By Kelley Lane-Sivley, Redstone Rocket StaffAugust 13, 2009
People joining the Redstone work force hear a lot about team building. A group of interns from the AMCOM Security Assistance Management Directorate found a creative way to put the idea into action. They took team building to the beach.
Nine interns, including two from the Integrated Materiel Management Center, headed south June 19-24 to Destin, Fla. The idea was to have fun while building their relationships and getting to know one another.
"It was a beach getaway and a lot of fun," said Lisa Hale, an intern working as a foreign military sales case manager. "But every activity, every conversation centered around our jobs and our systems."
In order to maximize their time together, the interns did everything as a group. Every decision was made together, reinforcing valuable lessons from even the most mundane activities.
"The very first thing we did was to go grocery shopping," Shane Corbitt said. "It's tricky to shop for the needs and wants of each person. Even choosing whether to buy grape or strawberry jelly is more involved when you have a group."
The group took in local amusement parks, sightseeing and restaurants together. They also played games as a way to work together.
"Everything was team focused," Hale said. "When we played volleyball, our teams were named after the systems that we support."
In addition to problem solving and conflict resolution within the group dynamic, they learned how to reconcile budget concerns while meeting the goals and needs of the group.
"I walked away with a better understanding of who everyone is as a person and how that affects how they do their job," Hale said.
The trip let them get to know each other as individuals. They got a good look at the interests, strengths and personality of each member. It's a view that the day-to-day work environment doesn't offer.
"All you see at work is the office version of who they are," Joe Terrell said. "You don't see the whole person."
The idea for the trip stemmed from comments made to the interns by their mentors and supervisors.
"We've been told that one day these same interns will be in leadership roles," Cole Sautter said. "As we grow our careers with the Army, it will be great to have a relationship, to know that if you need to make contact with an office, you know exactly who to call."
Since their return, the interns feel closer to each other, personally and professionally.
"Already we're working together better," Hale said. "We're partnering on projects. We know who our go-to person is now."
Just because the trip had to end doesn't mean that the good that came out of it does. Corbitt said the group is planning to get together monthly for more team building trips, both local and out of town. They plan a cookout type event this month.
"We're trying to do local getaways or local trips," Corbitt said. "We're also looking to expand. We want to include interns from other organizations, too."