Last Sunday, the CIM team visited the beautiful surroundings of Vijlen for a unique activity: sheep herding! In honor of our Health Month, CIM wanted to host an event that revolves around health for the team. What would be better than an active afternoon that is not only good for your physical well being, but also for your mental health? Sheep herding would be the perfect activity for this!
The CIM team visited the many hills of the Heuvelland in South Limburg, which was full of colorful autumn trees. We went to a meadow, where many sheep were waiting for us. After introducing each other to the local shepherd Paul from Paradijsvogels in Vijlen, it was time to meet the sheep. The shepherd explained that teamwork would be essential and how shepherd dogs would gather the sheep together and how you can make sure they go into the direction you want. Sheep have eyes on the side of their heads, which means they can only see you when you standing next to them. Interesting information, definitely good to know!
Time to use our new knowledge of sheep into practice. We started with an introductory exercise for the whole group which was bringing the herd of sheep into another field. After that, the group was split in two to add a competitive element. The groups had to lead the sheep to a certain point via a fixed route, and be as quick as possible. After reaching a destination, you had to stop the sheep and let them stand still for a few seconds. It turns out that sheep herding is far from easy: as soon as one animal escapes, the others follow. Yet, this didn’t take away any of the fun, and everyone was in a happy mood, laughing and petting the soft woolly sheep.
After two hours of running around in the mud, it was time to say goodbye to the sheep and go back inside for a warm drink and a tasty piece of vlaai. We played a few games, shared our thoughts and laughed about funny moments. For example how fast one of the colleagues were running or some were talking to the sheep in Chinese as if they were humans.
Besides the physical activity to move our bodies and the challenge on how to make sure the sheep go into the direction you want, our team learned how to work together to complete the different challenges of the shepherd and grow closer to each other in an informal fun setting. By making sure everyone was in position and looking out for each other, the sheep herding activity was a great exercise to boost our teamwork and mental health! It was memorable day and we made fun memories with each other.