Greetings all -
I thought to start a separate thread to document our leadership lab / teambuilding events.
Some quick background. I organize these events for a Scout Troop on the US East Coast. Our goal is to use the starship bridge sim software as the mechanism through which to teach leadership skills and overall good teamwork in a fun and engaging way. This will be our third year running the event.
In addition to running the bridge sims and everyone having a great time, one key element of our events is that each bridge crew has an assigned "Mentor/Evaluator". This person typically has some military/leadership experience, and their role is to mentor the team by providing feedback after each event. The M/E leads the group in an After Action Review to discuss how the scenario went, how effectively the crew met their objectives, what could they have done better, etc. We think the M/E role and AAR activities are essential to the overall experience. It's gaming with a purpose.
Because we also run the events as competitions, the M/E's are also responsible for scoring the teams. We have evaluation sheets that are mostly the same, but have some tailoring to the specific scenario being run. We give prizes to the best performing teams.
So you have an idea how our physical area is set up, here's a simplified floorplan drawing of the activity center that hosts our events. It's not exact, but close enough for this purpose. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qnBCkCAvZYDQUopbNKh5Bx2PUcBmblpL/view?usp=sharing
As you can see from the floorplan, we have the physical space to set up 6 complete bridges (and more on other floors if we have the participants/computers). We put a ship in the large open area to make it easy for parents/visitors to see a bridge crew in action, and we encourage everyone to sit in and play a bit. Having one ship in the large gathering room makes this easy. Keeping the GameMaster's command center in a separate room keeps the traffic down and that area under control. Of course, isolating the bridge crews from each other keeps them from overhearing each other and forces them to use the ship comms, whether they are playing cooperative or competitive scenarios.
Each ship is outfitted with 6 Dell laptops (of various flavors) and most rooms have a large screen monitor to serve as the forward view screen. I use a mid-tower Dell or a beefed up laptop as our simulation server.
This is our typical "flow" for each scenario:
- Ship Captains and their M/Es gather for an in-briefing
- GameMaster explains the scenario objectives and answers any questions related to the instructions
- Ship Captains and M/Es gather with their crews in their ship rooms, and the Captains explain the scenario objectives and provide their orders
- GameMaster orchestrates the scenario; Captains run their ships to accomplish the objectives; M/E's observe and take notes on crew performance
- Scenarios can last between 45-90 mins, depending
- At the conclusion of the scenario, the M/E leads their crew through an AAR discussion; we provide 15-20 mins for this discussion
- Short break, and get ready for the next scenario
- At the end of the event (and sometimes in the middle), we have an all-group discussion to walk through various points/issues/topics that are relevant to their scenarios and performance.
Also, in order to run the events, I usually have a tech crew of 3 or 4 who are dedicated to going between the rooms to fix the inevitable problems that pop up and they keep everything running smoothly. We use hand-held radios to communicate. (All M/Es also have radios to ask for assistance as needed when issues pop up. Mr. Murphy is a constant attendee at our events… ha)