Team Building in the Mud

A few teammates from the states came out this week to visit us in Dublin. In their honor, our fearless leader scheduled us a “morale event” consisting of some off-road driving training, a rope building thing, some laser skeet shooting and a team puzzle building thing. When we arrived split into two teams, my team did not have enough time for the puzzle part, but we still had a great time with the other events.

Half talking half on our phones half chatting – oh and a few napping

The bus picked us up at work around 13:30 and took us to the Carlton House in Dublin. Carlton house is about 1100 acres of woods, and golf course and sports areas around a massive manour house converted into a 200euro+ a night hotel. Our events are managed by a company called orange works and takes place at the back of the property not far from the hotel.

Stud in front of the hotel


Driving in the mud

After splitting into teams our team split again and loaded into two land rovers. The other team went to build things. My team loaded four into a 2.4 liter diesel land rover plus a driver making five of us. I bite the bullet and rode bitch in the back while Derek took the first round at driving. They run a full land rover training school on the course we’re driving on and it’s a well-used course. In a few spots, the ruts in the mud are deep enough they come up the window on the side of the rig. There are three ruts in those places, the wheels on the sides and the diffs in the middle. It’s been a few days since it rained, and we had sun since there. The mud is there but it is not so deep we’re going to get stuck.

Checking out our 4wd rigs before we get going
Looking out the back at the Mayer(tm) trying to keep up

We’re driving in low range, first maybe second gear letting the rig do all of the work slowly crawling through the mud. We got to drive through mud, into puddles, up and down steep hills, into ruts on one side where we lean over about 30 degrees, and on some almost smooth gravel roads. For me, it’s the first time I’ve driven since leaving the states, and it’s been many years since driving in the mud. I did not forget how to do either. It was a great time. The company also runs a driving school in the Wicklow mountains that sounds even more entertaining —  Might need to book this again when we have guests. Angad was the speed demon of the group; he made it into fourth gear, and the instructor reminded him to slow down and turned off the rig at one point to slow up down.

Bridge Building

After the driving, we walked a short ways into the woods to a stream where our task was to build a bridge across the stream, and run a rope and pulley across the stream with a tray below. The tray was to move some blocks across the stream. While they were explaining to us the goal I jumped up a tree and tied off a rope. I jumped down, spooled the rope up and tossed it across the river. Then Angad went into jungle survival mode and crossed the river hanging from a rope and Jeff followed after him.

Angad working his way across the rope – he went back and forth like 4 times to set things up. The last time to make sure we got it all on video. Sadly he would take his shirt off to max level the video

Jeff, Angad and I setup the pulley while Dejan, and Ahmed worked on the bridge. By the time they were done with the bridge we’d moved all of the blocks across and were ready to move on to the next challenge. In between the rope and the bridge in the images you can see a bunch of white things. The white things are a massive swarm of bugs doing a loop between the bridge and rope. They flew down the river, went up. flew back up river, flew down, then back down river in an endless loop. So many bugs in a tiny space.


Shooting clay pigeons

After we dominated moving blocks over a river without a bridge we walked back up the hotel and shot at some Clay pigeons with shot guns loaded with lasers. When I first read Laser skeet shooting I am picturing lame laser tag guns from the 80’s and it did not sound cool. What we ended up with was nice double barrel real shot guns loaded with laser shells designed to integrate the pigeons and a score board. – Impressed me; it was rightfully enjoyable. Sad face for me the trigger position killed my wrist and I ended up holding my arm the rest of the night. But Shooting was a blast.

Team 2 shooting the pigeons
On the Bus headed back into town

Dinner at Lemon and Duke

After we were done shooting we met up with the other team, found our bus, then rode in the bike and bus lane back into city center for dinner. We had a table booked at Lemon and Duke at 6:15 and we arrived at the table at 6:15. Not bad considering traffic was heavy due to Ed Sheeran concert in Phoenix park starting after 8. The restaurant had a limit menu written for us with, salad, desert and a beef, chicken and fish main course option. Simple menus are nice, remove the need to think much about all of the options. I went for a burger.

Todd pleased with himself after taking pictures with someones camera

Dinner was of course loaded with drinks, good food, and great conversation – it also included some sharing of great laughs over shared memes, and herassing Grosu when he left for a minute and forgot his phone at the table. You dont need to unlock a phone to take pictures of turning your elbow into a butt crack. Dejan taught me that using the inside of your elbow gives you a crack with less hair in it – Smart.

I was home by 10, and sleeping by about 10:30. Can’t wait to see how Colin tops this for our next event.

Few more Pictures

Off the bus slow walking to the adventure
Derek took the first drive slot


Ahmed and I
Heading into a deep puddle
Stopping for a driver change
My turn to drive – Scared, been a while since driving
Building the bridge we did not need


Laser shells in real shot guns
On the bus into town for dinner




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