PORT BYRON — Kristen Balinski, a mechanical engineer at Deere & Co., sat on a picnic bench and watched co-workers balancing on cables 45 feet in the air. She was getting nervous.
"I think this one with the high ropes is going to be a little tough," she said.
Ms. Balinski was at Adventure Quest of the Quad Cities with eight other Deere employees as part of a team-building exercise to develop trust and confidence.
Adventure Quest has a series of obstacles that require team work and pushing personal boundaries, owner Dale Morris said.
"They're learning trust; they're learning self-confidence," he said. "When you accomplish some of these low-rope obstacles, and high ropes, you trust the person who's helping you, and your self-confidence level goes up."
The Deere group participated in a series of solo and team-based activities, such as a 300-foot zip line and low- and high-rope courses. The low ropes include a series of obstacles several inches off the ground that require communication to successfully complete.
The high ropes are completed alone and require climbing up a 45-foot pole and walking across cables to another pole about 40 feet away.
Many in the group of Deere engineers from Deere locations around the world never had met face-to-face, so engineering supervisor Nate Hillman decided to take them out of the office for the day, and other supervisors at Deere recommended Adventure Quest.
"We had a lot of fun," Mr. Hillman said. "I think it helped build some team morale and get everybody to get to know each other."
One obstacle was called the "trust fall." Each person in the group was asked to get on a platform about 5 feet from the ground, close their eyes and fall backward, relying on their peers to catch them.
Marcos Bianchi, who came from Brazil, said it was his first time meeting many of his co-workers. Still, falling into the arms of people he just met wasn't a problem.
"It's not so difficult," Mr. Bianchi said."I trust the team, and everything is covered."
Rates at Adventure Quest depend on what obstacles the group chooses to do, Mr. Morris said. Prices range from $40 to $100 per person, with food and drink options also available.
For more information, go to adventureqwest.com or call 309-523-3619.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.