Spark Summer Team Building Day 2024: Hooking platypuses, not journalists

Holly By Holly

I’d heard the rumors – Spark’s annual Summer Team Building Day is the stuff of legend, at least within the four walls of our Oxford Street office. Joining the team just in time to miss archery and pasta making last summer, I couldn’t wait to see what was in store this time round. Lovers of small spaces, hidden treasure and platypuses (more on that later) rejoice. This year we headed to Phantom Peak, an immersive open world adventure experience!

Platypuses aplenty

From going head-to-head with other teams in a game of hoop ball, to an immersive theatre experience - this place had it all. I for one enjoyed watching two Account Directors forward-roll on to the stage whilst referring to each other as goon 1 and goon 2 (who wouldn’t?). In-between the increasingly outlandish character quests, teams were able to spend some down time exploring the town, enjoying a few beverages in the wild-west themed Thirsty Frontier Saloon, and counting the platypuses dotted around the town. One clear takeaway from the day for me was the cutthroat nature of the competition. I’m kidding! Yes, some teams dabbled in a bit of friendly rule-breaking (fine, in some circles it could be called cheating), while others stayed strictly on the straight and narrow. But all the teams worked together – communicating, listening and cheering each other on. I like to think this ability to pool our resources, adapt, and overcome is reflected in our day-to-day work, though it's hard to compare ferociously trying to hook a platypus in pond with drafting a press release. Ah well.

Before we knew it, time was up, and the teams gathered with bated breath for the awards ceremony. To the envy of the rest of us, the winners won free tickets back to the attraction – and I have it on good authority they will be returning! But don’t feel too bad for the rest of us; third place took home some pretty dazzling cowboy hats, which definitely eased the sting as we headed off for food and a pub visit on the South Bank.

Wrangling creativity

Was my first Spark Team Building day exactly what I had expected? Well, minus the platypuses, cowboys, and murder mystery – yes. The day encapsulated all that we are as an agency: perpetuating creativity, collaboration and camaraderie. I can’t imagine any activity more fitting.