Back row: Erich Jacoby-Hawkins, Teresa Hawkins-Jacoby, Shawn Conroy.
Front row: Sarah-Ann Collart, Louise Gravelle, Peter Tretter, Marie La Plume.
So as an Electoral District Association, how can you get the most out of your people, without burning them out?
Many corporations and non-profits do corporate retreats and team-building activities. This helps your people to mesh well together and improves morale. So we decided to do the same.
The goal of our team building in Barrie was to have a fun day and enjoy each others’ company outside of Green Party work. By doing this, we get to know and trust each other better, we feel better about volunteering for the party, and we improve our performance.
We went to Arabaska Treetop Trekking (www.treetoptrekking.com) on a Sunday, as our monthly meetings are on Sunday evenings. In our experience, that is the best day for all of us to get together.
Despite the fact that we only have a 9-member executive, I reserved an early morning spot, and it was not busy when we arrived. We also brought along some very active volunteers who may be future riding executives. Because we booked early, we got a significant discount and we asked our Executives to contribute to the EDA on a “pay what you can” basis in the hopes that this might be a close to revenue-neutral activity.
At Arabaska we experienced the joy of going up in the trees, and doing four different but fun and challenging obstacle courses. At the end of our 3 hours, we all went down the 900-foot “Big Zip” zipline, which was exhilarating. Following our outing, we all went to a local restaurant where we could discuss the fun of the event, and relax before we all headed home.
Part of the attraction of this kind of activity is that there is no larger goal (like a fundraiser or election) to be achieved, and the normal routine of assigned roles (who is the CEO, the candidate, the secretary) is set aside, allowing people to relate as themselves, without titles or reporting structures. This helps people see their relationships in a different way, sharing experiences without hierarchy, and can make future role-shuffling easier.
You can see the photos in our album at http://www.flickr.com/photos/barriegreens.
You can see the YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/BarrieGreens
Good luck with your team building!