goal – to create these type of memorable experiences, as we find that people have the greatest fun and enjoy themselves the most when silliness and laughter is involved.

Next, we shuttled the team up to the Beaver Creek Village where they took part of our famous GPS course and took some ‘Eye Spy’ photos. With this game, teams used GPS units, maps and cameras to navigate the area in search of hidden clues, play trivia and take numerous photo ops (hence, the ‘Eye Spy’).  Each task on the course is weighted based on difficulty so teams have to devise a plan of attack based on their vision for success and the dynamics of their group. A bonus challenge for this particularly activity was what we at CBST Adventures call ‘Happy Hunting!’ in which the teams searched for Happy the Cow (one of our guides in a cow onesie), who was walking around the Beaver Creek village. Once they found Happy, the teams had to take a photo as proof they caught him. Once again, a pretty funny visual, but one that required some real problem solving and critical thinking, nonetheless.

The teambuilding event ended with fun being had all around as everyone stuck around afterwards for happy hour at the 8100 Bar at the base of the mountain. This is an ideal event in our book, where teams have a ton of fun through laughter, goofiness, and being playful; yet, at the same time, teams are put into challenging situations and dynamics where they have to collaborate, problem solve, and think strategically about how to be successful. In our opinion, there are a lot parallels in such activities with the workplace. While we assume there’s not too many outdoor guides running around in a cow onesie at your office, we’d like to believe that the teamwork and communication skills needed to find Happy are similar to running a great campaign, having a successful product launch, or hitting a major milestone at your company.

If you think any of the above sounds interesting, we’d love to share more about this event and others. Please reach out to us at our website or by calling 970-668-8900.

New Research Demonstrates Value of Experiential Learning for Leaders

The Association for Talent Development, or ATD, a major resource and publication for personal and professional development, published an article in May 2016 on the value of experiential learning for leaders. At CBST Adventures, we are big advocates for experiential learning and have incorporated this concept into many of our programs, including our Experiential Leadership offerings.

https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/L-and-D-Blog/2016/05/New-Research-Shows-Investing-in-Experiential-Learning-for-Leaders-Pays-Off

To learn more about our Experiential Leadership programs, click here and please contact us.

Technology Company Team Build: A Different Kind of Food Drive…

Have you ever been hungry?  Even for just a little bit?  You skipped breakfast and went out on a hike.  You didn’t have time for lunch during conference calls.  Or, perhaps, you went to the pantry, and nothing called to you.  How did that make you feel?  Were you short tempered? Feeling a little uneasy? Maybe even lightheaded?

Now imagine that you experience that every day. You go to the pantry and you find a can of beans, or a few potatoes, and that is your food for the day.  As you walk out on the streets heading for work you notice the restaurants, and the food smells great, but when you reach into your pocket you realize that you don’t have the money to even buy a sandwich.

Sometimes in our privileged world, we might feel that there are plenty of programs out there to handle issues like this – food stamps, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and subsidized lunches.  While these programs do help to alleviate some of the challenges, there are still many Americans living only blocks from us that are going hungry every single day.

With this in mind, we’d like to share a powerful story that starts with a local company setting a key business goal was to “make a difference” in society. Yes, you read that right – a business goal intent on making a social impact.  Solidyn Solutions, an engineering services company headquartered in Denver, decided that they wanted to do something during their holiday celebration to give back to their community.  Their leaders noticed that Keystone Resorts was offering a Community Impact Team Building event with their group meeting package, so they decided to have their all-company holiday party up in Keystone.

Dawn and Andy Marshall, key executives at Solidyn, are two incredibly caring people who are active in serving as advocates for low-income and homeless families in the Denver metro area.  They serve on the board and volunteer with the Jefferson County Action Center.   This desire to serve and improve the local community is a cornerstone value for CBST Adventures as well, which is why we often include a social impact component with our events.

Solidyn decided to host a Community ‘Mini-Golf’ Impact Food Drive Challenge at their event in Keystone, where employees would be challenged to create mini-golf courses with perishable food (in a non-damaging way, of course). CBST Adventures sprung to action, setting the stage for what was sure to be an amazing evening of sharing in the holiday spirit and giving back.

When the evening of the mini-golf event arrived, Solidyn’s employees and families arrived to find $5,000 worth of food waiting for them to build out 15 holes of ‘championship-worthy’ mini-golf course.   The children of the families were ecstatic, and the engineer parents were even more thrilled.   It was truly a sight to behold, as rarely have our events had so much engineering creativity and design.

What really made the event special was beforehand, CBST’s CEO, Jay Irwin, reached out to CityWILD, the youth leadership development non-profit in Denver and invited 11 CityWILD students to work the Solidyn event. The CityWILD students not only worked side by side with CBST staff and Solidyn, helping with the build out of the mini-golf course, but then they were given the tremendous responsibility to later go into their own low-income neighborhoods and deliver the non-perishable food to families in need.

Once the evening was over, the 11 CityWILD students and our CBST staff packed up three pallets of food to be distributed to these communities in need.  One of the CityWILD students said to CBST’s CEO, “That was so much fun working the event, but what’s going to be more fun is distributing this food out into my community.  It’s going to make such a huge impact on Christmas for my neighbors, and I know exactly who needs it the most.”

To make their deliveries even more special, the students put the food into meaningful packages and delivered them door-to-door.   Rice, beans, tuna, granola, peanut butter, spaghetti and sauce, applesauce, and a tin of Christmas cookies for each family as a special treat were all included.   Upon delivery, one woman starting crying and said, “The food is important and my family needs it, but it means even more to know that someone out there cares enough to think of me and my family during this time.”

Make no mistake, this was a teambuilding event for Solidyn and their employees; but, as you can tell, the impact of the event went far beyond the company of Solidyn. It’s such transformational and life-changing events that we at CBST Adventure’s love to create and help be a part of.

To learn more about CBST and our Social Impact initiatives, click here.

Medical Device Company ‘Levels Up’ Continuous Improvement

If you play videos games, you might be familiar with the term ‘Level Up.’ In video game terminology, it means to advance to the next level and to progress within a game. This was the theme of a bi-annual meeting for a major medical device company in the Kidney Dialysis market.

As part of this theme, it was important to the company and to the 42 person team that CBST Adventures worked to focus on improving communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, all aspects that are important to their daily work. We love when companies want to incorporate their regular jobs into the teambuilding experience because that mirrors our approach as well. We don’t believe in simply creating half-day or daylong escapes for our clients but rather to provide a transformational and dynamic experience that people will take with them back to the office for many days, months, and years to come.

Now don’t be mistaken, while our events are powerful and impactful, we love having fun too. For example, as part of this team build, we had the director of the team dress up as a Queen (think Zelda or another popular medieval games) and go out in public to different places in Downtown Denver. You can imagine amount of laughs that ensued… The challenge for her team was then to try to find her via clues on a 4G tablet that had her GPS location.

In case you’ve never heard of an outdoor teambuilding experience that dresses people up like Queens out in public and incorporates tablets and GPS technology, that’s because there’s not many out there.  We like to believe that this is unique to CBST Adventures value proposition. Yes, we’re an outdoor company but we also know that technology plays a large role in society today and even can add value to an outdoor experience. As for integrating the element of fun – well, who doesn’t like to have fun???

Throughout the game, the teams gained information and clues via pop-up questions, streaming videos and real time text based commands sent to their 4G tablet. At each stage of the progressive game, teams had the choice to compete at the first challenge level and earn the minimum amount of points OR go for a more difficult challenge worth more points. With higher risk comes higher reward but there’s also more to lose!

All in the all, the game was an incredible experience for the participating company as it pushed them to practice high levels of communication, problem solving, and critical thinking – remember the objectives from above?  What was really neat to see was the trust forming amongst colleagues and strengths identified in others that many folks didn’t know where there. These are the insights and breakthroughs that can be a game-changer in terms of how a team or organization functions.

At days end, the Queen was found but the laughter and good times kept going. Where we take the most pride at CBST Adventures is in creating a memorable experience that a team or organization won’t forget for awhile – not just because how fun or funny it was, but also because it transformed perspectives and improved interpersonal skills – invaluable results for companies and an incredible outcome for a half-day team build event.

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