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photo credit: Tyler Boye Photography


Gates notes that inside the museum her staff is able to work with organizations to create a scavenger hunt type pro- gram where they can split into teams who then work together to find specific cars or items such as designated hood ornaments. “It’s a fun way to build teamwork and explore the museum at the same time.”


Advice in Planning for Team Building - Karen Mandel, Normandy Farm


“The first and most critical questions that our planners ask our clients are: What type of experience do you want? What is your budget? How many participants? With this information, we can guide them to the very best experience possible. For example, if a client says that they just want their team of 20 to let loose and have fun, our on-site axe throwing activity could be perfect. On the same note, maybe another client also has a team of 20, but they desire a more formal and structured evening event. We may suggest a guided wine dinner in one of our private dining rooms. As the numbers grow, so do the other options, specifically murder mystery din- ners, which can work for groups of 40 to 200, or customized game show- style activities for groups of up to 100. It’s all about the customer and the experience that they are trying to provide for their team.”


Another program the AACA Museum can offer is through a partnership with The United States Hot Air Balloon Team. “We are a launch site location for hot air ballooning over Hershey,” declares Gates. “This is a relatively new program that we launched last year... Part of the experience is working together to unpack and inflate the balloon, then enjoy the launch and flight followed by landing then re-packing everything. You get the experience of ‘crewing’ the bal- loon under the direction of the pilot and the United States Hot Air Balloon crew.”


Each summer, the museum also runs a Model T Driving program where they teach people how to drive a Model T automobile, and then put them behind the wheel to drive one of the museum’s Model T cars. “We also started ‘Behind the Scenes’ tours of our collection stor- age facilities last year that we hope to continue and expand,” says Gates.


According to Karen Mandel, senior business development manager at Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center in Blue Bell, PA, the average duration of a client retreat lasts between 2 and 3 days. During this time there are a variety of structured and unstructured activities arranged for them, depending on their agenda.


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“Typically, there is a daytime schedule of meetings and breakout sessions, and by the time the late afternoon rolls around, attendees are suffering from ‘meeting fatigue’ and team building activities are by far the best energizer,” explains Mandel. “It is quite possible that they have been passive listeners during the day and are ready for some friendly competition with their man- agers as well as their colleagues. Team building levels the playing field and


5­ 8 March­z April­2019


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