One day in May, PHD Italy set off from the office into the hills north of Milan to the agriturismo of Oasi Galbusera Bianca and the beautiful woods surrounding it, not far from the tip of Lake Como.

In the last year PHD Italy has welcomed over 30 new faces to its team and so it was decided that all these new faces needed to really feel like a part of the PHD family.

For this they needed an activity with a great goal – to use the PHD values as a means to get to know everyone better. What better way to do so than to head for the hills for a day shooting bows and arrows and running around the woods blindfolded?

The day involved rotating everyone through 4 different outdoor exercises, each of which reflected our core values in its own way. They included building rope bridges as well as becoming skilled archers and hunters, able to identify challenges and see them through.

The training also saw the team tackling challenges and games which involved walking and shimmying ropes strung between the trees as well as blindfolded problem solving – all of these required everyone to give their all in terms of listening, empathy and teamwork.


For the hardiest of PHDers the afternoon climaxed with their navigation skills being put to the test through Geocaching. Geocaching is similar to orienteering or a treasure hunt on a grand scale in which different teams use a GPS app to locate various targets and waypoints. In doing so the PHD teams were able to achieve this while demonstrating the importance of leadership, intelligent delegations of tasks and working as a group towards sometimes difficult targets.

Both the attendance and atmosphere were excellent, helping to cement the team’s cohesion and celebrate its growth with new VW resources. As Manuela Linari, PHD Italy’s marketing and communications manager put it “We were together having fun and learning new things with the ambition to work on relational dynamics and a sense of belonging and confidence”.