Fun for a Reason: Have a Junkyard Sports® Event
With a focus on shared fun and creatively working together to solve problems, Junkyard Sports® is an ideal team building experience. It is a safe space for participants; no one is pressured to perform and no one is being judged. It is also a totally unique form of competition through which we model:
The Junkyard Sports® Team Building Experience
- systems thinking
- participatory leadership
- and the ability of both individual and team to adapt to change
- First, people work together to figure out how to turn a bunch of junk (socks, pantyhose, paper, baskets, etc.) into the equipment for a team sport.
- Next, people play in teams in competitions against other teams. They get to compete in the games they created and the games that another team created for them.
- Finally, people watch the Instant Replay, discuss their experience, eat junk food and give each other awards.
The Learning Points
In the process of designing and playing new sports, almost every aspect of team life is touched upon. Assumptions, worries and team barriers surface and be seen in a more clear, understanding and playful light. Here are a few examples:
- Change - Teams that are stressed do not like change, even when change is beneficial or relatively minor. Junkyard Sports are constantly changing, adapting, redefining themselves. Participants experience their resistance or willingness to meet change in a non-threatening and playful environment.
- Commitment - Teams that are newly formed or changing in composition can remind each other about when they work best as a team and what they think teamwork should be. The experience allows insight into different types of teamwork, and the difference between being a team member in a cooperative activity and a team member in the "real world" of competition.
- Energy - Teams can get "burned out" and when they do, it can get almost impossible to motivate them to do anything. Talking about the uplift in energy they experienced during the event helps not only raise awareness of how exhausted they've become, but also helps them become more aware of how easily they can help each other restore that energy to the team.
- Inclusion - Teams that are having difficulty overcoming differences of gender, ethnicity or work position can focus on what people did to include them and others in each phase of the experience and what they did. This can lead to a better understanding on how they could be more inclusive at work and what they would need to feel included.
- Recognition - Teams with wide pay discrepancies often need to pay more attention to how they award themselves and each other. A discussion about the awards can easily lead people to talking about what they need to be awarded for, how they award others, what kind of recognition is meaningful.
The debriefing process takes place while people are munching and watching the Instant Replay, creating just about the ideal environment for them to reflect on what they saw and did and learned.
- Since we use a camcorder as standard equipment, we have a record of the Junkyard Sports® experience that can be used as a reminder, reference point and guideline for creating their own Junkyard Sports® experience.
- With a Technographer, computer and data projector, participants can also leave with a Power Point presentation of their key discoveries. And first-hand exposure to a technique for effective teamwork, of great value to virtual teams, whether they meet place-to-place or face-to-face.
- Debriefing is optional and fun. It can take place almost anywhere it is easy for people to eat and watch TV together. Indoors or out.
Junkyard Sports® Team Building Pricing
Your basic package for 12-25 people
- Includes 2-3 hours of your essential Junkmaster (Bernie) and one assistant,
- Two Portable Instant Junkyards
- Use of a camcorder.
- Cost - $2500 plus expenses
- A TV monitor big enough for all to see
- A place big enough for us all to play in. If you don't have the space, we'll get it for you for and add this to the cost.
Note - the experience can be tailored to your specific situation. For example, industry-specific junk can also be included (specific to the industry that the team works for).
For every additional group of players (about 25) add
- $750 per media set-up (an additional digital camcorder, video projector for indoors or large monitor for outdoors
- $500 for additional junkmaster
The Junk Food Buffet Game
Though part of every Junkyard Sports® event, the Junk Food Buffet Game is a team building activity in its own right. People not only eat junk food, but work together to create new junk food combinations. As you can imagine, it can be as exotic or organic or junky as budget and taste allows. For a truly junky Junk Food Buffet, how about 20 extra large family-size jumbo bags, each with a different kind of potato chip, and 30 different 2-litre bottles of beer? ($15 per person). Or trail mixes and soy milks. ($25 per) Or caviars and champagnes. ($150 per)
Videoconferencing of the event (see technography). A Technographer (person managing the video conferencing facility) is $1500 plus expenses. Computer and projector rental $750
More About Space
Though Junkyard Sports® can be played in almost any environment, there are a few things you might want to look for:
Large, open, carpeted area - large enough for everyone to play two different sports, simultaneously. For 25 people, a 40x40 open space is ample. On the other hand, we can use the hallways. as long as there's enough room to play two sports, simultaneously.
Generally, any place where the team can play, undisturbed, for three hours. The" undisturbed" part means some kind of space that can be made private, and that you can yell in:
- roof tops