Zipping, Swinging and Problem-Solving

We recently participated in a Team Building Retreat with a dozen people from our office. From problem-solving and team-building exercises, on to zip lines and swinging over the Monocacy River, this was a remarkable experience!

Clive Felgate owns and operates Upward Enterprises in Adamstown, Maryland. Located on the grounds of the Claggett Retreat Center @ 3035 Buckeystown Pike, they specialize in Team Building and Adventure Programs. On the grounds you’ll find several challenge courses and team-building activities available for Corporate groups, youth groups and birthday and private parties. Some of the activities:

  • Ropes Course Training, over 80 different high and low ropes activities
  • Corporate Team Building
  • Event Planning
  • Rock Climbing
  • Caving
  • Ropes Course Design and Construction
  • Indoor Team Building and Conferences

Our Team Building Retreat

Chris Zips!

Chris Zips!

Twelve of us spent 3+ hours together at Upward Enterprises last week. We struggled through two team-building exercises, learning a lot about ourselves, and each other, our communication styles, and how our interactions can improve. I thought it was a valuable experience and took away several points.

After we all felt we’d found some success in the exercises, the real fun began… at least this adrenalin junkie thought so! There were three zip lines; the first one was about 600-ish feet long and about 60 feet up, the next was shorter and we landed on a platform…yikes! The last was short and fast and we landed in a net. What fun! (The only thing I can think that would be better would be zipping over a canyon in Costa Rica… or Hawaii…yeah, that’s it!… maybe someday:)

Then it was on to the “Big Swing” for a grand finale. Still wearing your trusty harness, Clive hooks you up to a cable, your team-mates pull you as far as they can horizontally, and then you swing out with a view of the Monocacy River below you.  Watch this video of Chris and you’ll get an idea of it:

Naturally, I was intrigued and set up an interview with Clive. I’m always curious about an entrepreneur’s journey and how they ended up doing what they’ve found a passion for along the way. Like many entrepreneurs, Clive has a fascinating journey:

From West London, via the English Air Force, to Buckeystown Maryland

Born in London England to a Cockney father and a mother from Devon, Clive Felgate admits that his distinct British accent has probably been a great benefit in his endeavors here in the U.S.  I agree, (and I probably prolonged the conversation longer than necessary just so I could hear him say, “blimey luv”, but he never did, lol.)

After 27 years in the Air Force, where he was a trained instructor, he and his wife came to the United States for her job at the embassy. He has a wealth of experience from his years in the military, training people in obstacle courses, confidence courses, jump instruction, ski instruction, survival training for pilots, outdoor adventure and sports psychology. Add to that experience as a facilities manager, it seems that he was tailor-made for a business that specialized in team building and outdoor adventures.

Clive Felgate of Upward Enterprises

Clive Felgate w/Ropes Course in the Background

When the previous owner of Upward Enterprises decided to sell, Clive had been managing the company for a few years and saw it as the perfect opportunity. He bought the company in 2006, making the U.S. their permanent home. They bought a home in Brunswick, which they love.  “We love the lifestyle here, the land, a larger home, the outdoor life: skiing, biking, kayaking. We love it here.”

But transitioning from military training to civilian and corporate training was a process. Clive made the transition and sees himself as less of a trainer and more of a facilitator. He has encountered lots of different situations and lots of personality types.

   The Love of Entrepreneurship

Clive finds a lot of fulfillment in watching people get success and develop leadership and confidence over such a short amount of time. He loves the flexibility of determining his own schedule, the satisfaction of standing in front of a group, teaching and training. He especially loves to see the “light go on” in the eyes of kids when they conquer a problem-solving task. Rockwall

Upward Enterprises not only has activities on the grounds, they’ll come to you. They have indoor programs and portable challenges that work well in a conference room or gymnasium. They have a portable 24-foot molded rock wall for rent that you may have seen around town or in Frederick during events.

What’s Upcoming for Upward Enterprises?

Clive is incorporating a new Personal Development and Assessment Tool for 2012, The Strength Deployment Inventory, SDI, a self-assessment tool that provides understanding into motivation and behaviors.

Learn more about team-building retreats on their Blog:  Upward Enterprises Blog
Like them on Facebook for updated events and news:  Upward Enterprises on Facebook
Follow Clive on Twitter: @UpwardEnt

And by all means, find an excuse to get your office or team out on a retreat… I promise you’ll ENJOY!


Karen Highland

I'm a real estate agent, real estate blogger, communications director, a wife, mom (empty nest - yay!), dog-lover, and wine-lover. Frederick Md is a great place to live, work and brag about! The Highland Group. 301-401-5119 Google

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