Make us your home page
Working | Sure beats a corporate seminar

GPS in hand, search for teamwork begins

TAMPA — They're techies who work in front of computer screens building databases for Verizon Wireless.

Their colleagues? Faceless voices on conference calls scattered throughout the country. But Wednesday, 30 of them met, some for the first time, for a team-building scavenger hunt called GeoQuest.

Clutching GPS devices and a list of 32 clues, they set out at 8:45 a.m. on a three-hour tour of downtown Tampa unlike any they'd find in a travel book.

One group of five followed the digital compass along Kennedy Boulevard, its arrow pointing west across the Hillsborough River. It led them to a bench in front of the University of Tampa, where they pondered a clue:

Sit here. Inspect closely. Tell me what other famous city you could be in.

A man in sunglasses and a baseball cap sat close by, shaking his head. Dave Yunghans was the only guy with all the answers, and no one was asking him a single question.

"The only way they can solve this is to work together," he said.

Yunghans works for Team Builders Plus, a New Jersey company that organizes activities across the country. This was his third Tampa scavenger hunt of the month. More may follow, which is why he likes to keep his answers under wraps.

He put the hunt together in a day and a half. He examined the imprints on bricks and names carved in cement. He counted the crescents atop the silver minarets.

He gave each team a jar of Play-Doh and asked them to re-create the statue known as the exploding chicken. Malcolm Rausch, a 40-year-old manager from Ohio, snapped a photo on his camera phone to help him sculpt it later.

With less than an hour left, Rausch's teammates ran up a spiral staircase at the university. They stopped in front of a historic schoolhouse and copied words from a plaque.

When another team came up behind them, all but one took off. Milton Bennett, 52, lingered. He wasn't helping the other team, was he?

"Milton!" Jay Jadeja, 52, yelled.

Rausch called out, "What team are you on?"

Milton hurried to catch up.

Back at Ole Style Deli, where all teams were ordered to meet at precisely 11:47 a.m., Rausch sculpted a last-minute hot pink abstract pheasant while Yunghans posed a question:

How many of them had figured out how to use the "nearest" button on their GPS, which would have enabled them to find more clues? Rausch and his teammates raised their hands, victorious. They were the only ones.

"And how many of you shared that information with the other teams?" Yunghans asked. They lowered their hands and hung their heads.

Did they know this wasn't a competition? That if all teams had worked together, they would have solved the puzzle in less than an hour? That this is what causes problems at work?


Then Rausch piped up. "But look at my chicken!"

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at or (813) 226-3354.



for cache

GeoQuest, which relies on handheld GPS devices like the one above, is one of the programs offered by Team Builders Plus. To learn more about the company, visit team or call (856) 596-4196.

GPS in hand, search for teamwork begins 06/28/08 [Last modified: Saturday, June 28, 2008 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: No more VinikVille as Water Street Tampa finally arrives


    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena


    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  4. Rick Scott appoints longtime ally Jimmy Patronis as Florida CFO

    State Roundup
    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches


    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]