Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Team Building 101

Hi Peeps and Welcome to my Blog today! I am so glad you have joined me here.

My disclaimer for the day: My pictures may be fuzzy but when you take them in the rain...

Have you ever walked into a Wal-Mart of Target and caught the employees in the middle of their 'Pep-talk' for the day? What about a 'raw-raw' session? Did you know that major corporations spend thousands of dollars every year in an attempt to 'unite' their employees? Other companies pay teams to come in and help with 'team-building' efforts. Even some churches have team building sessions. It is quite sad in our society that we have to 'create' team spirit.

I have found a place where 'team spirit' is not created but lived out and I LOVE what I see.

This past week our family spent 4 days in the cool and rainy weather of Flagstaff, Arizona (a beautiful place by the way). During that time we watched team building in the most natural way.

Our son is involved in English Style Horse Riding and competes several times a year. It is a highly competitive sport (and expensive I might add). Kids from all over the state come to win. You don't spend nearly $2000 for three days of competition NOT to win. Competition is a good thing yet team building is SO much more important.

Many of the kids we watch ride are all business with trainers and parents pushing for perfection. Don't get me wrong, if you are going to do something then do it well, but I believe you need to really LOVE what you are doing in order to find balance.

Unfortunately I didn't observe camaraderie on the teams we competed against. Kids would arrive at the arena, ride, win or lose, get off their horse and never be seen again.

Fortunately our team is different!

We have a team of kiddos who LOVE what they do. Sure they want to win but it's not the end all. They clean stalls, groom horses, set up and tear down the barn area, and work hard for their rewards. They also have fun. AND...best of all they have parents and a trainer who enjoy watching them do it.

FYI - that little stall area in the picture about became our safety zone during one of the most awesome displays of 'WEATHER' I have had the pleasure to get wet in. I kept wishing that someone had a camera because the picture of all the parents and many kids huddled in that little space with thunder, lightning and pouring rain falling all around us was quite comical:)

Our kids got to show in the rain and mud this past week, unlike the dry (haha) heat of Phoenix. They dawned their show clothes and proceeded to perform like the champs they are. Individually each did their best, braving the elements and allowing the sun to shine through their smiles instead of the clouds.

Corporately they cheered each other on. Here is a picture of Taylor's Fan club:)

Yes, these amazing young people won numerous ribbons. Several of our kiddos became Champions and Reserve Champions these past few days, each of them happily showing off their ribbons, some even winning great prizes. But the most important part of the event came Saturday night when we really experienced (as a family) our kids involved in true team building and we let them do it.

You see, when you release kids to enjoy themselves after it rains for three days and there is a muddy arena ... well ........ Competition gives way to fun and fun gives way to true team building! Out in that arena was an autistic boy who Never plays with the other kids, yet he was in the middle of it all enjoying, laughing, running, and even getting muddy with the other kids. Kids from 5 - 25 were out there enjoying the playground that God provided that night.

Yes, quite a few bathtubs were filled with mud that night but who cares when you look into the eyes of a team who truly love, respect and encourage each other.

Through horses, these kids have learned what it means to work, help, encourage, befriend, support, laugh, cry, be compassionate, celebrate, be humble AND be a team. These may be individuals with very different backgrounds and reasons for riding but they are a true team.

My son didn't begin riding for all of this. He started riding for therapy. A child who wasn't given the hopes of life yet God had a different plan. He loves animals and needed a source of Physical Therapy and this is were we ended up. Only God could have known that it wasn't Physical Therapy we needed but a different kind that only He could provide.

Yes, I need to brag just a bit about my guy. He won 5-1st, 3-2nd, 1-3rd, 1-4th and 2 Reserve Championships. I'm just a little bias but he is just delightful and an awesome rider.

Who would have thought after 4 days of being together that the kids would find it difficult to say good-bye to the horses and ponies, especially when they would all be reunited again the next day?

But in the end, NONE of Team-Building is possible without an EXCELLENT leader!

Kristin, We Love You!!!!

Until next time-Consider Building Your Team With Joy,


  1. sounds like a great time was had by all~congrats to Matthew!!!

  2. Hey Cindy . . . thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment the other day!

    We are so excited to see what God has for us!

  3. This looked like a super fun weekend!

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