Canoeing treasure hunt on Windermere

Paddling on Lake Windermere

09 Jun Canoeing treasure hunt on Windermere

Sunshine, paddling and team spirit on one of the most glorious days we’ve had this spring so far. This is what our corporate client’s group enjoyed last week as they spent an afternoon of teambuilding with us on Lake Windermere.

The Client Brief

Our client within the medical industry have worked with us for three years. Each summer they hold a teambuilding event, which brings their sales teams from across England together. They liked the idea of something active, on the water and involving team challenges. From our proposal of a few options, the client decided on a canoeing treasure hunt in the Lake District.

The Day

Four hours of competitive treasure-hunting ensued for our fourteen delegates on Thursday 2 June 2016.

Far from their usual day in the sales office, the outdoor activities began from their hotel – the Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa in Bowness-on-Windermere. Here they were picked up by canoe from the hotel’s private jetty.

Canoe convoyRoss tying up the canoes at Macdonald Old England

Following an event and safety briefing from our instructors, the energetic group were kitted out with buoyancy aids before splitting into two opposing teams. Where water and competitive nature are involved, team bonding and banter are never far away!

After enjoying a picnic lunch on an island the treasure hunt contest began.

Each merry crew followed a series of photographic clues to navigate around an ambitious course which saw them identifying the lake side homes of celebrities, locating sailing boats on swinging moorings and other cryptic puzzles.

Paddling on Lake WindermerePicnic lunch after canoeing on Lake WindermereTeams ready to paddle

One of the troupes branded themselves with team tattoos that started with smiley faces but as the day went on bodies and appendages of abnormal proportions were added to the designs!

Along the circular lake route, the teams competed in a series of physical challenges. These included races, navigation, multiple paddle strokes and gunwale bobbing.

Gunnel bobbing competitionCompeting to stand on a canoe

What in the blue blazes is gunwale bobbing we hear you ask. It is a test of collaborative agility, where the paddlers of a canoe both balance on the gunwales (or rails) that run around the side of the canoe. The aim of the challenge is to use teamwork to stand up together without falling into the water.

The groups demonstrated great balance but inevitably several people ended up in the lake – including the instructors!

Announcing the winners of the treasure hunt

The day ended with us announcing the winners. Although not universally popular (roughly 50% of the group or one whole team questioned the validity of the scoring method) a bottle of bubbly was awarded to the victors and they all enjoyed a well-deserved cold drink on the lawn.

Sunset over Lake Windermere

A glorious sunset over the lake captured by the day’s event managers Tim and Ross after putting away the kit.


Fancy putting your team through their paces on a similar teambuilding activity? Get in touch with us to discuss your ideas 🙂

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