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Team Building and Team Bonding

By Jeffery

I love pizza. I adore pizza. I crave pizza! As you can imagine, when it’s time for pizza, I call up my local Mexican restaurant and order up a deep-dish supreme pizza with extra cheese. Then I sit back and wait for the delivery driver to arrive.

Wait. What? Of course not! When I want pizza, I call the pizza place. When I want Mexican, I call the Mexican joint.

Frequently, groups declare they want a team “building” experience, but what they end up ordering from Lake Williamson is one of our different menu options. So, allow me to take few moments of your time to explain the difference between team building and team bonding.

Team building refers to a pre-designed program that focuses on essential skills such as communication, conflict resolution, leadership development, problem solving, etc. When a group leader schedules a team building program, she is generally looking for measurable outcomes. She wants her professional group to improve on interoffice communication. She wants her student leadership group to discover that leading is not simply barking orders. She wants her Church youth group to work past cliques and conflicts.

Team bonding refers to a shared experience that the group participates in to create common memories and bring them closer together. When the group leader schedules a team bonding program, he is generally looking for an event that will inspire the group to feel closer to one another. He wants his professional group to have fun together. He wants his class room to be more inclusive. He wants his Church youth group to feel more comfortable around each other.

As you look at both of those explanations, you will notice a lot of overlap. That is to be expected, as both types of programs are designed to help groups grow together. In fact, often programs can be interchanged to be either (or neither) team building or team bonding. Some of it depends on context. Much of it depends on intent. The intent of a team building program is to establish a functioning team or help an established team improve its performance. The intent of a team bonding program is to create a shared encounter within a group of individuals who may or may not work together as a team.

Lake Williamson’s Eagle Crest Adventures offers many facilitated programs that range from team building to team bonding. We are here to serve you. Here’s what’s on the menu!

  • Primarily Team Building: Low Initiatives Course, Character Development Programs
  • Primarily Team Bonding: High Ropes, Climbing Gym, Mixers & Openers
  • Programs that can go either way (context & intent): Escape Rooms, Cooperative Games, Outdoor Education, Nature Hikes, In-School Programs

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626