The great outdoors provide countless opportunities for fun and learning. Something about outdoor activities naturally encourages collaboration and teamwork as well, meaning that there is no better place to work on team-building exercises. The following activities will provide troops, packs, patrols, crews, ships, and others with wonderful chances to have fun together and learn how important it is to work together to achieve success.
Every team-building activity should provide valuable opportunities to build trust, social skills and collaboration between scouts and allow them to have fun through the entire process. Every one of the following activities encourages individuals to work together and become a more cohesive unit, otherwise known as a team:
Scavenger hunts are a great activity for the outdoors; they can be designed with random items found in nature, depending on your geographic area. These could be beach shells of a certain color or type, pinecones, leaves or feathers. Other ideas may include a specific item that may be found at a local market or trading post. A well thought out hunt may include clues or treasures related to the theme of your event or current project, an orienteering waypoint, or other clues. This type of activity promotes problem solving, communication, and encourages transferrable skills.
Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a high-energy interactive game typically played in fields or outdoor arenas staged as military style theaters. This gives your team plenty of room to spread out, stake out their territories and prepare for battle! If CTF isn’t the best outing for your group or if space is an issue, try a game like “Steal the Bacon” – these types of activities promote strategic thinking and problem-solving!
An organized game of kickball can be fun for kids (and adults!) of any age. This is an interesting and entertaining alternative to the traditional baseball or softball games, with the same basic idea and without the bat. Not much equipment is required for this activity. All you need is some good running shoes, a kickball, and field.
There is fun around every corner at all theme parks! Who doesn’t love a good roller coaster or a happy park mascot running around with the single purpose of making people smile? If that’s not your cup of tea, most parks have a variety of theatrical shows and other entertainment options. Though this isn’t exactly a traditional team-building activity, it is a great way to celebrate the achievement of a goal or celebrate special events!
This is a great way to get your team to work together and enjoy some physical activity in the sun. All you need is a net and a volleyball and you’re in business! Check your local public beaches for spaces already set up for outdoor games; there are also many indoor gyms and volleyball clubs that host youth nights on a regular basis.
Paddling your way through a winding creek or rolling river, navigating your way from one location to another is sure to bring your group together. You will need to rely on each other (and other outdoor skills such as map reading, orienteering, etc.) to stay on track and to take care of each other in case of any unforeseen events on the water. Take this activity to the next level with advanced outings for more experienced groups by hitting the rapids in a whitewater outing – that will get the adrenaline pumping!
A peaceful ride through a wooded trail on the back of a horse is a wonderful way to relieve stress and get closer to nature. Horseback riding can be therapeutic and educational if your ride includes the preparation and follow-up care necessary for the horse before and after your ride.
An oldie-but-goody, fishing provides multiple opportunities for scouts to have fun and learn, all while working together. Fishing is often seen as a solitary enterprise, so it can be fun to incorporate creative ideas of working together into this classic pastime. Fishing is also not an overly stressful or chaotic activity like some others on our list, so it provides great opportunities for scouts to simply talk with one another. There is usually no better way to build social skills than simply by talking to someone, and team building all begins with great communication!
Camping is an activity that incorporates every element of normal life, but translated into outdoor fashion. Simply by camping together, scouts can learn so much about each other. Living together, if only for one or two nights, can help scouts to relate to one another and build lasting relationships along the way.
With all of these ideas, make sure you’re prepped for success with a variety of gear. Be on the lookout for the next SCOUTbox to fill in the gaps in your camping and team-building gear repertoire!