They say that people who enjoy their jobs are more productive employees. They also say that it’s important for us to learn to play and work well with others.  (I’m not sure who THEY are, but I know they said it.)

In order for us to learn to be a better team and to be able to provide better service for our fabulous members, we decided that we needed to spend a day away from the office doing activities guaranteed to make us work together. On Saturday, May 5th, we all met up at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury.  Some of us grumbled about having to miss our kids’ and grandkids’ events, but at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone was sorry that we did it.

We started out by dividing into 2 teams and taking a short tour of the properties to learn more about the Double JJ.  If you’ve never been there, you really should check it out.  We were told to pay attention during the tour because there would be a quiz later. Since I used to work there years ago and had to be able to talk about these things to guests, I may or may not have taken a short nap on the bus.

After our tour we began the “Ranch Race.”  Some people on each team had to rope a “bull,” others had to get a horse out of a barn, brush the horse, and a couple had to saddle the horse.  One final person on each team was tasked with riding the horse around a small, fenced in area.

Guess who the “lucky one” on my team was? I’d ridden before so it was no big deal.  It may have been over 15 years ago but I could handle it. The instructors said the horses would just walk around the pen.

What they didn’t tell me was that my horse was going to decide to gallop towards the home stretch and muscles I forgot existed were going to hate me the next day.

The rest of the race involved assembling a pop up tent blindfolded, a chaotic game of cornhole, fire building, and some trivia questions from our tour earlier in the morning. Needless to say, by lunchtime, I was exhausted. After a delicious lunch of pulled pork, macaroni and cheese and some sort of blueberry dessert, it was time for our second activity; salsa making.

I’m not known for my culinary skills so I was a little worried about this one. Luckily, each team had to nominate one person to choose the ingredients for the salsa and another person to make the salsa. The rest of the team would compete in small team building activities to determine who got to pick from the ingredients first.

We played a game of giant “beer pong,” a balloon passing game and a game that involved my coworkers trying to throw hula hoops around me. Sadly, my team’s salsa was not the winning one.

In my opinion, I think the whole game was rigged.  Since the winning salsa maker’s husband works at the Double JJ, I’m pretty sure that her team had an unfair advantage.

Not that I really cared. It was a gorgeous day and I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed that much. It didn’t matter who won and who didn’t.   The whole experience may not have taught us skills that we could use at work, but it did teach me things about my coworkers that I didn’t know before.  I learned that some of us are fierce competitors and some people have skills that I didn’t know they had.  In the end, I think that’s all that matters.

It was definitely something that I would do again. Except maybe something not as physical next time.  Maybe an escape room?