teambuilding activities

Camp Velaris ~ Chapter three

Being sent too a summer camp full of rich kids to work as a councillor is the worst thing ever, according to Feyre. At least until she meets a certain violet-eyed councillor and his friends.

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I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock blaring next to me.

Groaning, I got up, my mind still foggy with exhaustion. It had been late when I’d finally gotten to bed. Preparing for a group of eight to thirteen year olds is harder than you think.
Neither of the two other occupants of the room seem to have been woken by the alarm clock. Mor was spread out on her bed snoring softly, while Amren was curled up like a cat, so still it was almost like she wasn’t breathing.

I had met her yesterday, when all the staff was setting up for the imminent arrival of campers the next day. She had appeared at the table I sat at with the other members of the Court of Dreams, wearing all black even though the heat was almost unbearable. The others had not been surprised at her sudden entrance, and I wondered if it was usual for Amren to just show up. She hadn’t acknowledged my place at the table, but, then again, she hadn’t really shown much surprise.

I thought back to the meal last night.

“So you two aren’t really councillors?” I had asked Cassian while simultaneously flipping through my information pack.

“Nope. Az and I are instructors for the sports stuff. We basically teach the kids what to do and keep them safe.” He had replied.

“What about you?” I asked Rhys, who was sitting to my right. “Are you an instructor?”

“I was. Until I slipped during a rock climbing session and fucked up my knee. I found I much preferred looking after the kids instead of teaching them.” Rhys told me.
“Yeah, and after that he decided he was too good enough for us lowly instructors.” Cassian had said with mock hurt. “Now he has a fancy lanyard and an official camp t-shirt.”

I had noticed that the councillors and the instructors were very… cliquey.

All the councillors were easily identifiable by their official/unofficial uniforms of shorts or jeans and a red Camp Velaris t shirt. Instructors also wore jeans, but with a dark blue t shirt. The two different groups sat apart, the councillors only sitting with fellow councillors and vice versa. I had realised with a jolt that we were one of the few groups with both in.

“Don’t be bitter, Cassian. You were offered a job as one. It’s not our fault that you’re so puffed up with your idiotic pride.” Quipped Amren from where she was sitting next to him on the opposite side of me. This was the first thing she had said since sitting down at the table.

Mor let out a snort of approval. At least, I thought she had. It was hard to tell with her head on the table, still suffering through a day long hangover. Azriel let out a smile of his own.

Cassian, who had thrown a vulgar gesture at Amren, turned to the man sitting on his other side.

“Like you weren’t offered one too.”

“I have no need to be a councillor.” Azriel replied, his voice soft and smooth.

Another snort from Mor.

We had sat at the table for another hour or so, until Mor had declared that if she didn’t move from this table in the next few seconds and get fresh air, she was almost certainly going to faint. I had retreated back to my room after that, and spent the rest of the night sifting through my HOW TO BE A GOOD LEADER information booklet, provided personally by Alis.

I shower in record time, then put on my Camp Velaris t shirt and a pair of jean shorts. After plaiting my hair, I step into the bedroom, where Amren’s bed is freshly made. With no sign of the occupant.

After waking up Mor, who didn’t seem to hear Amren leave either, judging by the fact it took me a few minutes to rouse her, I walked down to the cafeteria. Dotted around the room were bleary eyed staff, either because of remains of their hangovers or the 6am start. Probably both.

After buying my breakfast, I looked around the room to the table where we had sat last night. And the only person who was sitting there now was Rhys. Mor’s cousin. The person I was in no way crushing on. Not even a little.

I couldn’t even avoid him, as he had just caught my eye. Great.

Silently telling myself to be cool, I slid into the chair next to him.

“Good morning, Feyre darling.” He purred at me, his eyes showing no hint of wariness.

“God, how are you not tired?” I say to him, pushing my cereal around with my spoon.

“I’m used to early starts. Besides, you better start getting used to it. The kids aren’t even here yet. Wait till you have to deal with the sound of excited children first thing.”

“Ugh. I’m beginning to regret this job. I cannot function without my eight hours a night.”

“Well, you’re here. Which is more than can be said for the others.”

“Where are they, anyway?”

“Cassian and Azriel are most likely on their early morning run.”

“You didn’t join them?” He certainly looked like he did, if the abs you could see through his tight fitting shirt were anything to go by.

“I prefer different types of exercise, darling.” Rhys drawled.

And even though he probably wasn’t implying what I thought he was, my cheeks heated a little. And great, now I was thinking about sex. With him.

Fuck you, hormones.

After breakfast we walked towards the courtyard, gravitating to where all the other councillors seemed to be congregating. There were no instructors around.
Seeming to sense where I was looking, Rhys said to me “They’re probably helping set up the different activity areas. You know, the ropes and stuff.”
I certainly didn’t, but I nodded anyway.

“Come on, we’re over here.” Rhys says and he grabs my hand- the touch sending a spark of electricity through me, and led me to the far end of the courtyard, where a bored looking Amren was already waiting, wearing not the Camp Velaris shirt, but a silver-grey crop top with matching pants.

She gave us a nod of acknowledgement and then continued to pick at her nails. A dismissal of sort.

“This is our meet up point. We come back here first thing in the morning, at lunch, dinner and then after night activities.” Rhys tells me, leaning back against the brick wall of one of the buildings behind him.

“Our meet up point?” I reply.

“Well, the Night Court’s.”

I had read about the different groups, or ‘courts’ in the information pack last night. There were seven; day, night, dawn, summer, spring, autumn and winter. Each court had about ten children in, who were then split in to two different groups. Ours being the Court of Dreams.

Mor arrives next, and she’s somehow turned her red shirt into something not completely horrible. Her high waisted shorts show off her long, golden legs. She gets a few looks from the other members of staff.

“Where are the guys?” She asks Rhys as she mirrors his position against the wall.

“Setting up. The campers will be arriving anytime…” The sound of cars causes even Amren to look up from her nails. “Now.” Rhys finishes.

I had never seen so many fancy cars in my life.
Soon the parking lot was filled up with shining cars and parents hugging their children goodbye. A few of the kids were crying, mainly the younger ones, and clinging on to their parents legs. Poor things.

Alis had appeared, and was now leading the over eager children to the centre of the courtyard. A difficult feat, considering the majority of them were attempting to get to the lake. And the jet skis.

The children who came here regularly were obvious; they were the ones saying hi and hugging their favourite councillors. Mainly Rhys and Mor.

When, about half an hour later, all the parents had finally left, and the kids were now sitting in a large huddle on the grass, Alis stepped to the front of the group.

“To those of you who have been here before, welcome back to Camp Velaris! And to those who are here for the first time, I hope you enjoy yourselves here very much. First things first, you will be put into your groups. These are the people who you will spend most of your time with. These will be your best friends- and teammates- for the two months you will spend here. Your councillors will explain everything to you.” Alis tells them.

After explaining to the newbies about the different courts, Alis says, “Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for! Which court you’ll be in!”

Reading from her clipboard, Alis rattles out the names of the children in the different courts; Spring, then Summer, then Autumn, Winter, Day, Dawn and finally Night.”

After what seemed like forever, all the kids were sorted into their groups. Our Court of Dreams had their five members while the other five went into the other team within the Night Court.

“The Court of Nightmares.” Rhys and Mor had jokingly called it.

After introducing ourselves to the kids and explaining the rules and where to go and what the different buildings were, The Night Court headed off to our first activity; teambuilding. Court of Dreams Vs The Court of Nightmares.

As this was a ‘Full group Activity’, Alis had informed us that the Councillors had to play as well. It was great for Rhys, who seemed like he would be the best at this sort of stuff, but not so great for me, who did not have an athletic bone in her body. Well, maybe except for Archery. Jumping and climbing over obstacles was beyond me.

In my defence, I took this job to help and teach the kids, not to be running and jumping beside them.

Since there were only two councillors on the other team, Rhys had to join them.

And, sure, I wanted our team to win. But I kinda wanted to wipe the smirk off Rhys’ face more.

After explaining the rules, the game began.

The rules were simple; each team member has to complete the obstacle course without touching the floor. Two mats were given to each team to pass to each other. If they touch the ground, they have to start again. It was made more difficult by the obstacles; everyone had to get over a vaulting horse and over benches. The first team to get to the end without touching the floor.

Easy, right?

Well, you would think so.

I had never thought of myself as a competitive person, but as Rhys’ team was doing much better than us, that side of me came out. We were about three metres away from the finish when Rhys’ team won. The kids were cheering. Rhys looked as happy as them.

It certainly didn’t help when we were leading the kids back to the cafeteria for lunch that Rhys began singing quietly to himself, and to me, “Anything you can do I can do better.”

“Prick.” I whispered to him, trying not to let the kids hear. The ones on my team were now cheered up considerably now we were taking them to lunch.

“Don’t be jealous, Feyre darling. We can’t all be as talented as me.” Rhys purred back.

“We’ll see about that.“ I got an idea. “We have archery after lunch. First one to get three arrows in the centre wins.”

He pretended to consider it for a moment. “Deal. But don’t be too upset when you lose.”

I only rolled my eyes before walking back to the front of the group to walk with Mor.

And as I walked, I could feel his gaze burning into my back.

alright friends its story time.

so when i went to my freshmen orientation for college there was lots of fun activities and teambuilding stuff. one of the activities was a show with one of those guys that hypnotizes a bunch of people and gets them to do a bunch of funny stuff. i was one of the people to by hypnotized.

i remember absolutely nothing about what happened, but my twin brother was there and watched the whole thing. and he said his favorite part was when we were all lined up on stage and we had our arms out because the hypnotizer guy told us we all had birds on our arms. and he went down the row asking people what kind of bird they had and what it was named.

so people are saying like, parrot, parakeet, budgie, canary, etc. and then it comes to me and i am the last person in the line. and according to my brother i had this big fat dopey grin on my face and when asked what my bird was i proudly announced that i was the mother of a phoenix, and that her name was jazanthepuss.

and i feel that i am really missing a memory that is critical to my life, because having a phoenix named jazanthepuss–even for just a few minutes–i think would be a life-altering experience. i want to know what it was like to be a proud bird mom. i want jazanthepuss to return to me. i feel i would be a better person with that experience in my brain

Adam and Nigel compete in a fun run

Nigel and corporate teambuilding activities do not mix. Luckily, there is no ‘team’ in ‘winning’.

“Ni-Ni,” Adam knocked on the changing room door. Softly at first, then a bit harder when he wasn’t sure the silence within was entirely a good sign. “Are you going to let me see?”

“Mm… maybe not,” came the muffled response.

Adam squinted back toward the retail area. “Do you need me to bring you another size?”

“No, no… this is… the right size.”

Adam toyed with his sleeves, leaning against the wall opposite. “Are you sure, Ni? Because it kind of sounds like you’re struggling to breathe in there, and there’s no harm in trying a few different options.”

Nigel snorted. “Darling, one is bad enough, I’m not-”

“I’ll get the shop assistant. They’re really helpful when it comes to fittings.”

Adam, wait, no-” there was a hasty shuffling sound from the other side of the door, followed by Nigel wrenching it open, face wrought with alarm.

Adam beamed, having not moved an inch. He surveyed Nigel’s outfit, skin-tight running leggings, reflective Adidas shirt and all.

“You look really good.”

Nigel blinked, slowly twitching to a fond glare. “You’ve been hanging out with me too long…”

“If by ‘hanging out’, you are referring to the sort of things we usually get up to in a changing room…” Adam waved his hands, trying to get Nigel to leave enough room to let him slip past, “then, not nearly long enough.”

With an affectionate smirk, Nigel found himself relenting, slouching against the mirror whilst Adam locked the door behind.

“I’d rather just wear my fucking jeans. It’s just a fun run. A halfway-charitable run. Whatever your colleagues call it…”

“A charity half-marathon?”

“That.”

Adam shook his head, then moved closer for a cuddle. “You’ll think differently when you’re jogging, believe me. I did it last year. It gets really hot. Also sweaty.”

“Like you’re going to be, if you keep looking at me like that?” Nigel grinned, caging a rough hand through Adam’s curls. Adam giggled, fingertips running along the lycra seams at Nigel’s torso.

“I’m not used to seeing your whole body through your clothes like this.”

Nigel couldn’t help a chuckle. Adam’s palms continued their exploration steadily downward.

“I mean it, Ni. I mean, even if we weren’t doing the event, I still think you need to wear this more often.”

Nigel shook his head, unable to keep back a smile “Fucking Christ, Adam. Are you sure you’re not getting a commission from this place? I’m just about ready to buy two, the way you’re-”

His voice caught in his throat as Adam’s touch very nearly finished the sentence for him, biting the inside of his cheek before things got truly out of hand.

“I solemnly swear I am not getting a commission from this place,” Adam dipped his head, sincere. “I also solemnly swear that I may be trying to get you home as quickly as possible however, preferably still wearing the outfit.”

Staring from Adam to the skin-tight pants and back again, Nigel raised an eyebrow. “Darling, considering I wasn’t keen to come out in these before, there’s no fucking way I’m walking around in them now.”

-

By the time the morning of the half-marathon rolled around, sportswear was the last thing on Nigel’s mind. Gritting his teeth, he directed a mutter somewhere between Adam and the ground.

“I feel like I’ve seen some of these people before…”

“You have,” Adam chirped, waving to the very people Nigel had in mind. “That’s Tom, remember? You tied him to a tree in the laser-tag arena at our last staff social event. And Emily! We unravelled her scandalous scheme and won that trip to London instead of her.”

Feeling an encouraging elbow in his ribcage, Nigel tried a nod toward the familiar faces, only to see them both halt and swiftly redirect in the opposite direction.

“Water under the bridge, I’m sure.”

“Don’t worry,” Adam took a sip from his water bottle. “Work makes a charity donation for every person who completes the event, so it’s not about how fast you go.”

“Mm-hmm. Roger that, darling.” For someone who agreed, Nigel did seem to be engaging in some rather vigorous warm-up stretches.

Frowning, Adam watched as Nigel couched into a starting sprint position, signalling for him to do the same. Everyone else was just milling around, chatting, watching the referee countdown…

Slowly, Adam tried to copy the stance, feeling rather unsteady with his bum pointing into the air. “Nigel… why are we posed like this? Have you been watching re-runs of the Olympics again?”

“Yes. But that’s not the point.” Nigel whispered, eyes fixed steadily ahead. “If we don’t get a lead at the very beginning, we’ll be pushing through the pack the entire race.”

“Except that it’s not a race-” Adam clarified again, “-management actually calls this a teambuilding activity, because we all stick to-”

The starting beep echoed over the rest of his words, and Nigel leapt forward like he’d been resting on an ant’s nest.

“Run, baby!” he bellowed, spinning around to see Adam hadn’t moved an inch, mouth hung open in surprise. “Run run run run!”

Scrambling as Adam saw Tom and Emily breeze past, Adam wasn’t sure what the sudden rush was, only that Nigel seemed to be using more energy making wild arm movements than he’d need for the miles ahead.

“I’m running, Nigel!” Adam caught up, which thankfully seemed to solve the problem of Nigel shouting at the top of his lungs. “I’m-”

Nigel took his arm, charging through the colleagues that had overtaken them so far. With his free hand, Adam tried to give a friendly wave and a smile. Given the glowers he received in return, he concluded everyone must still be grumpy from the early morning start.

It didn’t take long to put a considerable distance between them and the larger part of the group. And, despite the shaky outset, Adam actually found he wasn’t too bad at keeping Nigel’s pace once he got into the rhythm of it. He gave a breathless laugh.

“See! This is fun, right?”

Nigel grinned across at him, hair dripping over his eyes. “Very fun.”

Looking forward, Adam’s smile wavered as he squinted at two silhouettes in the distance. They seemed to be having some difficulty climbing over one of the park fences.

“Oh!”

The figures had disappeared from view before Nigel caught a glimpse. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”

“It’s Tom and Emily,” Adam furrowed his brow in concern. “I think they’re getting lost. They just took the woodland trail, when the map clearly specifies we’re supposed to stay on the main circuit.”

Nigel skidded to a halt. “What woodland trail?”

Wiping sweat from his upper lip, Adam pointed where his colleagues had vanished between the trees. “The cross-country one. The one that cuts across the park.”

Despite the fact they were standing still, Nigel seemed to be breathing with more and more intensity. “They’re not getting lost, baby, they’ll finish in half the time! They’re fucking cheating!

Adam wriggled his water bottle free of his belt pouch, gently nudging it toward Nigel’s hand. Rather than drinking, Nigel squeezed a great deal of water over his head instead. Drenched and blinking, he grimaced at the fence as if trying to retrieve the couple in question with willpower alone.

Adam cleared his throat.

“As I said, Nigel, since it isn’t actually a race-”

Nigel’s face fell, stare slipping to the ground.

“-we technically can’t cheat. So, for health and safety reasons, I think it would be irresponsible of us to let Tom and Emily take the woodland trail alone. Who knows what could happen.”

Nigel glanced up in surprise. Slowly, his eyes creased at the corners. “They might… run into a rogue pack of squirrels.”

“Or a wild gardener, collecting leaves for the compost facility,” Adam nodded, solemn. Tucking the water bottle back in his belt, he reached for Nigel’s hand. “But I know one thing that won’t be happening.”

Mouth pulling up at one side, Nigel almost forgot to move when Adam tugged him toward the fence. “Mm?”

“Them finishing first.” Adam confirmed, placing a hand on Nigel’s shoulder as his the taller man knelt to give him a leg-up. Landing on his feet at the other side, Adam jogged a few backwards steps, beaming whilst Nigel swung himself over with ease. “So, you’d better hurry up already. Because from here on in, we really have to run!”

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