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Standing together as a team! | Bega Valley Region Community Engagement

First responder team members from NSW SES Bega Valley Units met at Fishpen in Merimbula on an absolute cracker of a morning for stand up paddleboarding (at least, standing up on the board was the ultimate goal!) and team building exercises.

After a busy time responding to flood call-outs in recent weeks, the team welcomed the still water and sparkling sunshine – it was the perfect setting for a rejuvenating morning of connection and calm.

The team was run through the basics of manoeuvring the paddleboard – where and how you place your body on the board being the key component! As our guide explained the route that the crew would be taking, there was casual speculation about who might be the first to plop into the water.

The participants picked up the techniques very quickly, and glided over the lake with confident paddle strokes, taking time to take in the beautiful surroundings.

Upon returning, there were big smiles, a few soggy bodies and lots of funny stories – from races across the lake, to a heroic SUP instructor diving into the depths to retrieve a members sunglasses.

But the fun didn’t stop there…. now it was time for the team building exercises!

The first team building game involved tossing a dog toy (yes, a dog toy!) around the circle. The team had to throw the toy in a certain pattern each time, without dropping it. Then, once that had been perfected, our instructor Ben added a stopwatch to the mix. Now, the team had to keep beating their own time and come up with strategies to quicken the pace. The team soon agreed that moving in and making the circle smaller, and before too long were into single digits.

The second activity saw the team joining hands to circulate a hoop without breaking the chain. This saw a lot of laughs and a whole lot of awkwardness as people clambered to squish their bodies through the hoop and transfer it to the next person. And then – just to amp up the awkwardness even more – Ben added a second hoop to the mix – hilarious!

Our final team-building activity “traffic jam” (which the Fortem team joined in for) required a whole lot of brainpower. We lined up next to cones, with a vacant cone in the middle. What followed was pretty much a Rubix cube with humans, as we attempted to figure out how to get half the team to switch places with the other half of the team, leaving the middle cone vacant.

We tried lots of different combinations and strategies, but didn’t seem to be getting anywhere… and it certainly didn’t help our egos when Ben informed us that school children had successfully completed the task!

After a few failed attempts we agreed unanimously that is was well and truly time for coffee! The group then took a short stroll to Mitchies Jetty where we found a beautiful, sunny picnic table and enjoyed coffees and sweet treats.

One of the participants later reflected that they would like to buy a stand-up paddleboard for themselves and make it a weekend activity when the weather is warm.

Thank you to Coastlife Adventures for helping to bond the local NSW SES Bega Valley team together. Thank you to Mitchies Espresso Bar for the well-earned treats!

Find a Wellbeing Activity in the Bega Valley region on our Wellbeing Activity Calendar.

Fortem activities are designed to support the mental fitness of our first responder families. Read more about Our Approach.
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