Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wood Buffalo Corporate Challenge

Another day in Fort Mac, another press conference, another new logo...oh, wait, a new logo? For what, exactly? Well, people, for a new event called the Wood Buffalo Corporate Challenge, a collaboration between MacDonald Island and the Noralta Skating Club, and with support from the RMWB.

Once again I found myself at Mac Island yesterday to hear Tim Reid announce an exciting upcoming event, this time a first-of-it's-kind in Fort Mac. And in the interests of full disclosure I should reveal I've known about this one for some time, as I was serving on the Noralta Skating Club board of directors when the idea first began to take shape. I am one of those people who loves to see an idea develop right from the very beginning. The press conference yesterday was a true pleasure for me, as I saw the people who I know worked very hard on the concept finally present it to the community. And people, I think it's gonna be great.

The Wood Buffalo Corporate Challenge is meant to put Fort McMurray on the map as not "Fort McMoney" (that hideous nickname I despise) but as "Fort McFitness" according to acting mayor and councillor Sheldon Germain, who spoke at the conference. Now, he was kidding, as it's not really meant to be all about fitness, although there is definitely that aspect to it. It's about team building for corporations through a fun event involving everything from TV trivia to beach volleyball. It's about physical fitness, but also about mental fitness, and about networking within our community. It's about coming together for four days in September (27th-30th) to work together as teams in a mildly competitive environment, and to foster the kind of team building that occurs when people are faced with things like pulling a bus, for instance (yes, really, pulling a bus!).

I've been having a gander at the WBCC website and while it's still under development I admit I am intrigued. I fully intend to be present for some of these events (how can I possibly miss the human bonspiel, people?!?). In fact were it not for the unlikelihood of getting a group of local writers to agree to this kind of thing I'd love to enter a team of writers, as while we would probably perform extraordinarily poorly in many regards (being writers many of us have terrible habits, like coffee addiction and general lethargy) we would no doubt have some kick-ass stories at the end and probably some of the best limericks ever written (so, hey, if any corporation wants to add some writers to their team I have a few in mind, and I promise you that while your team may suffer from our physical skills we will provide running commentary and general merriment).

All kidding aside, though, I think the WBCC is a terrific idea. There is a definite niche for this kind of thing in the community. Many corporations and organizations send their employees away to do retreats or team building events or networking, and the question becomes why aren't we doing that here? Why not host these sorts of events ourselves and allow our community to shine in the process? And if we are going to do it then what better possible place than Mac Island? And who better to partner  with than the Noralta Skating Club, an organization that has taught thousands of residents to skate (including my youngest Intrepid Junior Blogger, who started with the club when she was 3 and left when she was 11, meaning it formed a significant part of her childhood experience)?

I only served on the Noralta Skating Club board for a year, but I learned a great deal in that time. One of the things I learned was that small groups of committed people can come up with some amazing ideas, and with the right partners and the proper support those ideas can flourish. I witnessed the genesis of the Wood Buffalo Corporate Challenge, and I will love being able to witness the idea in action in September when dozens of people from various local corporations meet to compete at Mac Island. And remember, if anyone is looking to add a blogger to their team I just happen to know one. Just sayin'.

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