5 Reasons Outdoor Teambuilding

 Is Better For Your Company


Even just saying the word is bound to cause groans and eye-rolling from your staff. Even if you don't witness it firsthand, I can guarantee it's happening. 


The truth is, your team is tired of your boring, traditional teambuilding events.

If you're being honest, I'll be you're tired of them too. 

No one wants to sit through another half or full-day seminar with a stuffy, quirky, and weird corporate trainer with an off-the-shelf presentation that's more likely to put them to sleep or make them want to gauge their eyes out than actually buy-in to the corporate culture and vision. 

It doesn't have to be that way. 

Imagine the next time you mention "Teambuilding," rather than painting a picture of a sack lunch, trust falls, and other icebreakers in the meeting room, you tell your people that you've planned a weekend event in the wilderness around the campfire they've built with meals they've cooked. 

That's bound to raise some eyebrows.

In this guide, you'll learn:

  •  What your staff aren’t telling you about your teambuilding events.

  •  Why the traditional teambuilding event model is broken.

  •  How to increase team effectiveness and retention while preventing “quiet quitting.”

If you keep doing the same lame teambuilding activities you've always done, I can promise your people will unite over one thing: how much they hate these events.

Don't waste another day with stale pizza in the breakroom trying to figure out what Sharon's 2 truths and a lie are. 

Instead, take your team out of the "bored room" and get into the wild. 

Read on to find out exactly why the current way you're doing things won't get you the results you want. 

There's a better path forward and I want to help you get there. 

In Adventure,  

Frank Grindrod


Earthwork Programs

Your Staff Aren’t Telling You That Your Teambuilding Events Are Boring

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Someone in HR or on your Executive Team mentions that it’s time to schedule another teambuilding event.

You go around the room asking for input and everyone starts presenting ideas.

One thing is certain, you need to do SOMETHING different, but no one knows exactly what that is.

So, you end up settling on the same old stuff:

  • Bowling, Golf, Cornhole, or some other sporting activity.
  • Visiting the local restaurant, bar, and arcade game combo.
  • A catered meal in the office and a corporate trainer with some mediocre book or workshop curriculum.

When you get into the wilderness, your team will tap into experiences they’ve never had before and certainly never had on the clock.

When was the last time you:

  • Created a fire (without matches and lighter fuel)
  • Cooked food in the wild (without your airfryer)
  • Learned how to navigate in the wilderness (without your GPS)
  • Developed actual survival skills (with no cell reception)
  • Built a shelter, or slept under the stars

Even more importantly, when was the last time you’ve done any of that with your coworkers?

I can tell you one thing for certain: Your team may say a lot of things about doing leadership development in the wild, but the one thing they won’t say was it “was boring.”

The skills your team will develop in as little as a half-day to as much as a week or longer will stick with them for the rest of their lives, and the memories you make together will be the topic of conversations around the water cooler for months and years to come.

Doesn’t that sound better than hearing about Steve’s golf game, or how Sharon did at bowling?

Your Staff Aren’t Telling You That Your Teambuilding Events Are Stressful

This probably isn’t new news to you, but the traditional office environment is STRESSFUL.

Even remote and hybrid work arrangements have their own unique challenges and complications that increase our cortisol levels and decrease our quality of life.

Why subject your team to “development” in the same environment that adds to their “stress development” every day?

Think about it, you’ve intended this great teambuilding seminar to be for THEIR personal development, but what that really means is:

  • They still have emails to respond to.
  • Their smartphones are still a constant distraction.
  • Work is piling up while they’re listening to some uninspired and boring speaker.

In all actuality, your people end up leaving the personal DEVELOPMENT session with their STRESS LEVELS more developed than anything else.

Here’s the truth: Time in nature reduces stress.

By immersing ourselves in nature we change our biochemistry. 95% of people experience a decrease in stress when outside.

As an added bonus, we can put aside our emails and distractions that are impossible to escape in the traditional office environment.

Getting outdoors puts our minds and bodies into a different rhythm that allows your team to set aside the common stress triggers of the office and engage in a posture more conducive for growth and development. The brain is primed to take on new information and shift old paradigms.

Getting out of the office and into the wild will help your team members recalibrate in a way that’s simply impossible in their day-to-day environment.

With this recalibration comes a level of learning and development like none they’ve experienced before.

The Traditional Teambuilding Event Model Doesn’t Work In A Remote/Hybrid Reality 

No matter what “new,” “disruptive,” or “groundbreaking” method that leadership development consultant is selling you, the reality is, traditional corporate teambuilding hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years. 

The issue is, the way we work looks nothing like the corporate environment of the 1920s and 30s

The typical person on your team is BOMBARDED by screens throughout the entire day. 

Sure, by some accounts, we are more connected than ever, but think about it: In the office - ScreensOn our commute - ScreensAt home - ScreensEven when we are in a room full of people, screens actually disconnect us from human contact. We get into our own worlds, stuck in our own heads, and blocked out from what matters most. There’s a more natural way to work.

By being in nature, we relax and are open to new ways of thinking and possibilities. That means:

  • Their outdated paradigms will shift

  • You discover new solutions to old problems.

  • What might have seemed limiting is now easily overcome.

The Traditional Teambuilding Event Model Doesn’t Work Because It’s Impossible To Truly “Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone” Indoors

Here’s a secret that the leadership development community is scared to admit. 

Hype won’t get you out of your comfort zone. 

Too many times our teambuilding activities rely on manufactured energy and falsely elevated stakes to try to create a different level of engagement. 

Why? Because we can’t learn new things and shift old paradigms in our comfort zone. 

So what do we do? We play loud music, toss out tchotchke swag items and trinkets, or present doom and gloom projections of the future if we don’t change something. 

All of this is designed to get your adrenaline pumping to activate a fight or flight response to encourage change. 

The problem is, these shallow hype sessions may get your team’s blood pressure elevated for a day, a week, or even a month. But soon, they’ll be back in their comfort zone, where it’s too easy to get complacent again and return to make only the minimum effort to get the job done. 


They’ll panic, start to enter self-preservation mode, brush up their LinkedIn profile and start searching through InDeed for other opportunities. 

When you take your leadership development outdoors, your team can reach what scientists call “Optimal Anxiety.” The perfect conditions to learn, grow, and integrate new competencies. 

“Optimal Anxiety” exists in the sweet spot between boredom and panic. It’s a space just outside our comfort zone. Too much anxiety and we’re too stressed to be productive, and our performance drops off sharply.

Think about it, does the idea of receiving another new mug, tumbler, or Patagonia vest with your corporate logo really get anyone out of their comfort zone and encourage them to reach beyond their current capabilities?


All you’re doing is giving out items that make them “FEEL” adventurous, but, in reality, they’re spending 60 hours a week sitting down in the temperature-controlled office. 

By being in nature, we invite them, to answer the call to adventure which helps them:

  • Go beyond their everyday norm

  • Open themselves up to new skills and opportunities

  • Return with actual, sustainable change built on memorable experiences.

The Traditional Teambuilding Event Model Doesn’t Work Because “Team Building” Becomes More About Competing Than Collaborating Towards Common Goals

It’s no secret that competition can bring out the best in people. 

But, competition brings out the worst in people too. 


In most competitions, there’s a winner (or winning team) - and that’s typically an individual or small group of people. What does that mean for the overwhelming majority of the rest of the team? 

They’re losers. 

(Or at least they can be made to FEEL like losers). 

I’m not saying that we SHOULDN’T engage in competition or that everyone should get a participation trophy, but the reality is, facilitating competition in a meaningful way to help EVERYONE get value out of the activity is a specialized skill. 

Most facilitators and programs don’t have it. 

At EarthWork, we have experience coaching and facilitating programs for individual leaders, teams, and entire organizations, bringing leadership principles trusted and used by Donald Miller, Tony Robbins, and Dr. Joe Dispenza, into nature. Over the last 20 years, we’ve trained thousands of people to become more capable in the wild, in the office, and in their daily lives.

We’ve seen the ugly side of the “competition model” of traditional teambuilding that leads to the unintentional consequences of egotistical, individualistic, and siloed results. 

When you bring your teambuilding experience outdoors and into the wild, you’re surrounded by synergy and examples of interdependence. 

Our programs bring out your healthy competitive edge through a collaborative model. This allows everyone to “level up,” engage, and face challenges personally and as a group.

By helping to push everyone to be better and to recognize and call out the individual strengths of the team, group goals are put front and center. 

The implications in the office are obvious. 

If you want your team to:

  • See the bigger picture

  • Unify over shared goals and objectives

  • Support one another towards a common mission

  • Identify and elevate the special skills and abilities of everyone on the team

  • And break down departmental siloes

You need a different kind of teambuilding experience.

Any teambuilding activity can provide you with knowledge and examples of leadership development and personal growth, but without a shared experience lead by a qualified facilitator, the knowledge and examples get left behind almost as soon as the activity is over. 

If you want to stop this problem once and for all and stop wasting resources and finally get a team to be able to deal with any kind of adversity that all businesses face especially in times of challenge like

• quiet quitting

•planning there escape

then have us lead a team in the


As a certified business coach, wilderness survival instructor, public speaker, and expedition leader who has been featured on ABC's Chronicle, as well as on MassLive and other local New England TV and radio. I have led trips in Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, the Florida Everglades, and Central America I’ve also been an adjunct faculty member at Smith College and the University of Georgia, where I taught many forms of education and survival courses.

Your team and organization deserves to have the absolute best when it comes to leadership development.

If you want to take your team out of the "bored room" and get into the wild. There's a better path forward and I want to help you get there.

Schedule A Call

The first step on the journey starts with a conversation about you, your team, your needs, and the opportunities we want to take advantage of.

Get Into the Wild

Once we have a plan in place, you can come to our facility in the foothills of the Berkshires, we can come to you or, we can create a custom experience anywhere in the world. 

Get Back To Business

After your EarthWork experience you/your team will return to the office with a renewed mindset ready to face challenges and deliver results beyond what you ever could have imagined.

If you’re not getting the results you want from your current teambuilding strategy (if you have one in the first place), we can help.