Military Teambuilding Programs Encourage Workplace Camaraderie

Visit Oceanside’s Hero for a Day team building programs translate the Navy Seal’s “leave no man behind” mantra into a group philosophy that can be used back at the office. Inspired by Oceanside, California’s neighboring military communities, the two programs use elements of Navy Seal and US Marine Corps training to encourage communication, perseverance and teamwork.

The Navy Seal Bootcamp at the Beach program takes attendees through a rigorous obstacle course that starts off at North Harbor Beach in Oceanside. Active and retired Navy Seals will encourage participants to compete in teams as they make their way through wheel barrel races, log push-ups and races over cargo nets. The program is created to push attendees mentally and physically while encouraging them to work together. For instance, it’s really difficult to do a log push-up in the ocean without several people participating—hence the “leave no man behind” philosophy. Depending on the group, meeting planners can opt for the instructors to create a real-life boot-camp experience—drill sergeant orders and all—or they can opt for it to be a more laidback environment in which camaraderie is the ultimate goal.

“With most companies, we find that one of the biggest challenges is communication and learning how to work with others who may have different mindsets or personalities,” says Dana Higgins, senior sales manager for Visit Oceanside. “When you pull people out of the office environment, they interact differently with each other and they are encouraged to communicate more and work through problems together.”

The Rallye Camp Pendleton program exposes groups to the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base. This program is less fitness focused and more about getting a Marine-for-a-day experience. Attendees will work in teams and participate in Marine training exercises such as relay racing through the sand at Del Mar Beach Resort. Attendees will be required to wear  Marine equipment such as the heavy vests used at the onsite paintball park or the beer goggles required when golfing at the Marine Memorial Golf Course. Wearing the Marine gear makes the exercises more of a challenge that attendees can encourage each other to accomplish.

The team building programs also emphasize how each team member's participation—whether they are the CEO or intern—is important. “Everyone’s participation contributes equally,” says Higgins. “You’re only as successful as your group as a whole.”

Both team building programs are three hours long and can incorporate groups with a minimum of 10 attendees. The program organizers can customize the exercises for each group and will work with meeting planners to figure out an appropriate fitness level that will provide a safe and fun experience for the participants.