Team Building Exercises

Chris Hartung has been licensed to fill the role of the Expedition Leader and is now able to lead teams on this fun and challenging journey into the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. The Search for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is based upon the true story of Jacob Waltz and his gold mine, lost when he attempted to describe its location on his deathbed in 1892.

Local governmental organizations are undergoing major change as they deal with the impact of the current fiscal crisis. This exercise sets the stage for a relevant and meaningful discussion of the impact of those changes on employees.


Participants play in teams of up to six people. They are provided with a mission and a challenge, given resources and information and then asked to make a variety of choices to develop and execute their plan. The goal of the exercise is to have fun and work together to mine goal while collaborating and communicating and not competing. All of the teams can be successful; those that plan well and collaborate will be more successful than the others.

The Scenario:

Teams learn that they will have are given 20 days (2 minutes each) to complete their journey to the mine and back to Apache Junction. They have three paths available with different risks and must plan for weather changes and optimal use of their resources.

The Debriefing:

The Expedition Leader/Facilitator will link the behaviors in the exercise to situations in the workplace during a debriefing following the exercise. The debriefing makes this exercise truly unique.

The Search for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a powerful tool for helping participants understand the impact of change (or the need for change) on the organization. The challenges that surface on the Expedition reinforce the need for leadership, clear missions / visions, as well as highlighting issues of teamwork and collaboration.

The Search for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a dynamic half-day program that allows ample time for discussion. It offers a valuable learning experience as part of an organization’s leadership development program.