On June 10th, 2016, the SageTea organization set out on a cottage retreat hosted by the CEO David Long. As a CO-OP student spending the next four months working for SageTea, the idea of spending a work-day relaxing at a cottage excited me. Not only was it my first experience of a company focusing on enhancing team bonding and communication, but it was also an opportunity to put my fishing skills on display for the entire company to see.
The cottage was approximately a two-hour drive for the other CO-OP students and myself as we decided to carpool. However, this drive did not feel like two hours. Between the constant jokes, the awful karaoke and getting lost (entirely my fault), this road trip felt like minutes and by the end of it I was willing to take a bullet for the other guys in the car with me. Approximately two hours after departing, we finally arrived, ready for a relaxing day on the lake.
After settling in, our initial thoughts were confirmed, this cottage was awesome. No mosquitos in sight, a quiet lake, and food to feed a small village, it’s no surprise that everybody was in fantastic spirits. I quickly familiarized myself with a soccer ball and begun playing games of keep-up with anyone who was within five feet, and as I looked around I could see the rest of the company engaged in a variety of activities. Boat rides were happening at a constant rate for anyone who wanted to see that lake and enjoy the ride, individuals soaking up the sun and others already beginning to break out the fishing rods hoping to add to the already mass amounts of food (and before I proclaimed my fishing dominance). This atmosphere continued as the day progressed, the children were all preoccupied with fishing (or learning how to fish) while their parents and other staff had a beer around a table enjoying a spectacular barbecue.
Now that everybody was resting on a full stomach, it was decided that the fire pit should come to life. So as people were busy setting up what would soon be a fantastic flame, the rest of the team either continued to soak up the sun, fish, or join one of the two teams as we set up a volley ball game. Let me say something quickly about this volleyball game, you had to be willing to throw yourself into the lake in order to save the volleyball before you joined. On several occasion people had to reach out and grab each other as they were diving for the ball to try and save them from a quick swim. All in all, the volleyball match was tons of fun (maybe not for Joes car, who was the recipient of several spikes), and this matched the tone of the entire trip.
There was never a moment where I was wishing I was somewhere else, and by the end of it I came to realize what a great team there is at SageTea and how lucky I am to be a part of it. I would like to end this piece with a quick thank you to our CEO David Long for hosting a great and productive meeting, if only we had team building exercises every Friday am I right?