Month: January 2015

Keeping the Road-Rage Out of Corporate Team Building

One of the best parts of my job is when I get to lead a group of adults on our team building course. Whether it’s a local company, a government department or group of teachers they are always in for an exciting and educational day out with their co-workers. Often in the morning when the group arrives, I can tell that there is a mixed bag of emotions due to whatever it is they think they are about to get into, but usually after the first couple of activities the group’s buy-in is at 100%.

I find that most people who have not yet experienced a program like ours have a variety of different ideas of what will happen; i.e. a crazy challenge course where they may not be physically able to keep up or the other end of the spectrum of holding hands around the campfire with a chorus of Kumbaya being sung. In reality though, most of my days with adult groups are full of laughs, many high-fives, some hugs, maybe a couple of tears, but my favorite is the moment when somebody inevitably shouts out “this is exactly what happens to us at work!”. The point is to make the connection, find the patterns and make plans for needed behavior changes to help strengthen the team back at work; a positive shared experience.

Now it’s rare for me to get to ever participate in anything like our team building course because I am usually the one leading it, so when I went to a grand prix indoor race track and saw that they do “Corporate Events” I was very excited. Maybe this could be something that I could bring the rest of the Adventure Links team out to do for some fun and bonding; but now that I’ve experienced it I don’t think I will ever offer that idea to our team, I like them too much.DSC02198

Don’t get me wrong, the race track was super fun. I got to wear a racing onesie and helmet, my race name was Pickled Ginga and those little cars go way faster than I thought they would, but I found myself with a little road-rage trying to get around people or when someone would pass me. The worst was when on the last lap I was clipped by another car, rammed into the wall and was disqualified. I got angry! If that would have been one of my co-workers… well, let’s just say us redheads are known for our ability to hold a grudge for unreasonable amount of time. So I guess this means no corporate event paint-balling or laser tag for me, maybe just a day at the place with the room full of trampolines.


DSC02204– Rachel”Pickled Ginga” Doody | Program Director



Facili-Trees and Port-o-Pines, The myth of our park bathrooms

Campers and students always ask the tough questions. One of the first is usually…Where do I go to the bathroom? Do I have to go into the woods? Well we have your answers! They might surprise you too.

Our Park Is equipped with standard toilets, stalls to maintain your privacy, sinks to wash your hands, and dryers instead of paper towel to help keep our park clean. We have a huge bathhouse that surrounds all of these tech savvy waste disposal units.

For those groups who adventure here for more than just the day, they will experience our showers as well as much more. Perfect pressure and heavenly hot water. Don’t forget about your own personal showering space. Oh it’s just like home, except for the memorable conversations and bathroom barter system that occurs for those who have come a little less prepared but with the help of their friends will not go without.


ashley suntheimer-Ashley Suntheimer | Group Program Manager, 


Our family took a magical, adventurous, and once in a lifetime journey together to Arizona in December. One of the trip highlights was a descent into Glen Canyon. The hike was not for the timid and we took extra precautions throughout to “take risks” in a safe and controlled environment. Both subtle and obvious lessons emerged on that journey- equally powerful.

The first lesson for our teen girls was: Commitment creates stability. It took several practice attempts for them to realize that in order to gain stability from footing on sandstone, you had to resist the urge to use your hands for stability. Instead- by digging deep into your courage and committing your weight fully into your feet- you establish connection with the sandstone. The result? There is an amazing feeling of strength and that you have solid ground beneath you.

climbing sandstone

The second lesson came when we approached some of the set “anchors” along the descent.

This second lesson: Be your OWN anchor first.Sandstone rock anchor

It was very clear at this crossroads that we were to resist the urge to blindly accept this as our anchor. Instead- we were sure that we could count on our own footing and only make moves that we could maintain our own safety.
The most breathtaking section of the trip was when we approached this cable and after some investigation by mom and dad- we decided to live our family mantra and lesson #3: If you’re not living life on the edge, you may be taking up too much room!cable over the edge

Lesson #4: The best gifts may be those you cannot wrap. The hike out was our best family gift of 2014 and was filled with moments to open over and over again. We took the “path less traveled” and this proved to create an adventure, a family memory, and a set of mantras and lessons to draw from as we go through life’s challenges and rewards together.

Lesson #5: The best connections are from nature, not WIFI. We spent 5.5 hours on this journey as a family and when we did “find the car”, we treasured the fact that we did not see a single person the entire time- only us- the crazy, loving Birch family…