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All good leaders know that communication is key to the overall happiness and growth of a group. 

Unfortunately though, for many groups, communication (or lack thereof) is at the root of every issue, leading to big mistakes, painful conflicts, missed opportunities, and more. 

No matter what type of group you have the great responsibility of leading – a sports team, a business, a ministry, etc. – it pays to give your people a chance to develop their communication skills together. One way to do that is through a planned retreat. 

At Glorieta Adventure Camps, we offer fully-customizable, planned retreats (from August through May) to groups ranging in size from 20 all the way up to 3,000 participants.

With these intentional getaways, we help groups of every kind accomplish their own unique goals through a combination of activities, experiences, and top-notch accommodations, set against a backdrop of some of northern New Mexico’s best scenery. 

If your group could benefit from a refresher in communicating better, a planned retreat at Glorieta is definitely worth considering. Let’s take a quick look at some of the many activities we offer that can strengthen communication. 

Group Development: Shipwrecked 

Group development – often called “team building” – generally involves activities that boost communication by asking participants to work together to achieve a common goal. These dynamic games and puzzles require real teamwork, collaboration, troubleshooting, and of course, plenty of listening and talking, too. 

One great example of a group development activity we use at Glorieta is called Shipwrecked. 

  • With our Shipwrecked activity, a team is asked to climb onto a wooden platform suspended in the air. The goal is for the participants to strategically position themselves in order to balance the platform, while keeping it from touching the ground.
  • How does it strengthen communication? Immediately, the team feels off balance and recognizes the need to work together. This activity requires communication, teamwork, and commitment, and encourages each participant to do their part with patience.

Group Challenge: Via Ferrata 

Our campus is home to a variety of natural obstacles such as rocky boulders, rugged trails, and tall pines – many of which we’ve incorporated into activities that challenge the group as well as the individual. 

As you can imagine, communication is essential to each participant’s safety and success while navigating any of these challenging outdoor activities. Take the Via Ferrata, for example. 

  • An Italian term meaning “iron path” – the Via Ferrata is a climbing route built with a steel cable rail, metal steps, and wooden bridges fixed to a rock surface. Groups move through the route, step by step, while clipped with a harness onto the wire. Part scrambling and part rock climbing, the Via Ferrata allows non-expert climbers to reach new heights in a safe way.
  • How does it strengthen communication? When groups take on the Via Ferrata together, they find themselves encouraging and guiding one another to safety. It strengthens trust and brings a huge sense of accomplishment to the group once the course is completed. And it’s really fun!

Group Rest: The Un-Activity 

Surprise! One of the best activities is… no activity at all. It’s rest! And rest is something we don’t get enough of – as individuals or groups.

Often the thing that opens up communication the best is simply being still together, whether it’s over a delicious meal in our dining hall or circled around a campfire beneath the starry sky. With the distractions of daily life removed and cell phones switched to silent mode, it’s much easier to listen, share, and make meaningful connections within the group. 

Does it sound like your group could use a communication-strengthening experience? Reach out to our retreat experts at Glorieta Adventures Camps at retreats@glorieta.org