25th Jan 2020, the day for which we all WIPLians eagerly waited for, was finally here. It was sheer excitement that morning, as it was our Annual Retreat. It was time to let loose ourselves and break the monotony of daily work life. At 09:00 AM the entire team was scurrying into the bus and ‘hurray’ we were on our way. Abiding by Marshall Sylver’s quote ‘Enjoy the journey as much as the destination’, the team began enjoying the journey with singing, dancing and teasing each other only after we fueled our energy with some sumptuous breakfast. On the way, we halted at Jal Mahal where we not only captured a few memories but saw some of our oldest team members slip into their childhood as they wished a ride on the bikes available for kids there.
After an hour of travelling, we had reached our destination TAO Experiences, where we were given a warm welcome. The adventure had begun with a discussion of the growth and vision of WIPL, introduction of structured learning & development and employee connect initiatives for 2020. Post which we enjoyed a quick cup of tea and fries.
While few activities came with an objective of the importance of teamwork, time management and focus on our core values, the rest came with the sole intent of Fun and Entertainment.
Our first activity was conducted in 3 rounds. Before we began with the activity, the teams were given 5 minutes to strategize how they would knock down the opponent team while keeping their own team intact. While few team members got into their zorbs easily a few cursed the foodies in them as they struggled to get into it. Where few teams saw their team members leaving the team mid-way, there were teams who stood strong and still till the end. Apart from the fun, the activity got with itself it also taught us the importance of teamwork and how strategizing helps to tackle uncertainties.
With bizarre tactics and loads of support from the team for those who were scared this activity was a visual treat to our eyes as we got off the ground and made our way through a view full of nature’s beauty. Seeing the team members support and encourage each other to help them overcome their fears gave in a sense of belongingness to everyone and it set the stage for the next set of adventure activities that the place had in store for us coz ‘Picture toh abhi baaki thi’.
This activity definitely gave the adrenaline rush as we bounced high in the sky up to 60ft. The best moments were captured in the air where team members were seen remembering all the Gods and Goddesses to forgive all their sins, screeched their hearts out or were ready to trade anything to just land back on the ground, SAFELY. The screeches and cries shook the confidence of the team members who were all set to experience the thrill, but a little coaxing and pushing them till the ground left them with no option other than getting themselves hooked to the harness. The team had mixed feelings of fear, nervousness and excitement before the activity, a sense of accomplishment was a feeling that most of them felt post the activity as each team member had gathered the courage to perform the thrilling activity.
Archery was a great way to learn a new skill and have some fun. Raise, aim and release the arrow off the bow and let it course it’s way to the bull’s-eye. Two teams were formed where the technical and non-technical team competed against each other. This activity did help us find some Bahubali and Eklavya of our team as inka nishaana toh wahi laga jaha inki nigahenin thi.
You said a day outing? I heard Cricket! A game that is loved by every Indian office every age that holds the potential to bring out the child in you and the same was witnessed as the team went on for a 10 over the match and yeh 10 over toh unse upar waala bhi nahi cheen paaya. One tip one hand out, boundary se bahar gayi toh out aur ball toh batting team he laaegi, the team saw recollecting all the rules of gully cricket. As much as fun this game brings with itself it also brings in the element of sportsmanship and the importance of effective communication and coordination within the team.
Low Rope Course:
This activity with various hurdles taught us how smart work helps in overcoming the hurdles. To make this activity a little more fun the team members were timed individually and the time taken by the entire team was measured to evaluate a team’s performance. Time management made its place important as we saw team members covering up for those who took comparatively more time in completing the activity.
Sometimes all you need is to push your boundaries, put in the little effort and go that extra mile to reach the goals and go beyond. This activity taught us the importance of the little things that help us go a long way in achieving all that we desire. The activity was conducted as a one on one competition in rounds of 3. The team members were not only seen pushing themselves the extra mile to take back the velcro strap but were also seen enjoying as they fell back with force and grappled to stand back on the bouncy bungee.
This activity ended our adventurous day at TAO Experiences.
While we winded up the day with a cup of tea, each team member shared their experiences and their learnings learnt from the various activities big or small that were conducted. A few won and a few lost but haar ke jeetne waale ko WIPLian kehte hai. We left the event park with smiles on our faces, box full of memories renewed energy, and a passion to fulfil the organisation’s goals together as a TEAM.