Sword Apak staff head off to a field in South Gloucestershire for a spot of team building
'Team Invincible'. Well, that's what we call ourselves. We are one of Sword Apak's fresh-faced teams of rookies and we're taking part in something called Mojo Active – a military-style assault course designed to 'familiarize recruits with the kind of movement they will use in combat'.
Not something your average software company faces every day.
After a brief intro and pep talk by a team of healthy looking MoJo facilitators we are split into groups and escorted outside. The afternoon comprises a series of demanding time-based tasks that will test our ability to work as a team, to communicate effectively, to support each other, and to fall over with as much grace as possible.
First off is the 'Cryptic Orienteering'. This task stretches our problem-solving skills – and our calves – as we jog and/or walk as quickly as possible from one word-puzzle clue to another. Team Invincible does this in record time and we win the task! (Unfortunately we've peaked too soon). We jog back to base for a welcome break.
Next the 'Assault Course – Field Gun Challenge'. To win we have to carry the disassembled pieces of a tennis-ball 'catapult' (the 'field gun') over/under/around one obstacle to the next without dropping any pieces on the ground. Then we have to score points by using the catapult to fire a tennis ball at a target. Not easy with the cross-wind. And we have to do all of this as quickly as possible.
Now for the 'Low Ropes' – a series of cables, ropes and obstacles strung between trees, just inches above the ground. This is more difficult than it looks, requiring a little lateral thinking and a lot of balance. Plus more communication, more physical and mental support, and more problem-solving.
Finally the '4 x 4 Blind-Folded Driving'. One blind-folded driver against six navigators. It shouldn't work – and it doesn't. Well, it does, just about. As the driver carefully manoeuvres the car around a series of tricky narrow bends, we learn quickly, and get back on track. It's another valuable lesson in the importance of clear communication, team work, listening, and – most importantly – trust.
It's the end of the activities. We've worked together effectively, communicated well, listened, faced some very competitive team members, and we've had fun. Our team comes third. Not quite 'invincible' perhaps, but our Mojo and reputation remain intact.
And the barbecue is very nice too. http://www.mojoactive.co.uk/