1 ISR Sqn Virtual Team Building Event

In early June 1 ISR Sqn undertook three days of remote team building, utilising Defence Connect and Zoom conferencing to ensure that all activities were conducted in accordance with government guidelines and ensuring that all participation was carried out safely through a virtual environment.

Day one of the three-day event commenced with a telephone conference between personnel from the unit. This gave the Squadron leadership the opportunity to provide updates on both Squadron related matters and an update on all things COVID. Prior to the conference participants had been asked to submit questions, these were addressed by the execs at the end of the telecon.
Following the conference call, team building participants were required to conduct a virtual museum tour, then write an article comparing today’s military against what they discovered during their virtual museum tour. There were a wide variety of locations to visit, such as Fort Sumter, focussing on the American civil war, The Motherland Calls monument in Volgograd, commemorating those that fell at Stalingrad and numerous virtual walks along Hadrian’s wall, allowing participants to discover the differences between a Roman Commander’s stone wall and the physical and political border controls in use today.

For those not wishing to conduct a virtual museum tour the option of writing a COVID themed poem or short story was made available, to stimulate creativity and imagination. The first day ended with 1ISR Sqn personnel completing the MFR(F) Mental Fitness and Resilience Fundamentals DLE course, a course that appears especially relevant and useful in times of COVID.
Day Two commenced with a Wing wide conference call with approximately 250 participants, which mirrored the intention of the previous days telecon, but on a wing level scale. Again, questions had been submitted to Wing Execs prior to the conference which were duly answered at the end of the meeting.
All team building participants were then split into their respective teams to complete the day’s activities. Each team had six members and six tasks to complete. The first task was a photography competition, with individuals required to take photos of wildlife from the local area.

The second task of the day was a model making competition, focussing on ‘a moment from your history’, with participants concentrating on either a significant event that occurred in either their personal life or military career. It appears that we have some budding model makers within the section with some superb modelling efforts.

The third and fourth tasks were fitness based, with an at home static circuit or a 5km run to complete. Individuals were required to submit their times to the adjudicators via Defence Connect for final scoring and to check for absolute task compliance! The final two tasks were cooking based – ‘The Great 1 ISR Bake Off – Savoury and Sweet’ with both dishes focussing on a summer picnic theme. For penultimate task the participants took part in an orienteering challenge, looking for buildings/wildlife in the local area, to gain points for their respective teams.

The day culminated in a General knowledge quiz utilising video conferencing on Zoom.
The final morning required 1 ISR personnel to complete a 1 ISR T-Shirt design, with a view to the winning T-Shirt being created at a later date. Again, we saw some section individuals who perhaps could have made it in the fashion world, two of the most interesting designs are shown, maybe you will see the unit’s personnel rocking around RAF Waddington wearing these designs soon.

Overall, despite reservations (given that virtual team building is a new phenomenon, created by a pandemic) the three days were very positive, showing that communication and team building can be achieved successfully with all participants in different locations. It has certainly raised the proposal that future multi day team building events could involve at least one of the days being ‘virtual’. Virtual team building is more cost effective, inclusive and allows participation to take place in a more comfortable environment.