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Team Spirit and Loads of Fun Shared at Syntactics Annual Summer Camp!

April 2009. This year, the team-spirit concept was added to the various events being held by Syntactics. The whole company was divided into 3 teams, each having a distinct color namely red, blue and yellow. Each color had a representative from all the main divisions from the company and these were the administrative, web, software, analysis, OJT and SEO divisions. As a rule, each activity and event will have a corresponding point and at the end of the year, the scores will be tallied and the overall champions will be announced. This new concept made this year’s company summer camp even more fun because each person was rooting and doing their best for their own team-color!

The company summer camp was held at the Mapawa Nature Park. All the teams were given cooking/meal assignments and thus Red team took care of the sumptuous dinner on the first night, blue team for the heavy breakfast in the morning and the yellow team took care of the much needed nutrition at lunch.

As soon as the convoy arrived at the campsite, everybody were eager to pitch their tents and some of the guys wanted to “rough it out” by sleeping under the stars (and beside the ant hill ….. they of course scurried down to the main campsite to join the rest of those that were encircling the bonfire after several bites).

Mini-games were played during the evening such as longest-line (with guys leaving only so little on them just to make sure that their team wins), paint me a picture and cheering! The OJTs and the newbies made a couple of presentations and were applauded by their mentors and team-mates. Once again spooky stories were shared and the many of the guys talked till the wee hours of the morning just exchanging crazy stories.
Everybody woke up early to have a full breakfast and to ready themselves for the series of activities that were to be played. The Mapawa Adventure Team made a series of team-building activities prepared to test team-work, agility, speed and thinking. Each team, having 12 members each had to accomplish the 5 following activities simultaneously:

1. Crossing the bridge with just a few slabs of wood and a few wood cuts – all team members must cross the bridge safely without touching the ground. It was hilarious to see that with just 3 meters of wood planks placed on top of wood the size of 3×6 inches, the whole blue team of 12 people was able to fit and cross the bridge! The red and yellow team used their build and agility by carrying the lighter team members over their shoulder and crossed the bridge quickly.

2. Spider Web – ropes that were woven together like a spider web were spun and all the team members must be able to fit into the little spaces in between the ropes. An additional challenge was set by adding the rule that each “window” can be used only once by one team member. With this, each team had their own strategy of making one team member cross first to receive the other members that were “wormed” into each space.

3. Humongous star – okay, yours truly really doesn’t know the real name of this activity but a circular rope of about 15-20 meters was placed on the ground and was tied on each end. All the team members were to hold a part of the rope and must weave themselves into each other without letting go of the rope to form a five-point-star. Much patience was needed for this and the team had to concentrate on the instructions of the one leading them on this activity.

4. Rubberband and can activity – all team members, except one, were blind folded. A rubber-band with a diameter of about 1 foot had several ropes tied around it. Each team member should hold on to one rope and must listen to the instruction of the leader. The goal was, with the ropes tied to the rubber-band, the blind-folded members should pull, tug and release the rope to put the rubber-band around a big can, clamp it and move it to a specific target area. The target was a distance of 20 meters from the starting line, blind folded, they must release the can by pulling again their ropes at the same time and releasing the can on the target destination. All the team members had to follow instructions right and listen to the team leaders or else, they would run out of time. The team leader had to instruct them to move forward, backward, tug their ropes, etc. and must guide them all to the goal.

5. Water in plastic cups challenge – plastic cups containing water were spread all over the side of the pool. Each member must cross one end to another and must not tip a single cup or spill any of the water. The challenge? They must be blindfolded and must listen to the voice of only one person who will guide him/her as to where to step on. This was a true test of listening to instructions, patience and lot of faith and trust on their team-mates.

6. Group-Ski – the team must cross from one point to another by skiing on wooden skis. All team members must move their feet simultaneously in order for them to move.

One last activity was then organized and all the three teams were pooled and divided into two teams. A scenario was given wherein a huge circle was laid out on the field. Both teams must be able to pour water into a bucket in the middle of the circle. What made it challenging was that each team had only a couple of long bamboo poles, ropes and only one member can get into the circle and must not touch the ground to accomplish the task. After several minutes, both teams decided to get together and pool their resources together to make an A-formed stilt wherein ropes were tied at the top of the triangle and on each bamboo pole to help the team member cross from the outer circle to the middle. All the other team members tugged and pulled the ropes to make the stilt walk to the center and the task was accomplished! It was a spectacular way of ending the team-building games as everybody united to fulfill one common goal.

While waiting for the transportation to take back everybody to civilization, members took a break by swimming in the fresh-water spring swimming hole and had fun zip-lining! Congratulations to the Red team for ranking first in this activity! Blue and yellow teams followed in the score ranking. They gave their best as well in all the activities. Thank you to Pam Salon, Lenivie Estillore, Lady Abacahin and Hernan Sahilan for making the event super fun and successful!

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About The Author

Stephanie

Stephanie Caragos is the President & CEO of the 16 year running IT Company, Syntactics, Inc. and is the founder of letIThelp.org, a program and initiative that envisions in helping young Filipinos hone their skills in IT and increase their chances of getting stable and profitable jobs. She is a speaker and mentor in various Online Marketing, Web, ICT and ICT businesses related seminars and talks and works tirelessly in finding innovative ways of marketing online for clients. She is also a staunch supporter of Filipino Small and Medium Enterprises as she continues to develop products and services that would benefit SMEs as well as help them increase their success rate in using technology in business. Stephanie is currently the president of the CDO ICT Business Council and works with the members and stakeholders in the city in promoting ICT to support more startups and create more jobs in the city. She recently completed her Eisenhower Fellowship and was awarded as the Douglas Dillon Named Fellow for the year 2016.

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