Blue Mountain Altitude Challenge

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At Summit Team Building we believe that we all learn best when we are outside of our comfort zones. This space is called the learning zone and is when we are engaged, open, inquisitive, and able to expand personal skills and to learn new things.

Based on this belief we have created many different team building programs to get people out of their comfort zones and into their learning zones. At Blue Mountain Resort we have access to an amazing natural environment that makes a perfect learning space. As such we have created many great team building programs that take advantage of this natural classroom and this is precisely why you might choose Blue Mountain in the first place.

We have our 7 Summits Challenge, our Reaching New Heights, and our Blue Mountain Adventure Quest team building programs and new for 2018 is the Altitude Challenge. This program will challenge your team to climb ‘Mount Everest’ represented by Blue Mountain.

After a short introduction on the logistics of how to climb Mount Everest based on Summit President Scott Kress’ personal climb of Mount Everest your team will set out up the mountain. Along the way they will encounter various team challenges that have been custom designed for your group. These challenges will require teamwork, communication, creativity, and more. This is a challenging up hill program. You will sweat and you may even get a little dirty. In the end you will be excited by the accomplishment and rewarded with an amazing view of Georgian Bay from the top of the Niagara Escarpment.

Our professional facilitators will help your team debrief the experience and to connect it to building high performance as a team and personally. Your team will walk away ready to meet their next challenge with new energy and with a focus on teamwork and collaboration.

The next time you are looking for a team building program give us a call to learn all about the new Altitude Challenge program and our other engaging team building options.

Team Building Axe Throwing

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You are standing in a field, facing a wooden target with an axe in your hand. You arc your arm back, swing forward and release the axe. It spins through the air striking the target and you have completed your first ever axe throw.

For quite some time we have avoided the topic of axe throwing. Being a bit of a fad in corporate team building we have had many requests for axe throwing, but until now we did not really feel we could call it team building as we define team building.

Team building is a very broad topic and can be anything from a pizza party to an in-depth training intervention. We always put axe throwing into the pizza party category of team building and as a stand-alone event. I do think this is where it belongs. It is fun and you are doing it as a team, but there is a little team or personal growth involved.

However, one cannot dismiss something without personal experience so we as a team set out to have our first axe throwing experience. Now having done axe throwing ourselves we can see the appeal of this activity, but we knew in order for us to call it team building we would need to make more of it than just throwing an axe at a target.

We have now worked axe throwing into a few of our custom team building programs at Blue Mountain Resort and the Kingbridge Conference Centre. As in many of our team building programs your team will be required to navigate through a series of team challenges and now axe throwing can be one of them.

So the next time you are looking for a fun and motivational team building event contact us to discuss how we can add a Summit team building program to your event.

Making Ice Cream with Liquid Nitrogen

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At Summit Team Building one of our popular team building programs is our Ice Cream Making Challenge. This fun and delicious team building programs challenges your team to create the best new ice cream flavor.

We are always looking for ways to add to our amazing team building programs and have now added a liquid nitrogen option to this popular ice cream making challenge.

Our classic ice cream making team building program uses an ice cream ball to make the ice cream. This is a very fun, engaging and active way to make ice cream. However, making ice cream with liquid nitrogen is exciting and has a huge ‘wow’ factor.

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This team building program is fun and full of energy. It is a great way to energize your team part way through a meeting or to cap of your day with a team building adventure.

The next time you are looking for a team building program with a big ‘wow’ factor give us a call and ask about our new liquid nitrogen Ice Cream Making Challenge.

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Expedition – Team Building Training

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In April I will be one of the leaders for the next True Patriot Love expedition. This expedition serves many different purposes including media exposure, fun raising, showing our appreciation to our wounded soldiers, and as part of a therapeutic healing process.

In April we have a team of 8 ill and injured Canadian soldiers and 11 civilians embarking on an expedition that will challenge them and provide great learning experiences for all. Included in the program are several training and team building sessions before the departure date, a mentoring and coaching program, personal development assessments and coaching and post expedition support.

All the participants are reading my book, Learning In Thin Air, to support their experience. In my book a detail the trek to Everest base camp so the participants will know what to expect, but more importantly I discuss how to build high performance personally and in teams and this will be critical for our success in Nepal.

True patriot Love has been running these programs since 2013 with the first trip to Nepal. Since then millions of dollars has been raised and many lives have been influenced in a positive way.

On April 1 we will begin a trek to Everest base camp. This trek will provide acclimatization for our ultimate climbing objective of Lobuche East peak at 6172m. Over the course of the three-week expedition all participants will be challenged physically, mentally and emotionally and from this they will have great personal development opportunities.

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As part of the preparation for this expedition I ran a team building and training session this past weekend. Several of the team joined me at Georgian Peaks Ski Club in Collingwood. We spent a few hours hiking up the steep trails beside the ski hill. This is great for physical training and also for getting accustomed to the snow and ice conditions we will encounter on Lobuche.

After the hike training we went back to my place where I had strung 100m of rope between the trees in my backyard. This was to be used for the technical training part of the training day. As the temperatures were around -15c and there was a light wind and snow it simulated the mountain conditions quite well.

While climbing Lobuche we will be using fixed rope anchors, a harness, and a safety tether system and the team members need to be able to perform the appropriate tasks with their heavy mountaineering gloves on in cold and windy condition.

People quickly found out how difficult simple tasks became when you had on these large, but warm gloves. Dexterity is greatly reduced and every task takes longer. We will have dozens of transition points on the climb and lost time will add up quickly and could put us in a dangerous position. This is why we need to practice this over and over until it become more natural.

A fun team building dinner concluded our great training day.

Everyone is excited about the expedition and working hard to be ready. I will continue to post updates as the departure date gets closer and throughout the expedition.

Climb safe, Scott.

Learning In Thin Air Motivational Keynote

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As a keynote and motivational speaker, I need to market myself as any business does. Search engine optimization, social media, blogs, showcase events, trade shows, and writing books are just a few ways to promote me as a speaker. Many of my bookings come from repeat clients and referrals. When this is the case it is usually a pretty easy decision for them to book me as they know me from a past experience or I have been referred by a trusted friend or colleague. In the case of someone who finds me through a Google search or from a speakers bureau, they do not know me from the next speaker.

In today’s world, you have access to so many talented speakers with great stories and messages. I may be considered an adventure based motivational speaker or a team building speaker and there are many speakers that can fit into the same category.

So how do you know who is the right speaker for your event? A speaker’s bio will give you your first insights into who they are, their values, their story, their vision, their mission and so on. How do they differentiate themselves from others? For me, I differentiate myself with my mix of adventure and my occupation as a team building trainer for corporations and universities. I am able to bring the adventure world and the academic world together like few can.

In the speaking world, however, a great bio will only get you so far as the person seeking to hire you wants and needs to know how you perform. What is your stage presence, your energy level, and how do you deliver your message? This is where the video sample comes in. A video sample is a critical tool for marketing and booking a speaker.

As a new speaker, great video is hard to come by, but as you get more experience and deliver more presentations you will have access to some pretty amazing footage. Some speakers go to a studio and talk on a green screen, but I have never been comfortable with this and I have gathered video clips from many presentations over the years, but I was always looking for the great clip and now I think I have found it.

In January of 2016, I was asked to speak at the Hard Rock Resort in Mexico for a leading banking institution. The audience was huge and the screen was enormous. This was no 8×8 meeting room screen. This was an LED screen 50-feet tall and 150-feet long. The resolution was incredible and every one of my slides, photos, and the video popped like never before. It was an amazing event and I was fortunate to receive a copy of my presentation.

I have cut it into a series of small clips here to give you an idea of what you will experience when you book me and my Learning In Thin Air Motivational Keynote for your next event. Enjoy!

Close 2017 With High Performance

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It is hard to believe that the end of 2017 is almost here. The last quarter is critical for most companies to finish strong with goals met. Fall conferences and team meetings play a big part in helping teams maintain their focus and drive to meet their goals. These meetings and conferences usually focus on strategy and goal review. Some teams are even starting to look at 2018 strategy and goals.

While these meetings are important do not let goal and strategy focus allow you to miss out on a critical opportunity to focus on the development of your team. Stephen Covey once said, “the front line produces the bottom line”. Whether this is a leadership meeting, a departmental or project team meeting it is imperative that you keep the team culture strong as it is team culture that drivers team results.

It has been said that “poor culture will eat great strategy for breakfast, and it will consume tools and technology by lunch”. A strong team culture built on a clear high-performance vision with strong relationships and open communication is what will get you to your goals time and time again.

A high-performance team is one that can achieve their goals year after year, in good times and in bad. Almost any team can be successful during good economic times, and even dysfunctional teams get lucky every now and then. But if you want to achieve and maintain high performance on a sustainable level you must focus on the development of your team culture.

In order to develop a high-performance team culture, you need to understand where you currently are. One tool used at Summit Team Building is the Group Styles Inventory. This easy to complete assessment provides your team with valuable insights as to their current team culture in 12 critical areas. We will examine factors such as achievement and collaboration that contribute positively towards team culture and conventional and power that contribute negative elements to team cultures and discuss where your team needs to focus to build and maintain high performance. Combine this with our High-Performance Team or High-Performance Leadership programs, our coaching buddy action planning and our director follow up guide and you can really set your team up for success.

If you do not have time for a workshop keep this in mind for the new year when you have more time, but for now consider bringing in a keynote speaker to inspire and educate the team for their final push to the summit. Summit Team Building provides two inspiring and educational keynote presentations Learning in Thin Air and Achieve The Outrageous. And if a keynote is not the right fit for this event consider a team building program to strengthen the foundation of your team.

We know that you have most likely booked your fall retreat already and are working on the agenda so do not forget to build in some time to develop the people and culture of the team if you want sustained high performance.