The head of an älg (pronounced ellie) at the hunting lodge
The head of an älg (pronounced ellie) at the hunting lodge

The department planning retreat was a little outside the town of Sundsvall, in a very nice rural area with rolling  hills, lots of trees, and a very long lake.  The retreat itself was at a hunting lodge that the owners admit hosts very few hunters.  Although all the meat served at the lodge comes from moose and elk shot on the property, most people come for the biathlon course, the hiking, the hot tubs, and lots of mini-conferences and planning retreats like ours.  I wanted to use the hot tubs, but they were outdoors and it was snowing the night we were there- which sounds nice, but it was bitterly cold and I knew it would be hard to get out of the water and walk back to my cabin (outdoors!) even with the provided bathrobe.

View of the lake and hills from the lodge
View of the lake and hills from the lodge. Check out the frost on that field!

The best thing about the trip was the ‘team building activity’, which involved a very unusual kind of tetrathlon.  There were 3 stations.  At the first, you drive a dune buggy around an all-terrain course, then you do another lap and try to match your speed.  My buddy Hassse and I were co-champions on this one.  The second was piling log segments using a log grapplers.  This is basically a mini-digger like my Dad would use in the garden, but with a pinching tool.  I am so sorry I didn’t get a picture! The third was air riffle shooting at the biathlon targets.  The first time through I really sucked with the targets, I think because I didn’t understand the Swedish instructions the next time through I got them all.  Woot woot! The fourth was slingshot.  I am apparently stronger than the slingshot (slangbella in Swedish) because I snapped the elastic…  but unfortunately, I didn’t hit any cans. My team came in second, but I think we won ‘most high fives’.


  1. I am so going to call you slangbella from now on. I laughed out loud at that one. You are an awesome storyteller.

    The whole program sounds excellent: the frequency of your team-building, retreat, mental-health day schedule sounds really healthy for you as individuals and as a functional group. Impressive swedes – you don’t have to be rich, just smart. 😉

  2. That team building activity is so cool!!! I wish we had something like that here. Maybe it’s something I can suggest at work :p!!!

    🙂 Andrea

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