Yesterday, Morrissey & Company embarked on a summer retreat to Thompson Island, where we took part in a team-building exercise through Outward Bound. Our mission was to build a sea-worthy raft out of bamboo, barrels, and rope in a limited amount of time, and then row it out to a target buoy in the harbor. Think of it as Survivor: Boston Harbor Islands.
Our team immediately began assembling a frame out of bamboo logs and securing them using the rope. No dilly-dallying among Morrissey & Company! Some of us knew how to tie knots better than others, but we all lent a hand to make a sturdy, rectangular frame. Then we placed six barrels within the frame and began securing them to the bamboo. Soon, our time was up and we had to move our vessel into the water and board it – which was a challenge in itself.
At first, everything seemed to be going dandy… then, all of a sudden, one of our barrels came loose and took one of our co-workers with it! We tried to maintain control, but one by one our barrels were floating away and our raft was disintegrating. Soon, we had nothing left but our bamboo frame, and a few of us still clinging on.
Despite our predicament, our Outward Bound coach encouraged us to keep paddling – as long as we made it to the buoy with our bamboo frame, we could still claim victory. So paddle we did, and slowly but surely we made it to our goal and back again! Props to Morrissey & Company for working as a team and seeing this exercise through to the finish, despite major setbacks and challenges.
So it wasn’t a perfect victory, but even when things looked like they were going south, we didn’t let it discourage us. After the exercise, our coach reviewed with us what we did well and what areas we could improve in. We probably should have spent a bit more time planning the design of our raft, and even testing it in the water. However, every team member did their part, and our coach was impressed that we defied the odds by rowing our “skeleton raft” all the way to victory.
Lesson learned? Celebrate the small victories, and don’t let even major obstacles get in the way of doing your best. After the exercise, we were treated to a delicious clam-bake feast, which just goes to show: small victories do not go unrewarded!