There’s No I in Team

 There’s No I in Team

Local companies offer plenty of opportunities for team building, no matter your goals or interestsErin Gardner Team building can be more than one for all and all for one—it can be competitive and unifying. With many new options available to workplaces, employees can put down the tug-of-war rope and pick up the laser tag gun. The featured activities are exciting and satisfying, can be collaborative and they’re local. Bettering Cincinnati’s communities outside the office is a team effort.

Cheers to Art

“Cheers to Art is fun art, not fine art!” says Julie Clayton, the event sales coordinator for Cheers to Art in Madeira. “Our bright and colorful studios are an awesome location to bring out that creative and fun side of any team!”

The company can accommodate up to 44 painters at the studio and up to 200 painters at any off-site location.

Cheers to Art incorporates team building by having the team decide together what to paint.

Flavors of the Queen City

Flavors of the Queen City offers tours where individuals can explore the flavors and influences of the city’s food scene.

In a tour, individuals visit six to seven restaurants, learn about Cincinnati’s history and its German influence and talk to chefs.

Flavors of the Queen City also promotes team building by using the kitchen through a partnership with FreeStore Food Bank/Cincinnati Cooks. Through the partnership, the company teaches cooking skills to community organizations with the promise that doing so can impart team leadership skills, says Mike Van Oflen, owner.

Flavors of the Queen City educates, motivates, teaches values and is supportive of those who participate.

“One of my favorite quotes that I use in our team-building sessions [is] ‘Working together, ordinary people can perform extraordinary feats,’” says Oflen. “Team building falls right in with this great quote. Participants from various organizations with the help of the FreeStore Food Bank sign up for a variety of cooking classes that they feel will enhance their employees skill set.”

Flavors of the Queen City has at least “two students from Cincinnati Cooks helping our team of chefs during our cooking classes. Our students all have a story to tell about failure, motivation and second chances. These stories will motivate our participants in the business community to develop skills that will help their employees to succeed,” says Oflen.

Matthew 25: Ministries

Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash inspires volunteers to work together toward a collective goal of helping people in need.

Matthew 25 is “ranked No. 61 on Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities. Matthew 25 distributes more than 15 million pounds of humanitarian aid and disaster relief each year to more than 60 local organizations and partners throughout the U.S. as well as dozens of countries around the world,” says Joodi Archer, the development and media director. “Matthew 25 rescues, recycles or repurposes products in multiple categories including personal care, medical, food, clothing, school and education, household and cleaning, sewing and micro-enterprise, and building.”

Community service is constantly needed, especially in times of natural and man-made disasters. “Matthew 25’s disaster preparedness staff is constantly monitoring disasters and humanitarian situations both domestically and internationally,” says Archer. 

Companies can volunteer as a group, giving employees the opportunity to work together while helping those in need.

Lazer Kraze

Lazer Kraze is no stranger to team-building exercises. Its founders have 40 years of experience that include working in the corporate workplace and managing large groups and multi-million-dollar projects, says Maggie Clevenger, manager.

Lazer Kraze offers entertaining and team-oriented activities that help individuals let their guard down and interact. “A variety of individual and team-oriented games requiring different levels of team participation and team skills make for great exercises to bring your team together,” says Clevenger. 

The private meeting rooms, catering options and the laser tag system allow Lazer Kraze to deliver unique game formats and customizable games for specific requested team building needs.

Potter’s Ranch

Potter’s Ranch is a Christian youth and family life retreat center and ministry that covers 640 acres in Union, Kentucky.

All of the ranch’s programs have a biblical foundation, which makes the wilderness retreat unique when compared to other commercial team-building programs, says Tony Vornberger, the ranch director of Potter’s Ranch.

The team building is a compilation of numerous features that is different for each group based on the age of the participants and what the group is hoping to achieve.

“There is always a warm-up activity [that] allows us to get a feel for the group and how they interact with each other,” says Vornberger. “Once this is established they usually go through about three or four elements. Cloud City, Whale Watch, Totem Pole Challenge, Ship Wreck, Wind Mill, Short Wall, Raging River, Spider Web, All Aboard and Trolley are all elements we use or have used in the past.”

Potter’s Ranch has scheduled groups as small as eight and as large as 48.

Cincinnati Escape Room

In an escape room, individuals work under a time limit to solve puzzles and “escape” the maze or situation.

“Our escape rooms help build confidence, increase familiarity and bond teammates over the course of the hour. There is no substitute for co-workers tackling a project together,” says Jeremy Schimmoeller, manager of the Cincinnati Escape Room in Cumminsville. “Going into one of our adventures gives them a safe environment where they can achieve success as a team.”

All the rooms are designed in-house with a goal to advance communication, cooperation and teamwork. The puzzles are not a one-person job— it’s all hands-on deck where “everyone in the group must be participating or [the] teams will not succeed,” says Schimmoeller.

Cincinnati Escape Room hopes to continue to foster fond memories.

“We never want to see frustrated or sad people. The point isn’t to have groups escape 100 percent of the time but we do want groups to have fun 100 percent of the time,” says Schimmoeller.