How To Succeed In Your Work Retreat Ice Breaker Games At Lake Manuwaka

Welcome to your mandatory work-sponsored bonding weekend here at beautiful lake Manuwaka—it’s going to be lots of fun!!


Hello and welcome to your mandatory work-sponsored bonding weekend here at beautiful lake Manuwaka! Between deeply intimate two-person kayaking trips with a co-worker you’ve never spoken to and completely sober camp-fire sing-alongs, one thing is for sure: we’re going to have a lot of fun together.

Before we dive into our fun-packed rigid weekend itinerary –complete with SEVERAL trust-building exercises and virtually hundreds of opportunities to see the entire accounting team awkwardly wade into GORGEOUS lake Manuwaka in their saggy one-piece bathing suits—we’re going to start out with some fun, high energy ice breaker activities. So, leave your unmarked backpacks full of your business casual attire and valuables in that pile by the shore and come join us in the circle!


Two Truths and a Lie

For this light-hearted ice breaker you’re going to need to share two truths and one lie with the 40 people you work with every single day. Try to make these fun facts like “my favorite animal is a koala” or “I love my job AND this really fun weekend at lake Manuwaka” and not passive-aggressive overshares like “I’m the one who’s been stealing your lunch, Kathy” or “I hate every single one of you and have been looking for other employment opportunities during work hours so HA!”


Movie Pitch

On the count of three, get into groups of 5 for this next game. Remember: if you’re the odd one out, it’ll only get more uncomfortable from here –where you’ll be forced to join the group of activity leaders and staff—so find your team as quickly as possible! In this ice breaker, your team will create a movie pitch for an imaginary film you’d like to make. Think about something silly like “this film is like if The Avengers met My Little Pony” and not “this film is like if Office Space met The Shining but –surprise—it’s just what every day with you people feels like!” You won’t get extra points for being meta or making Kathy from Human Resources cry. The winner will receive a mostly-crumbled Nature Valley snack bar and the loser will spend the rest of the weekend feeling alienated and lost.


Speed “Dating” 

Now that that’s over and someone got Kathy a Kleenex, it’s time for speed “dating”! Form two lines facing each other and, every time you hear the unnecessarily loud bell sound, rotate to face a new partner. The idea is to have 5 different 5-minute conversations where you get to know the people who’ve been manipulating the AC, and stealing your parking space, for the past 4 years. When you find yourself face-to-face with Jen from Communications who you hooked up with at the Christmas party in the handicapped bathroom, try to keep the interaction up-beat and appropriate! A good way to do this is to ask questions like “remember how in the two truths and a lie ice breaker I said koalas were my favorite animal? Aren’t they so CUTE?” and not “why didn’t you respond to my voicemail? I thought you were supposed to be good at communications”


No Smiling

The trick to this ice breaker game is to have 2-minute conversations with your co-workers without cracking a smile. This is meant to be a challenge, and not something you practice every day at the office. While Kathy makes animal sound effects and waves her hands in your face in an attempt to get you to burst out laughing, try not to think about how you could be doing literally anything else this weekend and, in many ways, have become exactly like the 9-5 worker drones you once mocked in college. Once you’re sufficiently pissed off, yell something derogatory at Kathy and storm off to the shore to kick rocks and collect your thoughts. Isn’t the view INCREDIBLE?


Now that we’ve all gotten to know each other, come on over to the mess hall for hot dogs and chips. Try not to push anyone as you make a beeline for the BBQ potato chips: we’ve only put out three bags of them, because we know they’re everyone’s favorite!

So, put your phone in the communal phone-lock-box, grab a hotdog, and enjoy this technology free, mandatory, work bonding weekend here at Lake Manuwaka! You’ll wish it could be a week longer!