Rock Creek- for Change

The Story

Red Lodge, Mt is the setting of the Rock Creek of my soul.   Tumbling and chaotic, with wide stretches and tight squeezes, Rock Creek flows rapidly downhill to the Yellowstone River.  For me, Rock Creek represents the power of change.  Frozen in the winter, crashing in the spring, calmer in the fall, Rock Creek changes much like a business must change, one process giving way to a better process.  Full of boulders that resist the flow, and dappling sunlight playing off the splashes those boulders create gives Rock Creek a mesmerizing, everything will be okay in the end, power. ~Karen

Art based team building

Your Experience

Rock Creek is designed for teams that must change, that must look at things with a whole new perspective.  We start stage one, Begin, with peace, calming your team.  The Changes we throw at them are powerful and unexpected, like a boulder in the middle of a creek the team will crash against them, discovering that together is the only way to conquer the change.  In the end Rock Creek teams talk about change, and how it shapes them, how they will survive it.  12- 100 participants.  Best held off site.  2.5- 4 hours depending on desired outcomes.

Collaborative art

Your Art

Rock Creek art is often a blur.  The initial elements are gone.  Chaos of change gives way to words and splatters that represent the team.  Participants will tell you what was on the canvas before the change, and the strongest teams will be proud of their art, and the survival it represents to them.  Rock Creek participants often hug at the end of the process, and they always face change with a new resolve that together they can do anything.

Case Study- One

The Team – Community of Christ

Chicago’s Community of Christ is known for loving spirits, open arms, and steady parishioners.  A change in church policy threw everyone into a blur of emotions so CCC invited us to attend their annual family weekend.

The Process

We were privileged to spend the weekend getting to know these fine people and the camp space they were using.   We quickly changed up their expectations with trust walks, scavenger hunts, and tower building.   When it was time to paint we went with a light version of Rock Creek as we were building trust and new friendships as well as facilitating change.


When the art was hung on the walls, as a colorful and powerful gallery, the team recognized how each individual congregation, as well as each individual, needed to come together to fulfill their mission.  The group had big discussions about inclusion, diversity, and wholeness.  Together.   It was powerful and it was just what they needed.

Case Study- Two

The Team – Head Start -Yellowstone County

This group came to us because they were suffering through and continuing to have big changes.  Leadership, process, facility, staff, and as always, saying hello and goodbye to clients, each year.   The changes brought the team to a boiling point, tensions were high and trust was scarce as a new school year dawned.

The Process

Canvas Creek led the team through a trust walk exercise, the end of which brought the team of 125 people to an outdoor art studio.  The temperature was nearing 100*, and many of the staff were, to say the least, reluctant to participate in a team building project.

As often happens, the enthusiastic team members led the charge of ”we can do this’ and everyone started to paint.  That is when the magic of the process took over.  Small elements became bolder, teams began to cheer each other, laughter filled the park, and when the moment was just right we unleashed dance music and DRAMATIC change.  There was more laughter, much disgruntlement, and, as we knew would happen, a coming together of the teams.

Because of the heat debriefing was minimal, but the conversations carried into training the next day.  The staff determined to be nicer to each other, they aired concerns and made plans for effective communication and healing.


Jennifer Owen, the Executive Director, used the paintings as a talking point in all staff meetings, reminding the team what they learned and agreed to during this process.  Change continued to reign, but without the drama, with more acceptance, and stronger friendships during the following year.

Canvas Creek felt privileged to be part of this process and continues to work with the team for yearly training programs.