How to Handle the Holidaze

office-christmas-partyTis the season for people, presents, parties… and more parties. It seems like there is no end to the work functions, social events and family functions. So much small talk can be challenging –staying engaged and interested in so many different people.

In our workplaces, sometimes we avoid that awkward small talk, choosing to stay within the comforts of our familiar work group. In reality, that’s just not practical. Just like the Marines work with the Army and Navy to complete missions, our accounting department works with marketing and human resources, not only interacting but relying on them to accomplish the overall mission of the organization.

This means we have to get out of our little work group comfort zone. Teams can’t remain in isolation; they have to understand the big picture, what other teams do and how each department affects the others.  It’s easier to appreciate how other people work when we first understand who they are.  Understanding who they are is a gradual process that might have to start with a little casual conversation.

So at the next holiday party, when Tom from sales is regaling you with a long winded story about his last fishing trip, consider it a strategic move for you and your team. The next time you need a key phone number, you know you can rely on your new team mate for help.

Tired of the same old holiday party? Call us to plan a truly unique and active event. 480.788.5093.

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Fun for the Whole Family

Have you recently enjoyed a fun day out at our Phoenix ropes course? Good news, you can share the same excellent adventure with your friends and family with our adventure package.  Yes, kids too! Your group will have so much fun they won’t even notice you’re getting a little exercise. And a lot of fresh air.

This package combines rappelling, rockclimbing and ziplining into one unique, adrenaline-filled excursion.  Start out with a challenging climb up the rock wall which summits at the log bridge.  Demonstrate your balance and bravery as you make your way across the log to the rappel station. Then sit back in your harness for the rappel down. Let yourself relax and enjoy the view – your competent staff belayer is there to keep you secure the entire time.  Of course the outing wouldn’t be complete without a zipline ride. With a lack of old growth forests here in the Sonoran Desert, we can’t promise you’ll get the same experience as a Costa Rican canopy tour. But our zipline is still fast, fun and family friendly.

The outing is a perfect adventure for out of town guests. Our private site is nestled into the base of a mountain park with views of downtown Phoenix, showcasing the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. It’s also the perfect backdrop for the huge grins typically seen as riders whiz down the zipline. Your guests will thank you for giving them such a perfect photo opportunity!

For package details, check out our sister company,, or contact us at 866.222.4703 or


Laughter as a Learning Tool

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast month’s post extoled the benefits of giving a team time to relax and have a little fun together. Still not convinced that fun and games have a place at work?  Maybe you’ll be interested in to know that even an organization like the U.S. Department of State, that engages in very serious business, advocates a little fun.

This department is tasked with supporting and serving the U.S. citizens, and their families, who work overseas as Foreign Service Officers. Because these can be stressful positions in high threat regions, the department has a well-developed stress management program. One goal of this program is to help employees develop resiliency. Resiliency is ability to recover quickly from disruptive change, or misfortune without being overwhelmed or acting in dysfunctional or harmful ways.

When was the last time someone on your team experienced change or trouble – An unhappy client? A software glitch? A shipment delay? It happens regularly and it’s important for the team to be able to handle it without falling apart.

Fortunately, resiliency can be learned and developed in everyone. According to the Department of State, laughter is one technique for enhancing resiliency and recommends “trying to find time to smile and laugh even when things seem to be falling apart around you. It’s very healing and it will help you forget your worries for a few moments.”

Laughter enhances resiliency by helping us feel more optimistic and effective at our jobs. A positive attitude has been shown to increase productivity, and then as a person uses laughter to develop resiliency, they become better able to tackle challenges through creativity and a positive attitude. How much would your team benefit from increased productivity and creativity? Start building resiliency today, one laugh at a time.

We would be happy to help! Contact, or sign up for our newsletter for some fun, easy activities you can do with your team.


Go Ahead, Have Some Fun

Goofy pic Team building initiatives sometime get a bad reputation for being “cheesy.” We make you do puzzles, throw rubber chickens around and dress up in funny clothes. Why all the goofy activities, wouldn’t a team’s time be better spent learning something useful, or you know, working?

Of course the work must get done, but taking a “play break” can help the team accomplish even more. Play encourages a team to relax around each other. Playing a game gets people to let their guard down.

Say you have new team members who haven’t completely assimilated into the team yet. There may be some reserved members who get overshadowed by more outspoken team mates. Perhaps you just have group members who are insecure. Insecurity makes a person act guarded and fake. They try to be something they are not, out of fear that their real self will not be accepted. Because we intuitively sense discomfort in others, this awkward behavior rubs off on the rest of the team.

Games are the great equalizer. You’ll find that under the guise of a competition, people will get goofy and laugh together. Then once relaxed, teams are better able to problem solve and work together. These fun moments help break down walls and create camaraderie that will carry over into the workplace.

This summer while students are out of school and families are on vacation, it’s great time to and add some “goofiness” to your week! An ODA facilitator will be happy to help!

To see video clips of One Day Adventures’ games in action, check us out on Facebook. For ideas on games you can play in the office to help your team bond, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, in the right column.

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How to Get a Free Bonus From Your Event

ParkDid you know that most of our ODA programs are held entirely or primarily outdoors? Not sure why you should know or care about this random fact?

Because if you are one of the 80% of event planners who select an outdoor venue you are getting an extra benefit, absolutely free. Yes that’s right, a free bonus!

Not only is your team getting a fun activity that will improve relationships, you are also improving their health!

Studies from around the world are finding evidence that outside time offers health benefits ranging from decreased blood pressure and heart rate to lower anxiety to a boost to the immune system.

Getting outside is so important that forward-thinking doctors have even taken to prescribing outside time. A pilot program in Washington D.C. created a database of information on all city green spaces, searchable by zip codes, giving doctors in the Unity Health Care system the tools they need to make specific recommendation to patients. In the first two years of the pilot, 720 prescriptions for time outside were written, both for children and adults.

So, which park will you “prescribe” for your team— Phoenix’s South Mountain Park? San Diego’s Balboa Park? Sedona’s Red Rock State Park? Prescott’s Granite Basin? Whichever one you choose, One Day Adventures will be glad to help create an experience that is just what the doctor ordered!

Contact us at or 480-788-5093.

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How to Execute a Hail Mary

Hail Mary pass is a very long pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success.

As facilitators, we often see managers use a team building event as a Hail Mary attempt. Communication and cooperation has been neglected for so long, and in desperation, the team leader attempts to fix the problem by planning a day on the ropes course or other exciting outing. Unfortunately, this type of one-off event usually doesn’t have the hoped-for results.

Twice during this current football season, The Green Bay Packers had fans holding their breaths awaiting the completion of a Hail Mary throw by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Both ended with history making successful catches.

While the passes were necessitated by a losing score, the plays themselves were less desperate, and more strategic then they appeared to viewers outside the playing field.

According to receiver Richard Rodgers (TE), the team had actually been working on the Hail Mary before the game, so it wasn’t exactly complete chaos when Aaron Rodgers threw the ball in the air. “We were practicing it a little bit before the game,” Rodgers said. “He was throwing them really high in the air, so when I saw it in the air I knew I had a chance to catch it.”

Like the Packers, all teams will face situations when they are struggling, falling behind or feeling defeated. These stressful times will take a toll on team work and camaraderie. A Hail Mary may feel like the only option. But a full day ropes course or adventure challenge has a much greater chance of achieving results if the team incorporates team building into daily operations.

That exciting team building outing is going to be much more effective with teams who have been regularly promoting team building in the team’s normal operations. E-mail to sign up for our monthly newsletter, full of free tips and activities you can use to practice building a mindset of team building in preparation for your ropes course or adventure challenge!

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A Simple Way to Give Better Gifts

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, has been researching the correlation between money and happiness for decades.

What has he found? It turns out that while we used to think material things were the way to happiness, according to science, what will bring you the most lasting happiness are experiences — travel, outdoor activities, new skills.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” said Gilovich in the study “A Wonderful Life: Experiential Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness,” published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

“You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are a part of you. We’re the sum total of our experiences.”

Humans are highly social creatures, and meaningful social relationships contribute hugely in our happiness levels.

This might not be a surprise to you, especially if you’re under 35. “A cash incentive would have disappeared into my bank account or gone to pay rent,” says one 20-something who was rewarded with World Series tickets for meeting a sales goal, a much more memorable experience.

Those who study millennials say these children of Boomers grew up in households that validated their feelings and in a society that serves as a social media echo chamber for their opinions. The result is a new breed of worker who values validation over cash.

What’s followed has been a string of new startup businesses catering to providing memorable employee reward experiences. But why choose a startup to plan an experience of a lifetime, when you can draw on the depth of Epic Corporate Experiences to create your unique, high-caliber events, retreats and travel experiences that will make the whole team happy, not just the millenials.

For more information visit or call 480-788-5093.

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Time to Treat Yo’ Team

It’s the best day of the year, according to Parks and Rec characters Tom and Donna. A day to lavish and spoil yourself with anything – get a massage. Have a pedicure while sipping fancy coffee concoctions, splurge on a new outfit and of course no treat yo’ self day is complete without cupcakes.

Has your team worked extra hard and earned a treat? ODA’s sister company, Epic Corporate Experiences, can deliver. Their services go beyond teambuilding, creating unique, high-caliber events, retreats and travel experiences.

Epic experiences are perfect when you have expected the best from your team… and then they exceeded those expectations. They are a celebration of excellence, of victories and a time to have fun together and foster a spirit of community.

While we’ll create an event to your specifications—from tame to active–, our signature programs integrate fun and adventure. We’ve done it all from snowmobiling in Jackson Hole, sailing in Costa Rica to a San Diego sand castle building contest. We’ll even provide cupcakes.

Best of all, your treat is letting us take care of all the planning, making you look great! For more information visit or call 480-788-5093.

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Kate Hudson’s Team building Wisdom

Bear Grylls, with his extensive military background, is a fountain of wisdom on teamwork. But on a recent episode of his show, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, it was a celebrity co-star who had the insightful words. While sitting around the campfire roasting freshly caught pigeon, Actress Kate Hudson found herself opening up personally to the outdoor survival expert about her childhood and divorces. She comments on the experience saying:

“It’s funny, cause when you’re out in the wilderness, when you start to sit and talk to Bear, you end up talking about things you wouldn’t normally share. But you know, you get people in environments where they’re exposed and it allows for more open conversation.”

In team building, this concept is referred to as the novel setting. The novel setting is a critical concept in team building events. When we’re in the office, going through the same routine day after day, our communication and interactions also tend to become routine. The leaders keep leading, the socializers keep talking, the complainers keep grumbling, the analyzers keep questioning. And that means we may get annoyed by the repetitiveness, or disengaged by the predictability. Shaking things by moving out of the office space, gives us a refreshing new perspective.

Getting out of our comfort zones is a great way to unclog lines of communication. When in a fresh setting, perhaps one that is a bit uncomfortable, we feel vulnerable. We respond to vulnerability by expressing ourselves. Will that expression always be happy and sunny? No, but it will be a guaranteed conversation starter and will probably generate a pretty memorable experience. Good or bad, new experiences generate fresh communication.

Don’t worry, camp fires are not required. What can make the experience as productive as possible is involving a third party. An outside facilitator recognizes those preconceived roles that the team is no longer in tune with, and will help encourage that openness that is so valuable. Click here for a great story about a woman who came out of her comfort zone during a team building event and contact us for some fun event ideas.

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Back to School

No, it’s not just you – summer is flying by! Before we know it, school will be back in session and students around the country will be back in the classroom. No matter how far out of school you are, you understand what a tough transition it is to go from carefree summer days, to the structure of a school day. While learning is important and should be interesting and engaging, sitting in place and staying focused for an extended period of time is a challenge for us at any age.

This can be even worse as adults. Instead of the hands-on, participative lessons that primary teachers are so adept at presenting, we’re most often asked to sit in a crowded room and listen passively.

We know we can’t escape it, learning is a part of life and businesses commonly find the need to rally the troops for training seminars; from new hire orientation to new product education. The challenge is how to make the material heard and understood, ensuring that the time is not wasted. It’s not the audience’s fault for not concentrating or the speaker’s fault for not entertaining— research shows that most of us can only absorb presentations for about 15 minutes.  So why not give the audience a few well-timed breaks?  Break-out teambuilding sessions can be a perfect way to get an audience moving and mingling— talking about the material and getting some blood flowing to the brain.

A professional facilitator can integrate a speaker’s workshop or training material into icebreakers and group games, providing an engaging, interactive experience. Teambuilding activities can complement the speaker by incorporating the themes or language that is being covered. For example, we recently did a session for a large corporate group who had been reading and discussing the subject of trust. We were able to guide them through some great, active, trust-building games that brought the material to life.

So if you need to freshen up your next PowerPoint, think beyond the YouTube video clip. Instead, get the audience excited about your material by making it real and active. Subscribe to our newsletter for some activities that can be done on your own, or contact us at or at 480-788-5093.