ConventionSouth

FEB 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Home Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase State Parks Teambuilding Has No Limits at Low-Ropes Challenges In Kentucky "We offer teambuilding programs at most of our 17 resort parks, as well as John James (JJ) Audubon, EP "Tom" Sawyer State Park and Big Bone Lick State Park," said Julie McDonald, park naturalist at JJ Audubon in Henderson, Ky. As a teambuilding activity, JJ Audubon State By Terah Shelton-Harris It can be said teamwork is the key to an organization's success. The more time team members spend together, the more likely they are to form into a productive group anchored with great morale and motivation. And one of the ways of doing this is through teambuilding activities aimed at improv- ing communication and collaboration skills between groups of people working together. For meeting planners charged with the goal of coordinating teambuild- ing activities, look no further than your local state park. Most state parks offer teambuilding activities and can also assist in organizing programs as well as meeting space and accommodations. Park offers low-ropes challenge course and other teambuilding activities to groups from ages 11 to adults with 10-48 individuals partici- pating. "Our course elements encourage group problem solving, conflict resolution, self-esteem building, positive leadership qualities and active communication," McDonald said. Currently, JJ Audubon is the only park in Kentucky with a low ropes course located on site. Full-day and half-day programs are available. High Elements & Portable Low-Ropes In Georgia In Georgia, both Amicalola Falls and Unicoi State Parks are great destinations for teambuilding exercises because groups never have to leave the parks, says Kim Hatcher, public affairs coordinator for Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Ga., offers a ropes course with high elements, allowing those within the group to work on self confidence. Unicoi State Park in Helen, Ga., has low-ropes elements that are portable so groups can move inside during bad weather. "With ropes course initiatives such as Spider Web and Mohawk Walk, groups can work on communications and teamwork and leave with a sense of accomplishment and adventure," Hatcher said. Both parks not only offer the programs but also lodges with conference rooms, catering and restaurants. Recreational Activities Abound In Arkansas While Arkansas' parks have ample recreation opportunities, none are set up specifically for teambuilding activities, according to Kathy Ritter, director of sales for DeGray Resort Lodge in Bismark, Ark., who says the park of- fers camping, hiking, a beach and boat rentals, horseback riding and golf— all of which provide groups with opportunities to network and bond. And, she said, there are several options nearby and groups are welcomed to bring in their own team building programs. "Camp Winnamocka near Arkadelphia currently offers a ropes course and since they have kids' 14 ConventionSouth FEBRUA RY 2012 To reach goals in 2012, build teams that are motivated & able to work together!

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