For 47 team leaders at SCM's Cornwall operation, it was a chance to get to know the city a little bit better - and help some kids out at the same time.
Team leaders left the Cornwall distribution centre and piled into a fleet of taxis with no clear idea what the afternoon held in store for them - until they were briefed by event organizer Veronique Slykhuis at a central gathering spot - restaurant Eight Zero Zero. They were organized into 11 teams, each team was provided an iPad with instructions and then they were off on the race to visit three Cornwall landmarks, complete challenges and quizzes and get back to the restaurant in the shortest possible time.
"Each year we do something to express our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our team leaders," said Slykhuis. "The emphasis today is on fun and is designed to build on their strengths - working as a team."
The teams visited three separate locations in Cornwall. At the Cornwall Jail, they had to work as a team to unlock shackles, at the St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre they had to transport marbles using an open-ended tube, and at Corus Entertainment's waterfront offices, they had to build a bicycle. All events were timed and judged. In addition the team received a tour and had to complete a quiz at each facility.
At the end of day, the 18 brand new bicycles assembled by the teams will be donated to the Children's Aid Society of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry.
"Today is an opportunity for us to give back to the community, which is something that is very important to us," says Slykhuis.
To help organize the event, Slykhuis turned to the experts at Team Building Ottawa, as well as Linda Wilson from Cornwall and the Counties Tourism for local knowledge.
"Linda helped us to pick the locations," said Slykhuis. "One clear benefit from today is that each person will know Cornwall a lot better."
Sylkhuis was also very appreciative of the reception she received from each organization.
"People at OPG, Corus and the jail have been incredibly welcoming and gracious," she says. "They have extended office hours to accommodate us and have been simply amazing to work with."
As the team leaders returned from their challenges, and the bicycles arrived, officials from the Children's Aid Society were there to greet them.
"We're very touched by this gracious and generous donation from SCM," said Kimly Thivierge, public relations manager at the Children's Aid Society. "There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on a child's face."
One beaming smile belonged to seven-year-old Bart Langlois, who was to be a recipient of a new bicycle - his very first.
"I will enjoy this every day," he exclaimed.