Welcome to GO Adventures

Climbing the Giant Ladder at the Challenge Course at Butler School
Climbing the Giant Ladder

GO-Adventures provides opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in high quality team building programs and adventure sports instruction. The goal is a positive experience through a mixture of teamwork, fun and education.

We feel that people learn and develop from overcoming challenges – our programs are designed to give participants enough challenge to stretch their limits, with enough guidance and instruction to expand them.

Over the years, we have seen clients from a variety of backgrounds and populations – from elementary school students to corporate executives.  The activities and metaphors we use with a group of high school students will differ from those we employ for a corporate project management team.  However, our dedication to providing great service and a program with value and lasting benefit is ever-present.  Many clients in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC area have benefited from our team building challenges and adventure sports instruction. We invite you to become another satisfied customer.” – Eriq Powers, Founder

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Our Programs

Adventure Team Challenge on the National Mall
Adventure Team Challenge on the National Mall

GO-AdventureSports specializes in team building and adventure instruction for youth and adults.  Our program offerings include:

Team Building

  • Portable Team Challenge – on-site or off-site activities that can either be recreational or goal-oriented. For businesses and governmental agencies interested in providing an environment that fosters communication and an opportunity that promotes positive change. We will help open the door – you will choose whether to walk through or not…
  • Adventure Team Challenge – for large groups interested in a recreational team building program on a tight budget… Teams are given instruction booklets and sent through a rotation of different team building activities.
  • ROPES Course – combining elements of the Portable Team Challenge with additional High Elements, the ROPES Course is a great way for groups to either work on specific goals, or simply enjoy a recreational team building program.

Boy Scouts in the 'Pancake Room'
Boy Scouts in the 'Pancake Room'

Adventure Instruction

  • Rock Climbing – top-roping courses teach the basics of the simplest and most popular form of rock climbing – knots, belaying, anchors, and movement.

  • Mountain Biking – join our guide on some of the best trails in Maryland for this single-track mountain biking skill building instructional program.
  • Wilderness Skills – learn valuable outdoor survival skills in this one or two-day program.  Popular topics include – fire-building, water, shelter, preparation and land navigation
  • Caving Adventures – beginners and experts alike will be challenged as we explore the wild caves of West Virginia, where ancient stalactites and stalagmites add to the challenge and wonder of the narrow tunnels and wide open caverns.
  • Adventure Weekend – a multi-day team building and instructional event for teams of up to 14 participants. Each day is packed with adventure training opportunities (choose from a combination of rock climbing, caving, mountain biking, canoeing, and via ferrata), and each experience requires significant commitment from the members of the group. Our team of expert guides will give you the skills you need to accomplish every challenge.

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What We’ve Been Working on for 2010…

NEXTeams - The NEXT Step in Team Development
NEXTeams - The NEXT Step in Team Development

In our continuing efforts to create engaging and relevant team building activities for our clients, we are launching NEXTeams Team Developmentwww.nexteams.com – which will focus on a long-view, goals-driven approach to team development and facilitation.  Combining experiential education and traditional team building activities with professional facilitation for meetings and strategic planning sessions, the NEXTeams Process of Team Development will start where other team building programs leave off.

A couple of cross-over events that will be shared by GO-AdventureSports and NEXTeams include:

  • RACE Day Team Builder – An exciting and competitive event for smaller groups, RACE Day enhances teamwork through the creation of a Soapbox Derby Racer. Working in teams of 2 to 4 participants, your group will compete to build, brand and race their vehicle, producing their creation on time/under budget and, with a little luck, taking the trophy home!
  • Team Project Events (TPEs) – An opportunity for groups and teams to participate in a combination of traditional team building activities and a community service project. Projects have included: Building a ropes course element at a local camp, fence building at a local community farm, and planning and running an adventure race at a local elementary school. How will you choose to “Pay it Forward?”

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Our Clients

Over the years we have worked with hundreds of groups, from individuals out for a day of climbing to 500 participants at a corporate retreat.  Regardless of the background of our clients, the outcome is positive change through shared experience.

Who can benefit from our team building, adventure sports, and corporate event programs:

  • School groups
  • Adults
  • Not-for-profit groups
  • Scouts
  • Camps
  • Religious groups
  • Corporations
  • Small businesses
  • Government agencies
  • Sports teams
  • Fraternities and sororities
  • Birthday parties
  • And more

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Information Request Thankyou

Thank you for your interest in GO-Adventures Team Building and Adventure Instruction programs.

We will contact you soon to follow up on your Information Request. If you have an urgent matter, you may contact our team by text or email.

TEXT – (301) 202-4106
EMAILadmin@go-adventures.com
FACEBOOKfacebook.com/go.adventures
TWITTERtwitter.com/go_adventures

Please note: We are often out in the field working with clients, so you may need to leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Thanks again, and we look forward to working with you!

Teambuilding vs. Adult Entertainment

I know – this is a loaded title, and there will be a certain cross-section of readers who will be disappointed to know that I don’t mean the kind of adult entertainment they hope I mean.

We’ve all seen the commercials on television with the “failed trust fall” theme, or the “bogus teambuilding facilitator” character. Television loves to parody the field of teambuilding and facilitation. And with good reason! Most of us have heard of events that have been labeled teambuilding, and have at best had no real value, and at worst had a negative result. As a facilitator, I myself will regularly meet someone in a group that has this negative stereotype for teambuilding.

An effective teambuilding facilitator is tasked with creating an environment wherein members of a group will bond, positively, through shared experience. The activities and discussion topics selected for the event are typically centered around themes of communication, leadership, planning, process-improvement and trust. The longer the amount of time dedicated to this process, the greater and more lasting the potential result.

Unfortunately, many teambuilding companies are in fact delivering little more than adult entertainment. Scavenger hunts, Murder-mystery dinners, aerial adventure parks, paintball, all of which can be fun, actually require so little investment from the members of the group (other than being willing to embarrass yourself in front of your peers) that the lasting value is minimal, and the actual benefit to work teams is nonexistent. In order for a teambuilding event to have lasting value, there must be an activity that is challenging, requires commitment, calls on leadership and planning, has the potential for failure, and has a follow-up discussion that will relate the lessons learned in the activity back to processes and personalities within the team or the organization.

Here’s how to tell if your event is teambuilding or “adult entertainment.”

  • If your event has members of the group sitting as an audience rather than engaging in the activity – you’re at a show – it’s adult entertainment.
  • If your event makes a spectacle of individuals in the group, and everyone is laughing at them – it’s adult entertainment.
  • If your event is just activities and no discussion about what is happening in the group – it is more like adult entertainment than team development – still fun – but less beneficial.
  • If your team building event is extremely competitive, with winners and losers, and no discussion of how competition can be both valuable and detrimental to the team – it’s adult entertainment – might be fun (especially for the winners) – but not beneficial (to anyone.)
  • If your event has activities and discussions that focus the group on overcoming a challenge, solving a problem, trusting one another and then relating the activities back to the office – it’s teambuilding – still fun – but more beneficial.
  • If your event leads to individuals in your group gaining a better understanding of why they act the way they do in certain circumstances – it’s teambuilding – very beneficial.

When searching for a provider for your next teambuilding event, make sure you know what you are looking for. There are a lot of companies to choose from, and many of them are calling their offering “teambuilding.” There is nothing wrong with a little adult entertainment – if that is what you are expecting for your event. But if you want actual teambuilding, you may have to look a little deeper to find it. If you take the time to educate yourself about what teambuilding really is – you’ll have a better chance of being let down by your teambuilding experience.

Ropes Challenge Course Vs. Aerial Adventure Park­—What’s the Difference?

With the growing popularity of aerial adventure parks sweeping the nation, the benefits of a traditional ropes challenge course teambuilding program become even more difficult to explain. To the uninitiated, the ropes course and the adventure park look very much the same—in fact, the adventure park sometimes looks more fun! Don’t let the harnesses, helmets and cables fool you – there are some distinct differences that should be clearly understood for clients to make an educated decision for their group’s teambuilding endeavors.

What is a ropes course?

The ropes challenge course is a tool for increasing vulnerability-based trust among members of a group. Teams, office groups, student organizations and others have benefitted from spending the day out on a ropes course working on enhancing their communication, solving interpersonal relationship issues, and learning tools for increasing innovation and process improvement.

The ropes challenge course program uses physical challenges as a laboratory for exploring the challenges we face within an organization. It then gives us an opportunity to discuss how we overcome those challenges and to learn from the process. Much of this learning takes place on the ground, through the use of teambuilding activities that are part game, part goals-driven discussion.

Following the low ropes activities, the team often transfers to the high elements and puts their trust to the test by asking participants to belay and keep one another safe. At the root of all these activities and discussions is the belief that trust is the key to successful organizations and that a ropes course gives a crash-course in building trust.

If I had to compare a ropes course to another adventure activity, I’d say even the most basic and recreational ropes course program is similar to a good day of whitewater rafting. You need other people to help you steer your raft safely down the river. There is a guide nudging your team either toward or away from a challenge, introducing the skills you need to work together and get down the river safely. Effective communication is critical to successfully maneuvering your raft, and when teams are not effective there can be unexpected results: flipping or pinning your raft, ejecting participants over the side of the boat, etc. Yes, a ropes course teambuilding event is very much like a good day of whitewater rafting.

What is an adventure park?

An adventure park is specifically designed as an individual challenge—teambuilding is not the focus. Participants enjoying an adventure park experience will traverse, zip, climb and engage in many of the “high element” activities made famous by the traditional ropes course program, but will rarely, if ever, engage in any true teambuilding. I recently ran a training for a company that wanted to include its adventure park as part of its teambuilding program and we had a great deal of difficulty finding anything in the adventure park that remotely resembled teambuilding.

Participants in an adventure park are harnessed up and learn how to connect to the safety cables, transfer from one element to the next at platforms and individually cross from one challenge to the next. For most participants, there is a great deal of physical challenge; many adventure parks are set up with beginner to advanced level “trails” similar to a ski resort. While it can be a lot of fun, would you consider skiing a “teambuilding” activity? You may take a short ski lesson or ski with a friend, but you are always relying on yourself, not on anyone else. That is very much the experience at an adventure park. You might have a blast, but it isn’t teambuilding.

While there is an option to have a recreational fun day on a ropes course, with no specific teambuilding lesson, you can’t have a true teambuilding experience in an adventure park. They may look the same from the ground, but they are as different as skiing and rafting.

The Adventure Team Challenge with GO-Adventures

The Adventure Team Challenge

The following video shows a group engaged in a few activities available in the Adventure Team Challenge – a self-led, station-to-station, rotational team building event that is ideal for large groups whose goal is fun recreational team building. GO-Adventures will select activities that enhance communication, focus on problem-solving skills, and build trust between the members of the team. Following some of the more intense activities, there will be the opportunity for a short debrief to relate the lessons learned through the activity back to the job.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Here are a couple of activity descriptions to explain what you are seeing in the video:

Airlock
Time Frame: 25 minutes to complete the challenge

Introduction and Guidelines
Your entire team must work together to build a structure that will allow a ball to be rolled from one side of the blue nylon sheet to the other.

  1. Only two participants can be inside the boundary at a time.
  2. A participant must close his/her eyes and hold their breath for the entire time inside the boundary.  Once you run out of air, you must exit the boundary.
  3. Teammates can give direction from outside the boundary, but cannot otherwise assist the participant who is doing the construction.
  4. Once the bridge is complete, the team will roll the ball from one side to the other.
  5. Be sure to completely dismantle the structure before moving on to your next activity.

Hint:
Plan ahead and remember that the more you hold your breath, the more difficult it becomes to complete this problem-solving activity.  Be sure that team members take turns!

Debrief:
What went well?
What could have been improved?
Who stepped up as a leader? What was it about their leadership style that made you want to follow that person?
How is “The Airlock” activity like working within your organization?
What can we take away from this activity about how to more effectively run projects and communicate with one another?

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Minefield

Time Frame: 25 minutes to complete the challenge

Introduction and Guidelines
Working in teams of two, a sighted partner will describe to their blindfolded partner how to safely traverse an area that is littered with obstacles.

Rules:

  1. Divide your group into pairs – one partner wears the blindfold, and the other partner tells him/her how to accomplish the task.
  2. Two blindfolded partners will begin at opposite ends of the minefield (long ends), attempting to cross one another without contact, and continuing to the opposite side of the perimeter.
  3. The sighted partner will communicate to the blindfolded partner how to traverse – however, they can only use verbal commands, and cannot use English (or any other commonly recognized language).  The partners must come up with a new, unique language.
  4. The consequence for touching an obstacle is “losing a limb” – either an arm or a leg becomes immobile.  If you lose all four limbs, you are frozen.
  5. Frozen team members can only be un-frozen when another teammate enters the obstacle course and steps on the rubber chicken.

Hint:
Communication can be any sound that is useful, other than words in English or another common language.  Think of ways to communicate any type of movement – forward, reverse, left, right, long step, short step, etc.  Keep in mind that there will be other teams working at the same time as yours, so things might get a little loud!

Please note:  If a participant has difficulty maintaining his/her balance when wearing the blindfold, the sighted partner can help stabilize the partner from outside the circle – leaning in and giving a hand.

Debrief:
What went well?
What could have been improved?
What were some of the challenges with trying to communicate with your partner and within your group?
For effective communication to take place, what was required of the partners and the team?
How is “The Minefield” activity like working within your organization?
What can we take away from this activity about how to more effectively run projects and communicate with one another?

Beach Ball Bop

Here’s a fun Energizer activity that anyone can try .

Beach Ball Bop gets participants moving around, working together, planning, communicating and adapting all in one fun and fast-paced game!

What You’ll Need:

  • a flat, grassy area, big enough for the members of your group to move around.  Size of space is dependent on the size of your group.
  • an inflated beach ball.

Setup:

  • Have everyone stand in a circle and introduce the rules of the game.
  • After the game begins, participants can move about to work their plan.

Rules:

  • Everyone in the group must participate.
  • The group is trying to tap the beach ball as many consecutive times as possible without dropping the ball.
  • No “double taps” – each person can only tap the ball one time before someone else hits the ball.
  • The ball must stay above the waist.
  • The ball must remain in motion.
  • If the ball hits the ground, you must start over.

I use this fun activity as a warm-up before getting into more intense problem-solving and communication-focused team building initiatives. Beach Ball Bop introduces components of good teamwork, while remaining fairly relaxed and requiring little trust from the members of the group.

The ColourBlind Activity

Here’s a great team challenge for illustrating the need for effective leadership, good planning, and a little patience.

ColourBlind

  • Have the group sit down and put on blindfolds.
  • Explain the objective and rules of the activity – answer any questions.
  • pass out items – I use 5 sets of 5 wooden toys, with 3 or 4 of them missing.ColourBlind - a Teamwork Exercise
  • Ask the group to pass each toy around the circle until every toy is handed out, and everyone has at least one toy.
  • Remind the team that their goal is to identify each set of toys, how many toys are in each set, and which toys are missing from the sets.
  • Chaos!
  • Let the team go on without making a plan for a few minutes – experience the frustration and the confusion of not having a leader or a plan.
  • If the team does not redirect their efforts towards selecting a leader and a plan, then give them a little prompt.
  • Watch as things begin to fall into place, and the team begins to work together.
  • Debrief – “What happened?” “Describe the process” “How is this like life?” etc.

For many groups, this activity erupts into a lengthy discussion about the challenges of working together, the need for strong leadership, and more.

Very powerful tool!

Here’s a picture from a recent ropes course program

First Rule of Mountain Biking Mastery

After teaching mountain biking skills for the past 12 years, I’ve come to realize that every skill I teach stems from one underlying principle. Without this one key ingredient, very little can be achieved.

So, if you are getting ready to try mountain biking for the first time, here is my first rule of mountain biking mastery.

Number One Rule – Ride with Confidence

Whether you call it being cautious, nervous or afraid, the hesitation that inevitably follows can give new (and experienced) mountain bikers trouble. The first and last thing I tell new students when they get ready to hit the trails is the importance of being confident. Mountain biking is extremely dynamic. Tight turns, hill climbs, steep descents, rocks and logs – the varied terrain of a typical single-track course means you need to be ready for anything. Split second decisions followed by immediate action/reaction makes the difference between a good day and a bad day on the trail. Get it in your head that you are “a gnarly MTB ninja, who knows all and fears nothing.” Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter – if you believe it, you can become it – and at the very least you will ride with confidence.

Benefits of Riding with Confidence:

  • When you are confident, you remove the trepidation that can cloud judgment. You anticipate the obstacle that is just around the bend, and you act/react more quickly.
  • Confidence frees us up to ride faster, which makes the rocks less bumpy, creating a more comfortable riding experience.
  • Confidence makes us more likely to try new things, overcome bigger obstacles, and ultimately improve our riding skill.
  • Confidence makes mountain biking more fun!

If you ride with confidence, you WILL BE a better rider.

Remember – “You are a gnarly MTB ninja, who knows all and fears nothing!”

See you on the trail.

PDFs

Basic Itineraries What to Wear Liability Waivers, etc.

Here you will find a variety of downloadable forms to help you prepare for your teambuilding or adventure instruction program. Please feel free to contact us with questions, or if you are having trouble with your downloads.
Thanks again, and we look forward to working with your group!

Downloadable Forms (PDFs):

GO-NEXTeams Waiver

What to Bring – Team Building

What to Bring – Adventure Instruction

Teambuilding Forms

Adventure Challenge Sample Itinerary

Portable Team Challenge Sample Itinerary

ROPES Challenge Sample Itinerary

Team Project Event Sample Itinerary

RACE Day Sample Itinerary

NEXTeams Team Development Sample Itinerary

Adventure Instruction Forms

Introduction to Caving Sample Itinerary

Introduction to Mountain Biking Sample Itinerary

Introduction to Rock Climbing Sample Itinerary

Introduction to Wilderness Skills Sample Itinerary

GO-Adventures Team Building and Adventure Instruction

We have gone through each of our team building options and tried to focus on and fine-tune the activities and programs that are most beneficial to our clients. We want to make sure that we are giving you the highest return on your investment as well as giving you a program that will fit your goals and your budget. Here are a few of the highlights:

The Adventure Team Challenge was created for teams whose goals are recreational team building with a small budget. The program works best with teams who already work well together or who are just coming together for the first time. If you are adding a few staff and you want to achieve instant buy-in without the need for deeper team development, then the Adventure Team Challenge is a great fit. Getting ready to begin a new school year, and want an energizer? The Adventure Team Challenge is the team building option that will fit the bill.

PORTABLEteamchallenge

The PORTABLE Team Challenge brings the team building to your location or to a park or retreat center near you. The Portable Team Challenge is a facilitated team building experience – our expert facilitators will sequence activities that are not only fun and challenging, but relevant to your goals, needs and group dynamics. Following most activities, your facilitator will lead the team in a debrief that relates the lessons learned in the activity back to the ‘real world’ of work dynamics and interpersonal relationships.

ROPESchallenge

The ROPES Challenge combines the facilitated team building of the Portable Team Challenge (getting-to-know-you activities, problem-solving initiatives and trust-building exercises) with the individual challenge of the high elements (challenging climbing, traversing or leaping activities that take place up to 40 feet in the air) to create a uniquely powerful team building experience. The accomplishment of the high element portion of the day is often the most memorable and individually satisfying component.

NEXTeamsdevelopment

The NEXTeams Process begins where traditional team building programs end. Designed for teams whose goal is to get to the root of organizational dysfunction and build a foundation of trust that will foster commitment, innovation and higher performance, the NEXTeams Process bridges the gap between team building and ‘teams working’. NEXTeams is “The NEXT Step” in team development. Check out our other professional facilitation services at The NEXTeams Companies website: www.nexteams.com.

Learn more about our different Team Building options…

ROPES Course Fun with 7-Eleven

I facilitated a team building ropes course with a group of distributors from 7-Eleven yesterday, and the program was great fun. I never tire of seeing people bonding over a shared experiential training program. Building cohesion, fostering trust, and simply getting to know one another in a novel environment can be so rewarding – sure beats meeting for drinks after work! (although that always seems to be the follow-up event – go figure!)

Here is a short video of a few of the activities – enjoy!

Learn more about our ROPES Challenge team builder.