A few weeks ago I went to a semi-annual corporate camp with my company. Every half a year we take off to some countryside to discuss the strategy and upcoming plans for the future. Our schedule is usually filled with long brain storms and presentations followed by nomikai (dinner party) and sports activities for the second day. However, this time it was entirely all about leisure and as much as I tried to resist it, I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed spending time with my co-workers.
Every time, we choose a new place for our camp so our destination for the summer 2010 gasshuku was Oshima island – 4 hour ferry trip away from Tokyo bay.
Oshima is the biggest out of Izu islands and is mostly famous for Tsubaki (Red Camellia flowers) and Mihara volcano. Our hotel “Tsubaki” was old but situated right in the middle of the island making it the perfect base camp for the treasure hunt game that our interns spent months planning.
We were all separated into 8 teams, 6 people in each – 1 navigator, 1 informer and 4 brains. Every team received a booklet with 30 quizzes and a map of the island. Whenever a brain member solves a quiz, navigator leads the team to the revealed location somewhere on the island and then an informer sends a tweet with a secret code inside each treasure to the control point where it is checked and rated (first team that solves the quiz and finds the treasure gets 10 points, second 5 and third 3 points. After that the quiz is closed.)
So, since I can’t read map and no way can I compete with an average Japanese girl in fast texting, I was left the role of a brain. I managed to solve the first quiz almost immediately and it triggered our entire operation. Instead of taking our time like other teams to solve at least couple of quizzes and create a plan for our moves, we dashed to the first treasure which was on the other side of the island. I had to keep solving other quizzes on the run almost the entire day.
We practically never stopped to just sit down and think. It was +35 outside and lots of hills. By the end of the day we couldn’t feel our legs but were so damn proud to have solved 8 quizzes ahead of other teams and 12 others in the second and third places. My team scored 470 points and took the first prize. I had never in my entire life used at the same time my brain and muscles this much. ^-^
Here is one of the quizzes I couldn’t manage to solve. If you happen to come up with an answer – you’re gonna be my personal hero!
89 ・77・62・40・35 = LOVE
68・62・44・35・30・16・12 = FRIEND
82・63・42・26・21・3 = ?
I tried to multiply 3×0 and 4×0 respectively in each sequence to get 0 and eliminate an extra number, making the amount of numbers equal to the amount of letters but that’s all I could come up with…
On the second day, we rented out a local school’s gym and played various スポーツ大会 games like jumping with the rope or running with our legs tied.
Each of the games of course came with an intellectual twist, like if you know the answer to the question you can join your team and move to the next round.
It’s amazing what you can do with a child’s game if you add a little meaning into it. I’m really amazed at the amount of work that was put into creating each activity.
On our way back, we took a ferry boat and had a little picnic on the deck, drinking beer and watching the sea. It was one of the best corporate camps I have ever had and it really made me look forward to its winter version. ^-^