Jungle Escape Team Building Game


Jungle Escape is a high-energy team building game that’s perfect for introducing and reinforcing the concept of effective teamwork, and developing the group process skills that are needed for cohesive team performance


Rescuing Teams Around The World Jungle Escape Celebrates its 30th Anniversary Interview with author Dr. Rollin Glaser Jungle Escape was an instant hit when it was first introduced three decades ago. Now the game that's taken more than 100,000 learners on an unforgettable memorable team-building adventure is celebrating its 30th anniversary. We recently spoke to Jungle Escape co-author and HRDQ founder Dr. Rollin Glaser about the game and why it's considered a classic in the industry


Q: Where did the idea for Jungle Escape originate?

A: The concept for Jungle Escape all started with a client in the retail industry, believe it or not. I was training middle managers at the time — and boy, they were a very active bunch. They always hated lectures, but loved doing competitive things in class. One day, a client who had heard me talk repeatedly about teamwork said, “If you’re so convinced that we need teamwork, why don’t you create a team-building experience?” Remember, this was 30 years ago, when teams were a new concept for organizations. After giving it some thought, I landed (no pun intended) on a hands-on activity that would illustrate the purpose of teamwork: when people function together as an effective team, they produce better results most of the time. Jungle Escape was the end result of my endeavors, and it’s been a favorite among trainers for 30 years.

Q: Has Jungle Escape changed much since it was first released in 1980?

A: Yes and no. Over the years, we’ve used different toy pieces for the simulation and we’ve made regular enhancements to the game. But Jungle Escape’s core activity remains the same. That’s because the principles of effective teamwork have not shifted, despite the many changes in organizations trainers have witnessed over the last 30 years.

The first edition helicopters were constructed of Lego pieces. We continued with them until the LEGO® company stopped supplying parts to commercial businesses like HRDQ. We knew at the time that it was a hurdle for us to overcome, but we also knew that the power behind the Jungle Escape experience wasn’t the toys themselves — rather, the true learning that occurs when a team of people attempt to construct something together. Fortunately for us, we found a new supplier and we continue to use those parts today.

Q: Why does Jungle Escape work?

A: The activity is specifically designed so that group planning is needed before construction of the helicopter can begin. This means teams are required to communicate with one another about strategy, roles, and how to go about execution without touching the parts. Not every team realizes this important step, though. It always fascinates me to watch some tables skip the planning and jump right into the building phase. And the outcome is the same every time: the teams who take the time to talk through the project and practice healthy group process skills outperform those who do not. I must say, it’s fun as a facilitator to watch the “a-ha!” moments as participants realize what makes the difference between success and failure as a team.

Q: What improvements were made to the fifth edition?

A: We knew when we set out to create the anniversary edition that the best place to start was to ask our clients what they’d like to see. They know the game best — they know what they like, and they know where we can make improvements.

Their number one response? A new, more creative and engaging introduction. I’m pleased to say we answered this request with a new multimedia video clip that sets the stage for the Jungle Escape adventure. Not only is it more dramatic, we believe it will do a much better job of immersing participants in the learning experience.

There are other exciting changes, too. We replaced the generic canvas tote with a custom, eco-friendly backpack, added a step-by-step helicopter assembly video, introduced full-color facilitator and participant materials, and more.

It hardly seems that 30 years have passed since HRDQ first introduced Jungle Escape. As the author and creator, I believe the game has survived because it’s an effective way to teach sound, fundamental principles, and it serves as a reminder of the universal challenges we face working together as teams.
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“Why can’t these people work as a team?” The cry of frustration is heard every day in organizations while time, money, and opportunities drain away. Pushing people to be better team members doesn’t help if they have don’t have a clear vision of how a well-oiled machine looks and feels. And the fact is, they often don’t.
An instant hit since it was first introduced thirty years ago, Jungle Escape is an experiential training game that takes new and intact teams on an imaginative adventure: having just survived a crash-landing in a remote jungle, a team of engineers must build an escape helicopter using the spare parts they were transporting.
Click here to visit HRDQ


Jungle Escape isn’t just about fun and games, though. Real learning is quickly absorbed by the players as they discover and practice the critical skills surrounding the processes of team planning, problem solving, and decision making. Before they know it, they’ve experienced first-hand the research-proven differences between a well-functioning “Cohesive” team and a “Fragmented” or “Divergent” one.

Learning Outcomes: Discover the difference between “Cohesive” teams. and “Fragmented” or “Divergent” teams. Learn nine key indicators of team effectiveness. Experience vital group-process skills such as problem solving and decision making. Understand the importance of balancing planning and implementation. Recognize the effect of individual behavior on group productivity. Immediate action planning steps for better team performance. Introducing Jungle Escape, Fully Revised 30th Anniversary Edition.

It’s bigger, it’s better, and it’s jam-packed with all sorts of exciting new features, from a cool eco-friendly backpack to enhanced Facilitator and Participant materials, a suspense-filled action video, and much more. Here’s a peek at what you’ll find:

Comprehensive, full-color Facilitator Guide, Full-color, takeaway Participant Guides. Professional PowerPoint presentation, Supplemental inter-team module, “Jungle” mood sounds, Scenario video clip, Instructional video for helicopter assembly, and Heck, we even added a water bottle for trainers with a thirst for learning!

So why do trainers – and audiences – love Jungle Escape?

First of all, the audience soon forgets they’re in a classroom as they are quickly immersed in a survival scenario. They're having fun while the learning happens through the discovery and practice of critical group process skills such as planning, problem solving, and decision making. Trainers use it as a powerful way to introduce basic team building, improve productivity between multiple work groups, or energize mature teams. We guarantee it will be an experience that participants – and the organization – won’t soon forget.

Find out more at HRDQ at teams:



Rescuing teams around the world for 30 years:

An HRDQ client favorite, Jungle Escape is a high-energy team building game that’s perfect for introducing and reinforcing the concept of effective teamwork, and developing the group process skills that are needed for cohesive team performance.
“Why can’t these people work as a team?” The cry of frustration is heard every day in organizations while time, money, and opportunities drain away. Pushing people to be better team members doesn’t help if they have don’t have a clear vision of how a well-oiled machine looks and feels. And the fact is, they often don’t. An instant hit since it was first introduced thirty years ago, Jungle Escape is an experiential training game that takes new and intact teams on an imaginative adventure: having just survived a crash-landing in a remote jungle, a team of engineers must build an escape helicopter using the spare parts they were transporting.

Jungle Escape isn’t just about fun and games, though. Real learning is quickly absorbed by the players as they discover and practice the critical skills surrounding the processes of team planning, problem solving, and decision making. Before they know it, they’ve experienced first-hand the research-proven differences between a well-functioning “Cohesive” team and a “Fragmented” or “Divergent” one.

Learning Outcomes: Discover the difference between “Cohesive” teams. and “Fragmented” or “Divergent” teams. Learn nine key indicators of team effectiveness. Experience vital group-process skills such as problem solving, and decision making.Understand the importance of balancing planning and implementation. Recognize the effect of individual behavior on group productivity. Immediate action planning steps for better team performance. Introducing Jungle Escape, Fully Revised 30th Anniversary Edition.
So why do trainers – and audiences – love Jungle Escape?

First of all, the audience soon forgets they’re in a classroom as they are quickly immersed in a survival scenario. They're having fun while the learning happens through the discovery and practice of critical group process skills such as planning, problem solving, and decision making. Trainers use it as a powerful way to introduce basic team building, improve productivity between multiple work groups, or energize mature teams. We guarantee it will be an experience that participants – and the organization – won’t soon forget.

Click here to visit HRDQ


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