Sandcastle Contest Entries
Summer seaside outings are nothing short of perfect. Sunny skies, salty breezes, and plenty of amusement. What’s not to love? When we were contacted to host a destination incentive trip for Kern Pharma on the shores of Will Rogers State Beach, we knew this trip would be unforgettable.
Kern Pharma had decided to reward one team for their sales with a trip to California’s sunny shores. Their team came all the way in from Spain, a locale known for its own warm weather and beautiful beaches.
Knowing our guests mostly only spoke Spanish, we brought in the bilingual members of our staff to ensure communication was perfect. We wanted this trip to be special, and so did Kern Pharma, a company who values their team immensely.
Will Rogers Beach is a gorgeous location for a beach picnic. We’ve favored this spot for years and, we’ve learned, so do many other people. We booked Kern Pharma’s picnic in advance to ensure a private picnic spot would be available.
As our team entered the beach, the pristine stretch of white sand backdropped by deep blue waters seemed ideal for today’s event. We’d be decking this gorgeous location out in our most befitting theme: Luau. The Luau theme is perfect for a summer, seaside event, bringing the Islands to any location.
The breeze tickled our skin, carrying with it the earthy smell of salt as it blew. Our team busied ourselves, beginning preparations for this exciting day. From the concrete pavement, our food and beverage team fired up their grills, the smell of woodsmoke wafting to the shoreline as they worked. Lunch today was our Luau menu.
Our Luau menu today consisted of plenty of choices for our guests. Baby back ribs coated in Teriyaki BBQ sauce, grilled until delectably tender, and Asian BBQ chicken sizzled away on the grills. For sides, our team prepared Hawaiian macaroni salad, tropical fruit salad, and a delicious Asian salad topped with mandarin oranges, crunchy noodles, and dressing. The smell of baking bread wafted through the air, mingling with the butter topping as our staff prepared plenty of Hawaiian rolls. So, too, was dessert freshly made: coconut macaroon cookies.
The sun’s ascent overheard crept on as we worked. From its pale shape early that morning, it grew into a warm spotlight, inching its way to the overhead position that marked our guests’ arrival. Our work went quickly and smoothly. At 11:30 that morning, our guests made their arrival.
Stepping onto the sand, they were greeted first by our picnic tables. The white umbrellas stood high, towering over the brightly-colored tablecloths. Towards the shoreline were marked areas for today’s activities. Firstly, our guests would be invited to play a few rounds of field games, followed by a sandcastle-building competition. Smiles adorned the faces of our guests as they arrived and congregated to hear a few words of welcome.
After the welcome speech, Kern Pharma’s team gathered for a few field game competitions. First, the large group stretched their muscles and got their blood pumping with a round of capture the chicken. Cheers and laughter carried across the beach.
Once the winner had been declared, groups were divided into smaller teams to play a game of Human Sprocket. This game challenges teams to race to the finish line in a fabric wheel, acting as its sprockets. The game requires plenty of dexterity and is always a fun challenge befitting a day out like this.
For the final competition, guests came together for a round of classic tug-of-war. We love watching teams bond and have fun in revitalizing games such as these.
Once teams had their spirits upped by gameplay, it was time for the sandcastle competition to begin. For this portion of the event, we’d brought in a professional sandcastle artist, to give the team some helpful tips. Kern Pharma and ourselves wanted this event to be unique and extraordinary, and we knew this sandcastle competition would bring an extra layer of excitement to the day.
The timer began at 12:30. Our groups had one hour to build their creations. Groups busied themselves gathering sand and mixing sea water into it to develop the perfect consistency. The craft of building a sandcastle is no simple feat.
The consistency of the sand and the tools used make all the difference. There’s a science to it: the right mixture of water, carefully selected choices of sand, and handiwork all contribute to a winning castle. We watched on from our places as the teams sculpted, stacked, and built. The methods were immaculate, and their builds creative. We knew this would be a close competition.
One team worked on a majestic castle, its towers perfectly sculpted and the details delicately carved in. The other team worked on a living sculpture, turning one of their teammates into a mermaid whose body was built from sand.
The latter team delicately sculpted each scale into their teammate’s tail. As the two teams’ builds progressed, we knew our assumption was right: it would be very hard to pick a winner.
The sun was warm over our heads, and the day perfect for an activity like this. As the timers ticked down, we watched on as our guests built and sculpted their creations. We could tell they were having a ball.
Smiles adorned their faces, conversation flowed easily, and laughter rang out like music to our ears. Once the hour was up, teams put down their tools and a winner was declared. Then, it was on to lunch.
First up, our crew served some ice-cold treats, perfect for a sunny beach day. We prepared fresh Hawaiian shaved ice to revitalize Kern Pharma’s team. The sweet syrup mingled with its icy chill was a treat like no other.
Once guests had their fill, our food and beverage team came out with their lunch. Shiny metallic coffers sparkled in the sunlight as they made their way to the picnic tables.
We’d prepared plenty of food for everyone, knowing their appetites would be large from such an adventurous day.
The competitions weren’t the only entertainment for Kern Pharma’s staff. We’d brought in standalone inflatables to serve as entertainment guests could come and go to as they wished. For today, we’d brought in the themed Tiki Obstacle Course as well as sports games for those so inclined. Guests were free to try their hand at Quarterback Toss, Strike Zone Speed Pitch, or Soccer Kick. As we watched attendees moving to and fro, we could see the joy on their faces and hear it in their voices.
After lunch, before the event ended, we had a special finale to wrap up this amazing day. We’d brought in an authentic Polynesian dance troupe, Island Inspirations, to preform traditional dances for Kern Pharma’s team. As the show began, a traditional drummer started up the music. 3 dancers, as well as one Samoan knife thrower, took the stage. Their fluid movements and adept skill enraptured everyone in attendance. All eyes were on their beautifully choreographed routines, a beautiful end to this amazing day.
Once the dancers finished their routine, it was time for the event to end. The sun had already assumed its mid-afternoon position, its light still warm but noticeably lessening.
We looked on at our guests as they began to make their way back to the parking lot. Each and every one had a smile wide on their faces, their eyes glittering with joy. Their expressions showed us a job well done.
This incentive trip was one, we knew, they wouldn’t soon forget, because we wouldn’t soon forget it ourselves. As the group made their way out of our sight, we found ourselves smiling, too.
This was a truly magical beach picnic, one that fully incentivized Kern Pharma’s team just the way they’d wanted it to.