Fridays are always great, but this Friday was even better than usual. Our company decided to have a team building retreat, so instead of sitting down at my desk on Friday morning, I hopped onto a bus to head to 'Camp Taiwan'! (www.camptaiwan.com.tw ) The camp is located about an hour from the center of Taipei, in the mountains, and is run by an ex-pat from the US and his Canadian wife - both of whom speak Chinese - and the camp activities are all offered in Chinese & English. The camp reminded me SO much of the many camps that I attended when I was younger. It was most similar to Camp Dakani in Oklahoma City (which seems like a long shot since Oklahoma and Taiwan are so different...), it had a lot of the same ideas, or kinds of activities -including giant swings, zip line, archery, hiking- and it was just as fun :) There is something about the atmosphere of a camp that is so light-hearted and (at least in my experiences) you can just feel the camaraderie.
|[Left to Right: Emmy, Me, Queenie - About to tryout the zip line!]|
We also spent quite a bit of time playing ice breaker and team building games. It is really refreshing to see people out of the office, and just kicking back. Even though in many ways the camp seemed like a childhood memory, I also think it was the right type of environment for people to really be at ease and open up. At the end of the day, we cooked out - tons of fresh veggies, seafood, and meat - over open fires. Yum! AND to top it all off, we had s'mores for dessert.
Even though I got some strange looks (I really wanted a crispy marshmallow, so I let mine catch on fire...) dessert was awesome! It hadn't really occurred to me - because how often do people really eat s'mores anyways? - that many Taiwanese have never had a s'more. It's a strange concept... because I think of s'mores as being such a classic camp food, something that any American would recognize... but if I only eat them once in a blue moon, why would I be surprised that other people have not tried them?
All in all, the day at Camp Taiwan was great. I personally enjoyed the whole day - everything from the scenery, to the games, to the food, to getting to know some of my coworkers. For those of you who've never been to a camp, you're missing out! I'd definitely go again sometime if I get the chance. :)