Lancashire Force Chaplain Leads Outdoors Team Building Day

On Monday, 5th June, I attended a team building day led by the Force Chaplain Steve Cowles.  Gingerly, I met the team at a car park just outside Waddecar, the scout camp in Goosnargh.  Tucked away in my rucksack were a couple of bottles of water, my lunch to be cooked and a waterproof jacket ready for the British weather.  Steve met us and when everyone had arrived, we made our way along a path through the Scout Camp and into some private woods. which would be our base for the day in the wilderness, as I wondered what the day may involve, but the reason for being here was very clear. campfire gc42f5671d 1280

Police Officers and Staff are no stranger to the stresses and challenges of the job. Long hours, high-pressure situations, and the weight of responsibility can all take a toll on our mental health. That's why it's important to take time to recharge and build resilience, and one way to do that is through team building days in the wilderness.

Building shelters, starting fires, and cooking food may seem like simple activities, but they can have a profound impact on your mental health. Here are just a few of the benefits of team building days in the wilderness:

  1. Stress relief: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve mood. When you're out in the wilderness, surrounded by trees and fresh air, it's easier to let go of the stresses of everyday life and focus on the present moment.
  2. Improved communication: Team building activities require communication and collaboration, which can help improve relationships and build trust among team members. When you're working together to build a shelter or start a fire, you learn to rely on each other and communicate effectively to achieve a common goal.
  3. Increased resilience: Building shelters, starting fires, and cooking food in the wilderness require problem-solving skills and adaptability. When you're faced with unexpected challenges, you learn to think creatively and find solutions, which can help build resilience and improve your ability to handle stress and adversity.
  4. Enhanced creativity: Being in nature can stimulate creativity and help you think outside the box. When you're away from the distractions of technology and urban life, you may find that your mind is more open to new ideas and perspectives.
  5. Improved physical health: Team building activities in the wilderness often involve physical activity, such as hiking or carrying supplies. This can help improve your physical health and fitness, which in turn can have a positive impact on your mental health.

In addition to these benefits, team building days in the wilderness can also be a lot of fun and I can honestly say that I really got a lot out of the day as did the team!  Today provided an opportunity to get away from the office and spend time with colleagues in a relaxed, informal setting.  No spoilers being given here regarding what to expect other than a great day in nature learning new skills.

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So, if you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider organising a team building day in the wilderness. Building shelters, starting fires, and cooking food may not be part of your job description, but they can be a valuable tool for improving your mental health and building resilience.  Steve really sees the value that this day has brought to hundreds of police officers and staff, and continues to run these in his own time and at his own expense.  I was very impressed with the set up and everyone that came along thoroughly enjoyed it. 

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