Day Trip 2 – Team building activities
This Monday day trip was all about team building activities. It was organised by the Norwegians students again. They divided us into eight different groups consisting of four to six members. I was in a group with Simon from Switzerland and three other Norwegians – Robin, Kristine and Sindre. We walked to “Jegersberg” once again. On half way we stopped for the first task we had to accomplish as a group: Build a stretcher and carry the biggest team member to a certain point on top of the mountain. We managed it well and became third in total. There was no time for slowly introducing yourself to the other guys, we had to start working together from the first second on. For me this was a well-chosen task for the beginning of a pretty fun day.
Five other tasks waited for us to be done:
- Building a fire and hard boiling an egg
- Collecting different natural objects in the area, one for each letter in the alphabet
- Building a tower out of stones including carrying the stones from start to finish line and back again as many times in ten minutes
- Learning a Norwegian children’s song and performing it at the end in front of the group (“Jeg gikk en tur på stien”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U50_8Y9dIX0)
- Memorising 40 random items in two minutes
During the tasks we had a great atmosphere within our team. We animated each other and the Norwegians were quite impressed by our fire building skills. We helped each other with the English words when it came to finding the natural objects as we just knew most of them in our mother tongue. Just as in the other games we encouraged ourselves by cheering and laughing all together. It worked out quite good and in the end we became 1st, which was another big factor for feeling comfortable within our group. We accomplished this goal of winning a little prize and becoming first as a collective and the other groups seemed to have a great time together too. One could recognise that all in all students were exhausted but happy about this trip.
But this trip also revealed who could work towards a common goal with people he or she hardly know and who couldn’t. As this was only our second trip together and the cohesion between the Internationals and the Norwegian students hasn’t deepened that much so far, some people still seemed unsecure and sort of cautious. Nevertheless, this trip has been clearly a big step towards a better group cohesion.
Referring to Tuckman’s 4-Stage group development model (1965) we are somewhere between the first stage, named as “Forming”, characterised by no internal structure and members mainly looking for their position within the group and the second stage “Storming”, where the initial leaders now are to prove that they can defend their positions. The other members try to establish their own position within the group as well.
Tuckman, B. (1965) Developmental sequence in small groups. under http://web.mit.edu/curhan/www/docs/Articles/15341_Readings/Group_Dynamics/Tuckman_1965_Developmental_sequence_in_small_groups.pdf (accessed on 23.01.2017)