Merrill     Dunes
Game Based Team Builder Events: 
If you see "Life" as an individualistic thing, your vision is distorted by a faulted mental concept.  "Life" is a System.  Everything and everyone is connected in some way be it a vital connection to the essential microbes that you pick up as you are born, or to your connection to those around you whose presence is essential for your own continued progress.  What machine can you point to that has no connection to any human mind nor to other machines that came before it nor to other surrounding machines that are essential for its current practical value. We live in one Big System.  That is Reality.  And given that Reality, everyone is "part" of that System and everyone has a "role".  And that means that everyone is part of a team, actually part of many teams - and an appreciation of personal roles and teamwork is an essential formula for success.  Solid application of that appreciation is the way of winners!  And it is a skill that is learned as we live.

Many individuals stand out in having that appreciation to a greater than average degree, and one of those individuals is a Calgary resident named Jamie Clarke.  No one achieves the goals that Jamie Clarke has achieved while hindered by the mental concept that success lies with independent loners who somehow live a detached existance.

Jamie Clarke has been a winner at many things but being involved in many mountain climbing expeditions, Mt. Everest in particular, has given him a hook that lets him speak to groups and get their attention.  And then, his effective presentation style works its productive magic!  He is very skilled at illustrating the points laid out above.  Jamie Clarke qualifies as an effective team builder.  Watch the two short videos below and see if you agree!
Jamie Clarke is not only an accomplished Western Canadian mountain climber but he has the presentation skill to take his audience up the mountain with him.  He is also skilled at seeing the analogies in life that flow from any experience, and in effect educate us in all sorts of different areas.  He is able to see the systems and team aspects of life, that are everywhere but often unnoticed by many - perhaps most!  His experience and his ability to analyse his experience may well have tipped the scales for the Washington Capitals hockey team. The Capitals came close to the top for several years but never reached the summit until after they encountered Jamie Clarke.  Clarke modestly takes no credit but admits that he might have helped the Capital cause.  An outside observer of Clarke and of comments made by people who have been at one of his presentations might well agree that the Capital Stanley Cup win might have at least some connection to Clarke's impact. 

Jamie Clarke certainly qualifies as a Team Builder.  How can Merrill Dunes approximate his effectiveness? We can't offer his imagination capturing personal achievements but we do have the tools to do something that he doesn't normally do.  He effectively takes your mind up the mountain.  We have the tools that enable us to build a type of artificial Mount Everest and then we send your climbing team out to scale the peak.  Jamie works with people's minds while their body sits in a safe and comfortable chair.  We send you out to "climb the mountain" and to live the analogies in mind and body.
We work constantly to provide game design tools that we can use to craft "team experiences" for our clients.  A recent purchase of new laser tag gear is an example and the gear itself is an educational analogy! All of the tag gear pictured is in effect an interconnected team.  The tools constantly talk to each other and interact.  Each item has a role that it fulfills.  And amazingly, each items has the same mind - pictured in the side photos!  The "brain" of each of the pictured tools is identical apart from programming by the software designer.  How complex are those little internal computers?  The flow charts below are a few of several such charts that illustrate all the programming options that have been built into the tiny "brains".

A Game Designer has the power, if he knows what he is doing, to create a scenario that not only grips your mind but also gets your body into the act.  We can create games that do not put you in a life threatening situation that takes months to organize and huge dollars to finance (ie. climbing a major mountain).  And we can create games that have distinct character roles and require teamwork to win.  And we can send your team home with a great level of aerobic exercise, memories of good fun, and hopefully a few deeper lessons on how to be an even better team player and a "Master of the System of Living"!  Paintball has a bit more adrenalin impact than laser tag but for many groups, it is a bit much.  Not a problem - we have the game tools to build analogy events for just about any team personality!

To cap a business Team Builder event off, why not end with a chance to sit and discuss the adventure over a lunch and a beer or cocktail - a perk of the day that Liquer and Gaming rules allow you to enjoy.
We Build Groups!
A "Snapshot of Life" Experience:  Quick, Concentrated, Exciting, and totally applicable to The Big Picture!
A "Snapshot of Life" Experience:  Quick, Concentrated, Exciting, and totally applicable to The Big Picture!
PS:  Climbing Mt. Everest has become a mass production tourist operation.  At least 7000 people have been to the top and you can even get on low cost Chinese expeditions for around $20,000!  Death rate on those economy trips are rather high, though. Traffic jambs near the top are a real problem. 

So for novelty sake, we will try to build "K2" or "Annapurna" for you to attack!  But don't worry - you won't risk the major kill stats of those 8000 meter monsters.  Nor will you face the speaking costs of a super climber like Reinhold Messner who has climbed those two mountains as well as just about every other big hill of note!
The flow charts that we use to set up the current laser gear illustrate some of the capacities that have been designed into the system.  The hard logic of experience has informed us that a lot of the "features" aren't actually practical but Dunes events do have a lot of "behind the scene thinking" that supports superior outings!  Being experienced in the paintball, airsoft, and laser tag worlds provides all sorts of cross-over stimulation.
Mt Everest has become a bit of a scandal in that it has been commercialized on the backs of the remarkable Sherpa folk of the region.  For those with a social conscience, you don't have to worry about the Dunes Sherpa Staff being put at risk! You won't make it to the summit without our Sherpas, but you aren't a burden for them!