Minnesota’s Washington County Treats Employees to a Rescue Buddies™ Workshop

About 100 county employees from Washington County in Stillwater, MN got together one evening this Spring.  They’d been told they had a mandatory meeting from 6 to 8 pm- ouch!

Minnesota's Washington County However, by the end of that session, they all felt it was the best “meeting” they’d ever had.  That’s because it wasn’t really a meeting.  It was our Rescue Buddies™ Charity Team Building Workshop (so much better!).


How To Turn A Meeting Into A Productive Workshop

Meetings are so one-sided, don’t you think?  Somebody talks and everybody else listens.  Maybe that’s why these county employees weren’t exactly thrilled to show up to the mandatory evening meeting.

But when it turned out to be our Rescue Buddies™ they were showing up for, things started to turn around a bit.

We started out with some of our classic ice breakers.  These serve to get groups warmed up and we also find that it dramatically increases participation and engagement, too.

The ice breakers did serve one purpose immediately: the 100 participants suddenly knew this was no ordinary mandatory meeting!

Then it was on to our hands-on activities which challenge teamwork skills just a bit- everyone’s competitive team spirit really came out!


This was a very diverse group of participants, from all corners of the county government. 

Participants seemed to have really only one thing in common: they all worked for Washington County in Stillwater, Minnesota.  And if you know anything about a county government, it’s that it covers many areas.

From drivers to hunting and fishing license office workers to auditors and folks from county social services, they were all there working on their teamwork skills together… and having a blast!


The group assembled 100 Rescue Buddies™.

100 stuffed bears were put together by the group, and by this point in the workshop everyone was feeling the giving spirit!  Involvement and engagement were extremely high, and everyone had a great time.

But it wasn’t over yet!


Bears went to the local child protection services. 

This workshop was held at the Government Center, where many of the participants worked.  The receiving charity was also located in that very same building, as they were also a county office.  Called the Stillwater Family Crisis Services, the organization appreciated the bears, which would of course go to kids they encountered in their jobs.

From disgruntled meeting-goers to proud community members who gave back after some good hard work together that evening, the 100 participants really did stand for positive change that night.  Great job, guys!