Team Building with UPSYS

In April 2008, Making Teams had the opportunity to host a 3 day, 2 nights Team Building Event at Ang Tong National Park, Koh Samui, Thailand. This was exceptionally challenging and unique event as it was conducted in a survival challenge format.

Adventure Team Building - Survival Island Adventure

Day 1

The UPSYS MICE travel group started the day with a speed boat ride to Ang Tong National Park, a small picturesque island close to Koh Samui. Upon arrival an area was set up for an internal meeting to take place, in the beautiful, relaxing and nature filled atmosphere the island offers. Koh Samui's surrounding islands are an opportunity for a unique and rare meeting environment.

Team Building Survival Challenge 1 - Camp Building
The UPSYS group of 17 participants was split into 2 teams of 8 / 9 each, with Eric and Juergen appointed as leaders. The teams received two 6-men army tents, bedding for each team member and a BBQ stove. The task was to build a camp with a well thought-out concept. Criteria for judging were speed, strength, concept, creativity and speech. Both teams presented their arguments to Making Team facilitators as to why their camp plan and set up was the better of the 2. Once all was taken into consideration, Juergen's team was declared the winners and receiving some ice cooled beer as a reward. Eric's team looked on in envy as they received their 2 six packs of soft drink. The stage was set, both teams eager to show the other up.

Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys

Team Building Survival Challenge 2 - Theoretical survivor game
What's needed for survival on a remote island? This concept was the next challenge the teams faced in their team building adventure. Each team received 10 items ranging from ones critical for survival (such as a fishing net), to items rather tempting to keep (a bottle of whisky), to ones that would be useful in later challenges. Each team was permitted to keep their top 5 ranked items.

Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys

Team Building Survival Challenge 3 - Food Supply game
The food supply game was probably the most crucial of all the survival challenges. Each team was given a limited amount of money to buy food items from our tropical market. Teams had to feed eight people for the coming three days, wise decision making was a necessity. There were everyday items available on the market such as meat, vegetables, spices and seasonings but also important cooking equipment such as charcoal, a roasting rack, plastic plates and cutlery. By spending their money wisely, each team had the chance to purchase about 50% of the items available on the market.

Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys

Day 2

Team Building Survival Challenge 4 - Auction game
Making teams facilitators kept gourmet breakfast items aside for the auction game on the second day before breakfast. Both teams had the same amount of money to spend but only the highest bid would purchase an item. Both teams had completely different strategies: While Juergen team's strategy focused on survival as being most important and therefore purchased all items given away first no matter what the price. Eric team's strategy was to increase prices and let Juergen run out of money, then to purchase the remaining items at a reduced cost. This team building activity revealed the difference between the 2 teams thinking and tactics. Right tactics makes a winning team.

Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys

Team Building Survival Challenge 4 - Raft building and Raft Racing
Raft building and testing was by far the most complex and challenging task on this survivor team building event. Making Teams supplied bamboo, empty water tanks and string. Each was given 3 hours to complete building their raft and prepare it for the race ahead. Teams had to work together effectively and efficiently to win this team building activity as there was a 500m race to test their rafts.

Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys

On your marks, get set. Go! The race began in Tumran Lagoon. Both rafts remained neck-a-neck as they paddled out of the bay, taking it in turns to hold the lead by a short distance. Then the rafts hit the open sea and Eric's team, with Carl captaining the ship, took a slight lead. As the rafts continued around the cliff, it looked like Juergen's team might catch Eric's. Eric's team then kicked ahead again and continued increasing their lead right to the finish on a nearby beach of the same island. The final time was 25minutes, 5 minutes ahead of Juergen's team. A well deserved victory. Again team tactics came into play, Eric's raft was built with a cross connection between each hull which was above sea level while the cross connection on Juergen's raft was below sea level. This led to less water resistance and Eric's team also only had 2 people on board and paddling. An activity enjoyed by all and a great team building challenge too.

Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys Team Building Event on Koh Samui Thailand with Upsys

Team Building - The last Night & Day
The second (and last) evening cooking was not part of the games yet both teams had stock of food to prepare their dinner. Both teams were exhausted after a strenuous but successful team building day and enjoyed spending their time socializing around the camp fire. Later in the evening, the two teams joined together and the party kept going until late night. The Next day involved packing up the site and clearing the area. A speed boat ride back to Koh Samui completed the UPSYS and Making Teams, Team Building Event, Koh Samui, Thaihland.

Conclusion
A challenging and enjoyable event for all involved. The UPSYS MICE travel group had plenty of fun and an opportunity to work with each other in an environment very different to their normal work life. Making Teams thanks UPSYS for choosing Making Teams as their Team Building host and for enthusiastically accepting and completing the Koh Samui, Thailand, Survivor Island adventure challenge.