“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”
Even if you haven’t seen the movie DodgeBall, that quote can still have a lot of meaning. The biggest challenges can sometimes be internal ones, and when we learn how to work together to overcome them, then everything else is a piece of cake.
That’s why the Clarus team regularly ventures outside of the office to take part in fun activities that help strengthen our bonds and reinforce our culture. Then when challenges arise in the real world, we can quickly come together to solve them and continue moving forward.
In this case, the challenge at stake was a dodgeball tournament at Flight Trampoline Park, which is not a bad way to spend a Thursday (and rivaled Whirlyball in terms of fun)!
Clarus provided sandwiches and soft drinks, and after we fueled up (bouncing on a trampoline is a workout!), our shoes came off, our blue socks went on, and it was time to head into the park for a little practice.
We’ve had quite a few new hires since our last company outing, so we started with a few fun team building activities which helped to break the ice.
Make a Team With…
During our first activity, we acted quickly to form small teams based on instructions that were shouted out by the Flight staff. This exercise promoted effective communication and encouraged the teams to think fast on their feet.
Some examples were, “Get into a team with people with the same number of children as you” or, “get into a team with people who have the same favorite color as you.” We learned a lot about who had kids and who traveled outside of the US as well as who is under 30 years old!
Knot-thing to See Here
This activity is where things started to get more interesting.
We broke into several big teams, and each team stood in a tight circle. Each person put their hands into the circle and grabbed onto another person’s hand. After every team member had grabbed another person’s hand, we had to figure out how to un-knot ourselves. It was like a giant game of Twister where everyone was interlocked. This activity focused on trust because of the proximity to each other.
Our final team building activity consisted of a massive game of rock, paper, scissors. We started off going face-to-face with one other person and whoever won that game won that person as their “entourage.” The winner continued to face-off with other players still in the game, and every person added onto an entourage had to cheer for their champion.
Eventually, it was down to Sara Zahid and Diana Fritz with large entourages cheering behind them. Both put up a valiant effort, but Sara took the win! The lesson learned here was how to back up your team when facing a challenge.
Then it was on to the main event!
After spending a couple of hours working together to overcome some challenging games, it was time to break off into teams again and face off in the dodgeball court. Teams weren’t split up by departments but rather at random so that people who don’t work directly with each other daily could come together.
“It was great to meet coworkers from different departments in a fun play setting and compete with other teams.” – Lalit Chhablani, Senior Director, IT Services
For example, Lalit’s team consisted of people from IT, HR, Client Services, and more and they were a force to be reckoned with.
“I have never played trampoline dodge ballbefore and I found it to be an extremely fun, interactive, and exciting activity. Although it was hard balancing ourselves while trying to aim and throw the ball in the hope our opponent took a hit, with a few games here and there, I think we finally got the hang of it.” – Sara Zahid, Project Manager, IT Operations
It wasn’t over yet, though. The winning teams were thrown into a surprise match against the seasoned professionals at Flight. Although we lost the first round quickly, we held on for quite a while in round two proving that we’re a tightly knit team at Clarus and we can hang with the best of them!
Official Clarus 2017 Dodgeball Tournament Results
Tournament 1: Chris Graf, Jeremy Davis, Liz Kaseta, Mike Lathrop, Rooshi Rajkotia, Will Sargent
Tournament 2: Tyler Haskins, Eli Freund, Emma Stockmann, Chris Graf, Emily Baldwin, Will Sargent
The final challenge was an individual one for everyone who wished to participate. Meltdown is a game which challenges your stamina, agility, and reaction time. To win the game, you had to be the last person standing after two spinning arms tried to knock you down. By that point, everyone was too tired to remember who won, but at least everyone made it out alive!
“This activity was very challenging but interesting at the same time. It was like doing squats and jumping rope at the same time. Mess up and get bulldozed! Many of us were up for the challenge. Some got knocked off and some came out victoriously. ” – Sara Zahid, Project Manager, IT Operations
Those that were still catching their breath from the dodgeball tournament did their own version of melting down which consisted of laying on the ground and chugging water or Gatorade until it was time to head home. We had a fantastic time at Flight, and we’re looking forward to the next Clarus outing!
At Clarus, we believe that building bonds outside of the office makes time spent in the office more enjoyable and productive for everyone.
Interested in joining a team that knows working hard and playing hard go hand in hand? Check out our job openings here.
Note: No actual wrenches were thrown in the building of our team.