Team building experience at Wyboston Lakes Resort
Team building is something I have heard lots about, but in 18 years have only been involved in 2 team building events. We have a growing team at All Things Business, and with a team of 12 with a range of skills and ages, I felt a team building day would be worth doing.
I came across Wyboston Lakes Resort after our Spa review last year, so when I knew team building was one of their offerings we thought we would give it a try. When we booked I explained the background, was asked for dietary requirements and any health conditions... and then the important question... wet or dry? Without a second thought, or consulting the team, I chose wet!
So the team were briefed about a month in advance, giving them all time to bail out if they wanted to, but what actually happened really made me happy. In the 2 weeks leading up to this day the team were talking about it, and sharing similar experiences, so the “team building” was already working before we had arrived.
Wyboston Lakes Resort, which is the UK’s largest independently owned conference facility in Northern Europe, is much more than just a conference facility. It is still owned by the Hutchinson family who have two generations that work in the business on a daily basis. As you arrive off the A428 you enter the Resort, with 406 bedrooms, two dedicated conference and event centres, a 4 star hotel with golf and luxury spa. As we drive down the winding road we could see the lake and was eagerly looking for any sign of activity. We then quickly realised that we were also in the middle of an impressive golf course, and only a few hundred yards from that was the entrance for Ride Leisure.
Malcolm, the Managing Director of Ride Leisure, greeted us with teas & coffees and talked us through the activities. We got our bearings and walked out onto the decking area and was greeted by the “aqua park" which hosts the water dodge ball, the only one of its kind in the UK. The thought of getting on that brought back memories of being a child wanting to get on a bouncy castle, and then reality set in….the aqua park was 20 - 30 yards from us, there was only one way there and back... and that was to swim. We had the option of wetsuits or trunks; we all opted for wetsuits, and had a giggle (at my expense) as I struggled more than most to get mine on.
Our first activity was a runway, which I can only describe as a longer version of the entrance of a bouncy park, but this was wet. We were split into two teams and the objective was to transfer the water from a large bucket at one end of the runway to another bucket at the other end of this inflatable. The challenging part of this was that the bucket used to transfer the water had holes in, creating even more water to slip and slide on. The winning team would be the one that had the most amount of water by the end of the 5 minutes.
The second activity was paddleboarding. Now we’re in the lake and approximately 100m from land was an island with 7 balls. In our teams we needed to collect a ball and bring it back to our chosen bucket on land. The winning team is the one that got to 4 the quickest. This was a really interesting activity as it bought the best of the individuals because you needed to be able to paddle, or not in my case, and then decide on your best position. If you were a strong paddleboarder then you would be going to get the ball, and if you struggled you were better off defending the area, as the game would only allow one ball at a time. This activity lasted for 20 minutes, and we all ended up going in, some more than others.
After this the team had earnt a refreshments break and we opted for bacon rolls. Whilst the on-site Chef prepared these, Malcolm took a few of us out on the speedboat. At first I thought we were going to see the rest of the lake, but after the second doughnut I realised that Malcolm was showing the speed and power of this wonderful speedboat. Whilst it only lasted 5 minutes I have to admit that it was thrilling and highly recommended.
We then moved over to the ‘aqua arena’, the only one of its kind in the UK, for a game of dodgeball and volleyball, but as were all wet from swimming over the arena became slippy making conditions challenging. We played five games of volleyball and dodgeball, all of which were thoroughly enjoyable. I certainly got to see other sides of my team that I am not used to. For the last half hour we had “fun time” on the aqua park, where we explored the different parts, this was a great way to end the session.
As we looked around there were small groups having fun in an environment that they had not been in together before. For me watching on, these huddles are of colleagues that sometimes don’t integrate as much, not because they don’t like each other, but because their job roles mean they don’t have to interact as much, and seeing this made me feel really happy. After “playtime” we showered in the changing rooms, which are basic but effective. If I had one criticism it would be that the showers could be better.
We had the option to eat at Ride Leisure or the Executive Training Centre at Wyboston Lakes Resort. We opted for the Executive Training Centre as I was keen to see another part of this facility.
On arrival the Chef had prepared a BBQ in a reserved area. The weather was still beautiful so we sat outside and we were all shattered, and then started to reflect on our favourite parts of the day. This was a late lunch, approximately 2.30pm, at our choosing, so the team were hungry and the Chef did not disappoint. We were spoilt for choice with a range of meats, fish and salads and this was complemented with an array of desserts. Two of our team have dietary requirements and Chef catered for both with quality alternatives that were suitable for their needs.
Overall this was a fantastic day, one that the team will remember for a long time.
For more details go to: www.wybostonlakes.co.uk