Team Building Games


The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a fast-paced simulation engaging teams in a journey to mine gold in Search for the Lost Dutchman's Goldminethe American Southwest, perfect for a corporate event or retreat experience aimed at teaching collaboration.

Teams have 20 days of 2 minutes each to manage their journey to the mine and back to Last Chance Gulch and can choose from 3 paths with unknown risks, planning for weather and resource use.

The goal of the teams is simple: to have fun, return to Apache Junction, and mine as much gold as they can to maximize their Return on Investment. The role of the Expedition Leader is to help the teams be successful, use collaboration and have fun.

Search for the Lost Dutchman group in action

Putting on cowboy hats and colorful bandannas (which adds visual impact and energy) for their journey, the group settles in to discuss the history of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine and to learn the mechanics of the challenge.

Teams from all over the world have found Dutchman to be a fascinating journey and highly positive conference experience.



It’s fast-paced and high impact — a highly memorable experience for all. IMG_1933



Yes! There really is a legend behind the game. Visit the Superstition Mountains Museum to learn more.

 Listen to Linda Mohr from the PA Public School Employees’ Retirement System discuss their results with this simulation.


Actual play will find teams competing more than collaborating and sharing information and resources. They also focus on productivity more than quality. Thus, ineffective systems and processes will minimize payoffs and teams will allow a variety of factors to hamper optimizing overall results.DSCF5241

In debriefing, many issues relating to the workplace can be addressed, depending on desired outcomes for the session. Groups can spend hours discussing how this game parallels their need for leadership, clear missions and visions, and issues of teamwork and collaboration.

Debriefings often focus on goal-setting and the sharing of information and resources. In this simulation, as in the workplace, there is little benefit for competition or speed — good planning pays dividends.





People have fun and share ideas that apply to their jobs. Substantive action plans for change are common outcomes.

Any group interested in exploring:DSCN4898

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Process Improvement
  • Collaboration
  • Analysis of systems

will find the Dutchman both fun and rewarding.

Seven Seas Quest and Buccaneer

Both games are packaged together for an unlimited number of teams of 5 or 6 people. These have been proven effective in dozens of training situations and are of solid design for interactive learning. They are designed for unlimited numbers of teams and thus represent a great value for trainers looking for an interactive half-day workshop on team building. You get all the game materials you need, reproducible from pdf and .doc files. The exercise can also be readily customized.

Both Quest and Buccaneer Team Building Exercises give you:
  • An exceptional value — Two Games for One Price!
  • A One-Time Cost for an unlimited number of teams for both games
  • SOLID, proven simulations that work beautifully around issues of systems
    and processes for organizational improvement.
  •      An excellent platform for demonstrating learning principles of leadership,
    motivation, collaboration and communications.
  • A strong Debriefing program.
  • Fast playing, fun themes of sailing and the islands that are easily

Quest7SeasSeven Seas Quest is a great program, fun. engaging and easily accessorized with themes of sailing and The Islands. It plays fast and furious and allows a great deal of collaboration between teams in a theme of optimization – the goal is to get medicine and save the world. By sharing information and collaborating, ships can manage the journey more efficiently and effectively.

Its simplicity also makes it ideal for linking to issues of organizational communication and the implementation of systems / processes for performance improvement. It clearly demonstrates the need for communications processes to manage information. A full set of customizable debriefing questions is included to get you started.

The look and feel is intentionally similar to our flagship exercise, The Search forseven_seas_quest_party The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. It was designed to be a follow-on exercise to Dutchman but has nicely evolved to stand alone as a great program with a nautical theme.

What is surprising is how effective the exercises are in generating insights and discussions about the choices that people make and the issues surrounding leadership. Their simplicity makes the issues of systems and processes for communication and information sharing very obvious. Thus, they link well to organizational change issues, TQM or Six Sigma, etc. Like Dutchman, these two games have a strong shared vision and demonstrate the benefits of planning and collaboration.

Teams have sufficient but limited resources and have the goal of sailing to the Islands over 18 months. All the teams are successful, but some are more successful than others.

And, what is emphasized is the overall results of the group rather than individual teams.

Quest has a theme of “Saving The World.” The teams are sailing to collect “polycarbs” which improve the impact of the medicines to fight the plague. Buccaneer is themed on recapturing the gold stolen from the Queen by the Pirates – teams sail to the Islands, pretend they are pirates to reclaim gold and jewels each month before sailing home.

sevenseasFor accessorizing, they are wonderful. You can have team members outfit themselves in paper Pirate Hats that they construct (instructions included!) or you can assemble a wide variety of accessories like seashells, leis, and other colorful Island stuff.

Both are designed with strong debriefing possibilities. They are excellent for demonstrating learning principles of leadership, motivation, collaboration and communications. I’ve had the

chance to deliver Quest both as a follow up to Dutchman as well as a stand-alone presentation.

If you have delivered Dutchman to a group and need a good follow up activity, Quest or Buccaneer work extremely well. While they are similar, it has been our experience that repeating the messages of leadership, collaboration and communications has a high impact. When players use some of the strategies they learned from Dutchman, they can clearly see the benefits of collaboration and the need for having solid systems and processes for moving information amongst the teams as essential to the strategy of optimization.

Purchase the facilitation kit.  Bundled together on one cd for either transparency or multimedia presentation, including instructions and colored forms and other resources, you pay a one-time only cost of $895.

You will find them beneficial, either as a maritime theme or as a Dutchman follow up. (The theme of Saving The World works well for hospitals, for example). Overall, this is a SOLID simulation, easily accessorized and one that works beautifully around issues of systems and processes for organizational improvement.