Team building in nature: growing stronger together

by Alice Allen


When we talk about boosting a team’s performance, our managerial motivation may well be tethered to numbers and KPIs. But building the foundations for a high performing group requires a commitment to cultivating something much deeper in the workplace… meaningful connection.

Positive, shared experiences are proven to enable us to develop a longer lasting sense of happiness, more meaningful relationships and a greater sense of purpose – a perfect combination for successful team culture.

Imagine yourself sitting around a campfire at the end of a challenging day’s hike through the wilderness, culminating in a deliciously refreshing dip in pristine natural pools… with your colleagues. It is rare that we have a chance to enjoy an extended period of quality time socialising with the people we spend most of our waking and working hours with. Yet over the last eight hours, you’ve been immersed in a different world together. You’ve shared stories and discovered aspects of yourself and your companions that allow you to see and understand each other in new and empowering ways.

Creating meaningful experiences for the groups that join us is the foundation of what we do. Whether it is a team development day or a longer multi-day bush retreat, our highly skilled facilitators and guides will lead you through a wealth of healthy team building activities, integrated through practice and reflection. The results of these interactions and shared memories strengthen bonds and communication within a team in a way that will resonate far into the future.

When you look for something against the backdrop of a carpet, it’s different to looking for something against a white wall – you see things better when you change the background. Similarly, the group will notice their usual behaviours more clearly when they have an experience outside of their business context. Lina Mbirkou, Lead Facilitator

When people have a chance to reflect on the beauty of nature they realise that they are not just a cog in the machine, they are an interconnected part of everything around us. We get caught in our little routines of normal life. Getting into nature gives people that opportunity to get back to the core of what we are really about. Luke Christiansen, Lead Guide


How going bush will lift your team’s capabilities


Connecting – when we immerse ourselves in nature, we experience a significant change in pace. Slowing down allows more space and bandwidth to truly listen to each other, learn from new perspectives that emerge and connect with one another on a deeply human level. This connection is crucial for building trust, a cornerstone of team collaboration and performance.

Communication – being in a new and sometimes physically challenging environment effectively levels the playing field, in terms of existing position, hierarchy and power. Nature invites us to show up as we are, with all of our strengths and vulnerabilities, encouraging us to break through to new levels of authentic communication.

Responsibility – dropping out of your comfort zone, in a group context, creates an environment for both individual and shared responsibility to thrive. Only you can take your own steps, or decide how much energy and morale you will contribute to the group. Yet there is also an understanding of mutual help, care and support. Everyone must play their part, because there is only one way to reach the destination successfully – and that is together.

Positivity and Resilience – there are no two ways about it: getting out of the office with your peers to do adventure team building in beautiful and inspiring surroundings is plain old fashioned fun. Of course, there is hard work involved too, but the laughter and camaraderie make both efforts and rewards all the sweeter. Building positive experiences together boosts morale and shows your team that they can rise to a challenge and enjoy themselves in the process.

Culture – investing in your people through creating positive out of the ordinary experiences enables them to connect with the company and culture in a more genuine way. When people are invested, they will feel more appreciated, more rewarded, more connected… and importantly, more motivated to perform at their best and contribute positively to that culture. As colleagues share their own stories, the team’s collective wealth of knowledge and insight comes into full view, in turn strengthening the unit.

Impact – the sheer physicality of being in the bush heightens awareness of the impact of behaviours and decision making on both an individual and collective level. Your team will be faced with real life situations and opportunities to reflect on and practice good leadership in a highly tangible way. When the consequences of our actions are magnified, it stimulates greater clarity of purpose.

Change – the natural world is a supreme reminder that change is a natural state of being, no matter how uncomfortable it may sometimes feel or how much resilience it may require. For teams being asked to adapt or come to grips with change, going into nature can be a very grounding experience. It provides an opportunity for us to see our life and work as part of a larger framework and to approach change with a growth mindset.

Participant Feedback Quotes

“It is a fantastic team building exercise that draws on connection with others (can't do it alone). It drew strength, courage and determination that I didn't know I had” - Sue Tully, Participant from Gone Bush program for St Mary’s Primary Catholic School leaders in Rainbow Beach, QLD

“A perfect way to further develop relationships with my cohort. A safe environment in which to explore vulnerabilities and growth areas” - Anonymous Participant from Gone Bush program for Bupa’s Future Leaders in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges

“The discussions were truly valued. Talking and sharing with staff I wouldn't necessarily have a deeper conversation with was important. Within the setting of the bush, walking and talking in the quiet of the surroundings allowed the uptake of personal challenges to be shared and listened to. Growth and knowledge and involvement of 'mindset' could occur as we walked the same path together with our colleagues” - Jenny Elmer, Participant from Gone Bush program for St Mary’s Primary Catholic School leaders in Rainbow Beach, QLD

“Fantastic stuff, deep conversations. I feel heard, feel valued. Well thought out approach to culture building and personal development. 100% recommend.” - Benjamin Clun, Participant in Gone Bush program for Bupa’s Future Leaders in Queensland’s Lamington National Park


Ready to take your next steps?

Give us a call today on +61432921414 or send us an email at info@gonebushadventures.com.au

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