This week, I had the opportunity to participate in a fun team building event at the Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club in Seattle. Lawn bowling is a British game that is very similar to the Italian game of bocce. You throw a small white ball across the lawn, and then teams compete to roll a larger (and heavier) ball closest to the small ball. The main difference is that the balls for lawn bowling are weighted on one side, which gives you the ability to hook your shot in from the left or right.
As a company team building event, I though this worked out really nice. We arrived at Jefferson Park at around 2pm and gathered in the club house. At around 2:15PM, once our group arrived, our hosts for the day stood up and gave us an introduction on how to play the game. For the next two hours, we simply had fun a great time enjoying the sun, rolling balls across the ground, talking a little smack, and being together as a team.
Nobody took the game too seriously. At any given point a few people would be hanging out on the park benches enjoying a beverage when it was most likely their turn. The views of Seattle from the park was absolutely stunning and I think we were all just thrilled not to be working!
I would recommend Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling for groups with 16-24 people since you need 8 people for each match. There isn’t much physical exertion required so it is a good team building activity for all abilities and ages.
A few tips that I would bring up for group organizers who decide to book this event are:
- Bring plenty of food and beverages. They have a basic kitchen there if you need a freezer, fridge, or sink, but as for food you are on your own. Our group ran out of food and to order a couple of pizzas.
- Bring funny hats. They have a collection of interesting hats that can be borrowed, but you might want to suggest people bring their own since they’ll be out in the sun (hopefully) for a couple of hours.
- Pay attention to the introduction provided by the hosts. Half of our group was chatting while they explained the rules and didn’t know what to do once they said we could get started.
- Arrange for rides. Our office is in downtown Seattle, and this was a 15-minute car ride away. It is always a burden to ask employees to pay for parking and drive their own cars, so I would recommend just hiring a few Lyft drivers to take care of things. That also plays out better if you decide to include alcohol as part of your event.
Overall, I think lawn bowling and similar activities make for a great team building activity. They’re simple, inexpensive, and fun. The goal for this kind of event is just to get people together outside of the office as a way to foster better relationships. Our group left with a smile, it was a great afternoon out!