As a globally distributed team across 10 time zones, we look forward to our annual team retreat each year. Usually, we meet up in-person, but this year we got creative and went on adventures in our very own backyards!
While this year’s retreat looked a little different than normal, we were determined to make connections and share stories during our one-of-a-kind adventure.
Behind the Scenes at the MySwimPro Team Adventure
The first ever MySwimPro Virtual Adventure was packed with fun activities. To kick things off, we hooked up each of our team members with some epic camping gear! This included a tent, sleeping bag, hammock, snacks and a few extra surprises to keep everyone safe and entertained.
The week began with a keynote from CEO Fares Ksebati. He presented a strategic overview of the company and our upcoming goals, while CTO Adam Oxner and VP of Marketing Paige Walters shared updates on their team’s latest projects.
Later in the day, we shared personal stories, ate s’mores and had a visit from a llama!
We also had a talent show, and our team didn’t disappoint! We had lots of musicians, artists and even a solid turtle impersonation!
Each day, team members participated in Slack challenges, sharing their favorite camping snack, something fun at their campsite, a game or unboxing their favorite piece of gear.
Consulting Project & Independent Study
But this adventure wasn’t all fun and games. Each team member was paired with two others for an internal consulting project, which allowed them to share insight on their day-to-day workflow and provide suggestions or feedback to their partners to help move the company forward. This exercise gave our team an opportunity to connect with people they may not usually work with and gain a deeper understanding of company operations and strategy.
Each team member also completed an independent study, reflecting on their key impacts on the company, and identifying areas for long term improvement both individually and for the company as a whole.
On the final day of the adventure, each team member presented their findings for the consulting project and independent study.
We concluded the adventure with a team dryland workout and a gratitude roundtable, reflecting on personal and professional achievements.
Reflecting on the 2020 Virtual Team Adventure
“It was a great way to get ourselves out of our comfort zone, and try some new stuff!”Lorenza Padilla, Digital Content Producer, Guadalajara, Mexico
“The MySwimPro 2020 Virtual Retreat was LEGIT! Spending the week doing new things and virtually camping with everyone on the team was a great way to take a step back and reflect on the mission of MySwimPro. I’m ready to swim back in and help members achieve their Gold Medal Moments!”Charlie Brown, Community Champion, Elgin, Texas, USA
“It was great to spend time connecting with the team in new ways. I had a blast learning about each team member’s special talents (we’re a musical bunch!) and escaping to my at-home campsite! We definitely made the most of this year’s virtual adventure.”Taylor Holmes, Global Marketing Manager, Tempe, Arizona, USA
“It was a nice experience to step out from the day-to-day routine, see the bigger picture of the company, learn more about the product team and especially about myself, my role and my impact on the company itself.”Carol Caldas, Video Editor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
“It was pretty cool. I drove 100 km to find a cool place to set up my campsite and I got out of my comfort zone which is great. Had nice talks with Lorenza and Mike, something different than my usual routine. We found a lot of new talents and now we know that we can make a musical band!”Max Bilan, Senior iOS Developer, Kharkiv, Ukraine
“It was great to step out of our comfort zones and do silly things with the team. It was a great way to bond – virtually! I think we all learned a little about each other through the exercises, and it was fun to be paired with other team members who you usually don’t talk to as much!”Adam Oxner, CTO & Co-Founder, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
“I never thought I’d be camping in my living room with co-workers from across the world. It was a memorable experience.”Mike Allon, Android Developer & Co-Founder, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
“We had so much fun setting up our tents and spending time outside our routine. We could slow down and reflect only to go faster in the challenging year ahead.”Cenk Arıöz, Backend Developer, Istanbul, Turkey
“Sometimes you need to mix things up and spend some time looking at the bigger picture. This adventure was a great chance to reflect on our progress, focus on our goals, and learn more about each other. I felt so refreshed and excited by the end of the week!”Paige Walters, VP of Marketing, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
2019 Team Retreat Highlights
Last year, our team came together in Mallorca, Spain for a week of team building, company planning and fun in a castle overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Check out the highlights!
As a 100% remote, globally distributed team, it’s important that we take time to connect with each other, try something new and break out of our usual routines. While 2020 hasn’t shaped up to be the year any of us expected, we made the most of this year’s virtual Team Adventure and had a blast!