Twitter. It is huge. If you aren’t on Twitter you should be, it just may be taking over the world. The social media site is used as a marketing tool, to spread news, to entertain, and even has even changed the world.
Of all the things I like about Twitter (including all the live tweets about the OKC Thunder), my favorite aspect of this expansive social network is the ability to follow superstars throughout the world. Many Twitter users follow entertainers, and if you look at the top 5 most popular people on Twitter you easily recognize this:
I, however, follow very few entertainers (OKC Thunder players excluded, of course), but superstars in the leadership, team-building, and motivation world. People like John C. Maxwell, Tom Peters , Dave Ramsey, or even the Association of Experiential Education.
Some Twitterers, like Craig Groeschel post about their work in this world, some like Scott Williams, tweet about their blog, their family, and their everyday life (and love of the Thunder). Others, such as Petteri Tarkkonen, mostly share quotes about their passion.
I encourage you to use Twitter in whatever capacity you feel appropriate. To aid you in that process, I have collected some awesome quotes about leadership that are Twitter-ready. They are shorter than 140 characters, include the source, and even have some of the actual Twitter accounts of the people who shared their wisdom. Copy them, add a hashtag when applicable, and start sharing with your followership. If there is one thing I know about Twitter, the more you tweet, the more people will listen.
The challenge of leadership is both moral & one of developing the characteristics that make us respected by one another @LouisFarrakhan
Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource is your time. @BrianTracy
I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. – Mahatma Gandhi
Everyone enjoys doing the kind of work for which he is best suited. – Napoleon Hill
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. – John F. Kennedy
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter Drucker
It’s not what you know; it’s what you use that makes a difference. @TheZigZiglar
Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. – Peter Drucker
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Relationships are the hallmark of the mature person. @BrianTracy
Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. @StephenRCovey
Example is leadership. – Albert Schweitzer
You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Absolute identity with one’s cause is the first and great condition of successful leadership. – Woodrow Wilson
Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people. – John D. Rockefeller
I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together. – George W. Bush
Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time. – George W. Bush
Chance favors only the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur
I forgot to shake hands and be friendly. It was an important lesson about leadership. – Lee Iacocca
Leadership does not depend on being right. – Ivan Illich
Leadership is influence. – @JohnCMaxwell
Character matters; leadership descends from character. – @RushLimbaugh
Wherever there is danger, there lurks opportunity; whenever there is opportunity, there lurks danger. -E. Nightingale
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. - Warren G. Bennis
Leadership is, among other things, the ability to inflict pain and get away with it – short-term pain for long-term gain. – George Will
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying. – Nelson Mandela
Leadership is intangible, and therefore no weapon ever designed can replace it. – Omar N. Bradley
The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. – John Buchan
To have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way. – Pat Riley
The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes. – @TonyBlairOffice
The book you don’t read won’t help. @OfficialJimRohn
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. – @KenBlanchard
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. – Marian Anderson
Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership. – @RumsfeldOffice
Leadership in today’s world requires far more than a large stock of gunboats and a hard fist at the conference table. – Hubert Humphrey
There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two. – Bertolt Brecht
The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. – Harvey S. Firestone
Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve. – Tom Landry
The secret to success is good leadership, & good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members better. @TonyDungy
If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example. – Ingvar Kamprad
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. – Ralph Nader
One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. – Arnold H. Glasow
Any person who contributes to prosperity must prosper in turn. -E. Nightingale
Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership. – JC Penney
I think the greater responsibility, in terms of morality, is where leadership begins. – Norman Lear
Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions. – Bo Bennett
The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. –E. Nightingale
Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned. – Harold S. Geneen
Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. – Harold S. Geneen
Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular. @TonyRobbins
Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. @Tom_Peters
Leadership must be established from the top down. – Sam Nunn
Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be. – Og Mandino
Education is the mother of leadership. – Wendell Willkie
Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts. – Erskine Bowles
Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career! – Earl Nightingale
We need leadership, and we need it now. – Byron Dorgan
A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. @TonyRobbins
It is the responsibility of leadership to provide opportunity, and the responsibility of individuals to contribute. – William Pollard
We need leadership. We don’t need a doubling down on the failed politics of the past. @RepPaulRyan
The art of communication is the language of leadership. – James Humes
Leadership demands that we make tough choices. – Alan Autry
Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it. – John Naisbitt
Leadership requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation. – Alan Autry
Leadership is an active role; ‘lead’ is a verb. But the leader who tries to do it all is headed for burnout. – Bill Owens
The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. – James Buchanan
Leadership offers an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter what the project. – Bill Owens
Leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something you are convinced should be done. – Vance Packard
Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. – Bill Bradley
The very exercise of leadership fosters capacity for it. – Cyril Falls
The best way to sell yourself to others is first to sell the others to yourself. – Napoleon Hill
Actions, not words, are the ultimate results of leadership. – Bill Owens
Leadership comes in small acts as well as bold strokes. @CarlyforCA
If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room. – Anita Roddick
Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want. – Dianne Feinstein
I hope you can use these…I will post more Twitter-ready quotes from time-to-time, so follow along. What is your favorite quote? What is your favorite leadership quote? Let me know if I need to add it to my list!Tweet on Tweeters.
Founder, Experiential Adventure
This activity is for all of my TRiO lovers out there! Do you want an activity to do with high school students who are interested in pursuing a post-secondary education? This is the one for you. As a counselor for Educational Talent Search, I have often caught myself lecturing my students about the different reasons to pick a college. Do they want to go to the University of Texas because of its academic prestige, student life, or because of the location? What about Tulsa Community College, are you going because of price, location, or the admissions criteria? Is one criteria more important that the other? This activity will help guide the students to answering these questions in a fun and interactive way.
Objective: As a group, rank a list of reasons why someone would attend college.
Group Size: You can use this activity with any size group, but to help with ease of communication, try to limit the group size to fifteen. If you have a larger group, separate the group in to several smaller groups, even groups as small as two to three people.
Props: Type of a list of factors that any student would consider when choosing post-secondary education. Place these terms on their own piece of paper. It helps to have each term on their own paper so that the participants can move them around and actually rank them on the floor or table.
Set Up: Simply place the factors on the floor or on a table so each participant can see the different words.
Description: The rules for this activity are very simple, tell the group that they should try to come to a consensus and rank all the college admission factors from most important to least important. This means that they will all agree to the final rankings. It is often hard for the group to come to a consensus, and it is more important that they begin talking about these factors than if they come to an actual consensus. Feel free to put a time-limit on this activity to keep the activity from lasting several hours!
Debrief: Take notes during the activity to some of the things the participants are saying to each other as they rank the college admission factors. Use your experience as a TRiO professional to help guide them after the activity to the most important factors in their own individual college admissions decision.
Variation: Have the participants view the factors and then write their own rankings on a piece of paper. They can then share their list to the group and explain why they ranked them.
College Admission Factors:
Type (Private or Public)
Your Friends Go There
Setting (Urban, Suburban or Rural)
I love YouTube. It is an excellent mix of powerful informative videos and clips of hilarious cats.
I love watching cats and their shenanigans, but I love a great experiential-based video as well. YouTube is packed with informative videos that highlight different group activities. I have been ransacking the world web for the best videos covering team-building activities, name games, icebreakers, chants and jingles, and so much more. I created a YouTube channel that highlights my favorite videos, displays my personal videos, and even has playlists of different activities. I tried to find videos that were fun and clear, but also included explanations and instructions to facilitate the activities.
Here is one of my favorite icebreaker videos, Human Javelin, by the fine folks at Ultimate Camp Resource.
Take some time, check it out, and see what other experts around the globe have displayed on YouTube. I will be consistently adding videos to the playlist, so please let me know what you think and tell me if you have any good videos I have overlooked!
Have a great day!
Founder, Experiential Adventure
Ever been influenced? Someone ever pushed you to doing something you didn’t want to do? What about something you did want to do?
Influences, you got to love them. Sometimes influences are positive, they can push you to achieve new heights and reach your goals. Jerrod Murr, my personal assistant, is a solid influence in my life. He has inspired me in so many ways, and I am glad to have him in my life. Other times influences can be negative. I try to avoid negative influences like the plague.
Influences are the premise behind this classic and easy team-building initiative I first learned in Boston at Project Adventure. Step back to your childhood and buy the only prop needed in this activity, a new or gently used set of Don’t Break the Ice.
Don’t Break the Ice
Number of Participants: 10-20
Time: 10-15 minutes
Activity Level: Low
Props: Set of Don’t Break the Ice
Objective: To lift the ice cubes higher than the group’s head.
Set Up: Set 3 ice cubes on the floor in a straight row in between two participants.
Rules: A participant can only use the tip of their index finger on one hand.
Find a creative way to pair up the group members. I usually ask them to find the person in the group with an index finger similar in size to theirs. Placing the blocks in between two participants, challenge the dyad to raise the three ice cubes above their head only using the tip of their index finger.
Enjoy watching the teams push the cubes back and forth, up and down, and even upside down to achieve their goal. After the team has reached new ice cube heights, encourage the teams to pair up with another group, combine the cubes, and try it again. Then double the group size again, and again, and again…or until the entire group is lifting their cubes into the air!
Variation: Challenge the participants to use their non-dominant hand.
Questions for Discussion:
1. How did you get influenced to accomplish your goal?
2. Are influences negative or positive?
3. Did you “give in” to the influences, or did you “push” against them?
4. What types of influences do you have in your life?
5. Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt influenced? Was it negative or positive?
1. Sometimes it is easier to accomplish this task if the teams are lifting an actually cube of ice cubes. (Not a 3D cube, but a flat cube of ice cubes on the floor…more like a square. Definitely a square. I should have used that in the example.)
2. Sometimes it is easier to accomplish this task if the teams are lifting a square of ice cubes. (Made more sense, huh?)
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions either leave a note below or email me!
Founder, Experiential Adventure
Happy First Friday of 2012!
I hope you all had an excellent break and a great start to the year. Over the break I had some time to “research” different experiential learning and team-building activities (i.e. I watch a ton of things on YouTube). I came across several great videos from these fellas, and I feel they did a great job explaining Traffic Jam. I first learned Traffic Jam at Project Adventure in Boston, and I have loved facilitating it ever since.
Number of Participants: 6-16 (It sure helps to have an even number)
Time: 15-30 min.
Energy Level: Low
Traffic Jam is a puzzling activity. I use this activity as a real problem-solving initiative for the participants. It is perfect for participants to think outside of the box, learn through trial by error, and of course to challenge the communication skills of the group.
I pair this activity with a decision-making worksheet or workshop. This really encourages the participants to think about different ways to solve a common problem. I will invite the participants to share their frustrations, obstacles, successes, and failures with the group. Often times I will take note on the different times participants deem this activity impossible, and reread those statements to the group during processing.
Questions for Review:
1. What types of difficulties did you encounter by standing in a linear row?
2. How did you finally determine the solution?
3. In our everyday walk of life, how do we handle poor communication? What are ways we can overcome poor communication?
4. Have you ever encountered an activity that seemed impossible and you overcame it? How did you accomplish that task?
5. What ways can we work as a team to overcome a daunting task?
6. What decisions needed to be made for us to be successful?
You can play the activity online to see if you can solve the puzzle. Click the link or the picture to play the game! Do you think you can figure it out?
Please do not hesitate to email me if you need any advice, have questions, or suggestions for this activity.
Ryan Eller, Founder
I have just finished reading Karl Rohnke’s little known book, On The Edge Games for Youth Ministry, and I loved it! The title may be deceiving, so don’t think these activities are just for Youth Ministry, because this book is packed full of activities perfect for any facilitator, regardless of group type.
My favorite activity in the book was Foot to Foot Pass, a fun and interactive game that will get your group laughing and meeting each other in a fun way. In this activity, the group members take off their shoes, sit in a circle, and pass a beach ball around the circle with their feet. When they pass the ball to the person next to them, the passer says the name of the person receiving the ball. If your group already knows each other well, they can say something else, like their favorite color or the place they want to vacation.
Karl Rohnke is the king of experiential education, and has written over 20 books full of great games, initiatives, activities, and ropes course instruction. His most famous books are The Bottomless Bag and Silver Bullets. His activities are so well-known and well spread that you probably have done 100s of them, but do not know he created them. He also helped found Project Adventure and High Five Adventure. He is a legend.
At the end of the description of each activity there was a “Learning Option.” The Learning Options tied each activity to a scripture and lessons applicable to youth ministers. These were always informative, interactive and had questions available for the facilitator to ask the group for group communication.
I strongly encourage all facilitators to add this book to their library. I have found that you have to scan through most icebreaker and interactive activities books to find the good activities, but this is not the case for On The Edge Games for Youth Ministry. I thumb marked nearly activity as one that I will try to learn and use with my groups.
Hello from Glen Rose, TX and the Riverbend Retreat Center. I am facilitating and speaking to almost 100 of the best and brightest students from across the SWASAP area. SWASAP is short for Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs, and encompasses all of the TRiO programs from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. I was brought in to provide experiential learning activities for the students as they traverse their leadership journey at the SWASAP Student Leadership Conference.
As a part of my Labor Day Challenge I wanted to present at a leadership conference. I will be here tonight until Sunday, and I am already loving my time here! These students will be equipped the tools necessary to be leaders at their high schools and colleges, they are being provided with direction for their dreams and ambitions, and will no doubt be successful. I love asking these students their dreams because I see their eyes sparkle when they talk about their passion. These are not average students, these are exceptional students who decided to take time out of their busy schedule to attend a leadership conference. These are students who want to be doctors, lawyers, nurses, educators, and leaders. These are students who see all of the obstacles that have been placed in their way, and fight through them. These are students who will one day be leading this world into a new frontier.
I will post about the SWASAP SLC everyday this weekend…I hope to profile a couple of students over the next couple of days and let you know the type of individuals I am working with here. As usual, I came here to teach, and I am being taught. I am learning how to persevere, how to dream and how to survive, that is what my Labor Day Challenge is all about.
Welcome back to the Labor Day Challenge…I hope you are having as great a day as I am! I stayed up way too late last night (not what I have set out to do during the 6 weeks), ate too much food, but got to spend some great time with some great friends. Today I got up super early and ran with the great H1, and then headed to RSU in Claremore to facilitate at the Hilltop Challenge Course.
I love going to the ropes course, both as a participant and as an instructor. Today I was an instructor, leading activities for the Rogers County Leadership Group. I love being able to work on the course so I can practice my facilitating skills and hone my debriefing techniques. I am very passionate about experiential education, and a ropes course gives me an opportunity to pursue my passion.
We started out with activities on the ground, trying out some name games, icebreakers, initiatives and team building exercises. Our sequence was as follows:
Milk the Cow
Thumbwrestling in Stereo
Rock, Paper, Scissor Olympics
Fast Finger Olympics
After having a great time on the ground, we graduated to the low ropes course, were we completed Wild Woozy and dominated Islands. After lunch we moved to the high ropes course, where the group moved quickly through the course, pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone. I belayed the incline log, and watched as participants fought through fear, physical exhaustion, and preconceived notions of their ability to climb the course.
I literally got to see people live up to mantras I have set forth for myself throughout my Labor Day Challenge. It inspired me to keep going strong, especially since I have been struggling in a couple of areas of the challenge. If these people can push through to build confidence, self-esteem and leadership, I can do it too. I hope to become an excellent ropes course facilitator, I would even like to someday have my own course. I am doing the things now to make those dreams a reality, that is what my Labor Day Challenge is all about.
Howdy! It is getting nice and chilly in Oklahoma, and I am appreciative. We had an unusually hot summer, and we even set a record for the hottest month ever in the US this July. Ever! What a record to hold, I am so proud. When it gets cold it is easier to run, easier to dress for success, and easier to sleep. This was my Labor Day Challenge (get caught up here) subject for today. I want to sleep better and feel rested when I wake up.
Sleep. I love it. Who doesn’t really? I know a few people. For starters, I think God didn’t want pregnant women to sleep, and babies in the womb either. Sweet Baby Jane, my soon to be daughter, feels the need to kick Kristin most of the night. She is already going to be ornery, just like her mother. I’m not placing all of the blame on God and Sweet Baby Jane either, Kristin moves around and tosses the covers like she owns the entire bed. We have discussed getting a California king sized bed, but I think we would end up the same way every morning, with Kristin laying on her back with her arms and legs fully extended resembling a star fish, and me hugging the side of the bed trying not to fall off. Kristin also has the bladder of a mouse and the ability to sleepwalk to the toilet. I however, sleep light and have a hard time falling asleep once awoken. I know you guys aren’t really feeling sorry for me, but you get the point…I need sleep.
If I want to accomplish the things during my Labor Day Challenge, I must go to bed early and rise alert and ready to go! I am waking up early enough to cook a healthy breakfast and driving an hour to work to be on time – I can’t be late!. I am working out or running almost every day of the week, writing a blog, thank you notes, working, etc. etc. etc. I also want to spend quality time with Kristin and my favorite pup Lucy. After all this busyness, I am usually tired, but have a hard time falling asleep. My mom battles insomnia, and can be up late regardless of how tired she is, and I think she passed it down to me.
I am combating this by going to bed before 10 everynight. I should rephrase that. I am trying to go to bed before 10 everynight. Last night it was 10:06, pretty close, but I need to be better. The night before it was 11:35, and when I finally did get to bed, Kristin was snoring so loud I had to sleep on the couch. That isn’t good at all. I am being honest with you when I say I am struggling. I need sleep, I crave it, but I am still not doing the things needed to get sleep!
I did turn off the TV in the bedroom, and will get rid of it soon (more on that later). I know my exercise is helping me sleep. I am trying some new “go to sleep” techniques that will help out, I’m sure. I’m making my bed more comfortable, keeping the room cool and dark, and even counting sheep.
I am going to get there tonight. I will do whatever it takes for Kristin to be comfortable at night. I will even massage her belly and get Sweet Baby Jane to go to sleep. I know getting on a routine and waking up refreshed will be good for my body, my soul, my relationships (I get cranky for sure).Sleep…it will feel so good. This is what my Labor Day Challenge is all about.
I am headed to Cuba on Tuesday, and I couldn’t be more excited. This is such a wonderful opportunity for me as the founder of Experiential Adventure, as a facilitator, and as man. I expect this to be a monumental trip…some would say it is going to be epic…and I hope to be able to blog about all the experiences when I get back!
The team will be traveling early Tuesday morning to Miami, where we will be able to experience the Miami lifestyle for about 3 hours before we hit the hotel early for our 4 a.m. charter flight on Wednesday to Camaguey, Cuba. We will then host a leadership conference for about 300 Cuban men striving to be ministers. We will be able to provide the necessary tools to for them to become certified preachers. Experiential Adventure helped provide the structure and activities for many of the workshops and plenary sessions provided for the conference. We will be engulfed in the Cuban traditions and culture, eating their food, living part of their life, and hopefully be able to see part of the island. Wish us luck!
Recently I was able to go to beautiful Mountain View, AR with Jerrod Murr and present at Ozarka College Student Support Services Leadership Conference at the Ozark Folk Center. The day started off with some technical difficulties, so we were not able to use our awesome Prezi, which surely would have blown their socks off, but we persevered, . We tried out a few new activities, such as Dream Catcher, an activity which forces the participants to create their dreams, declare them audibly, and then narrow the dream in focus.
We also led them through an activity called Rank a Quote, where the participants were shown a quote about leadership, and then were asked to rank that quote on a scale of 1-10 on the quote’s relevance to their life. This activity created great conversation and “debate” between the participants.
We focused primarily on a change of culture within the participants. Assuring them that this is their time to change their life, change their future, and create a new norm within their life. The following Prezi sums up our presentation…
After our presentation we were able to go to the Ropes Course they had on site and watch all of our participants put their new-found leadership skills into action!
Thanks to Okarka College for allowing us to present to your wonderful students…it made our day!
This post is a little late, OK, a lot late, but as the old motto says “better late than never,” and this is certainly better than “never.” Diane Walker, Shelia Fritts and myself traveled to Muskogee to the Indian Capital Technology Center for a Leadership Workshop with their top students, “The A Team” from their multiple campuses.
This workshop focused on communication, teamwork and vision, and we had tons of fun. The day started with some icebreaker activities, including One-Minute Frenzy, Gotchya, Change Train, and Fast Fingers.
The group was separated into three teams, and they rotated between Diane who led them through “Number Line Up,” Shelia who led them through “Play-doh-nary,” and I led them through “Zoom.”
Each group dominated their activity and were able to meet our objectives and their goals. Thanks for allowing us to be there!
Why do people conform? Why do we do the status quo? What is wrong with changing things up a little bit and being ourself? Why do we stand towards the front of the elevator?
This Candid Camera video from yesteryear is an interesting look at the power of conformity, and the video conveys this serious issue in a light and funny way. My initial thought was, “Why did everyone feel the need to turn with the group, even though their direction did not really matter?” After watching the video a few times, I began to wonder why we stood facing the front of the elevator to begin with, and why do we take off hats in public, and what is the meaning of life, aaahhhh… OK, so I didn’t quite go that far, but it did get me thinking…and reminiscing.
My freshmen year in college my geography professor, Dr. Chuck Ziehr, covered the topic of conformity in elevators and how much chaos can come out of someone being different and doing something different within those 8′ x 8′ walls. It was a lesson on culture and how the conformities of race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, etc., effect our everyday lives. How one person being different can alter our daily routine, our perceptions of others, and maybe even our outlook on life.
Some conformity is good…there is actually a reason why we stand facing the front of the elevators (how else would we know when we were at our floor…it’s not like we are going to actually talk to a stranger on there…haha), and there our other societal conformities that make us better people and can also help us live easier lives. However, conformity just conformity’s sake is not wise or healthy.
Are you acting in a certain way because you think it is the right thing to do, or because someone else has told you it is the right thing to do? I challenge you to be different. I challenge you to question why you do the things that you do. Live your life not being afraid to ask questions, and not afraid to be yourself and you will be amazed at the things you can accomplish! Have you seen ways in which people conform, whether it be healthy or non-healthy?
Prezi is a wonderful website that is a must-have tool for all speakers, presenters, facilitators, students and educators. It is a user-friendly website that creates bold, dramatic, and impressive presentations, the type of presentations that will have your participants asking how you made your video! Check out my video below, which I made in about 15 minutes…scroll through the presentation by clicking the play button…
I encourage everyone to add this program to your repertoire and start impressing your crowds right away!
This week we took out ETS Seniors to the ropes course at Rogers State University and had an amazing time! We take our students to the course as freshmen and as seniors to bridge them through the transitions the are soon to encounter. Many of the seniors on the course this week had went as freshmen, and we hope that their transition into college will be as seamless and fun as their time on the course!
We started off facilitating stretches, warm ups, icebreakers, tag games, energizers, and name games!
The students then broke into two groups and dominated Flip the Whale, and then show extreme communication and determination while completing Rescue Ralph.
Once the group had “graduated” from the ground activities and proven that they could work well as a team, we moved on to learning spotting techniques, trust falls, and Willows in the Wind. The group learned the importance of trusting each other, communicating with confidence, and how to be encouraging to those who need a little guidance.
The groups then split up into three groups, and rotated through three low ropes initiatives…”Wild Woozy,” “Swinging Log,” and “Islands.” The low ropes initiatives challenged the group to work together as a team to solve a common problem, and they used the tools and techniques learned earlier in the day to complete even the hardest of tasks.
After a delicious lunch, the group reconvened to the high ropes section of the course and climbed the course up the zig zags and across the grapevines, over the swinging log and the suspension bridge and made it to the coup de grace of the course, the zip line, where their jump off the platform symbolized their transition into the next phase of their life. They may not know where they are headed in the future, but they know that if they work hard, depend on others, remain confident and secure….they will reach their goals.
I am so proud of our seniors. They pushed themselves out of their comfort zone, and are ready for whatever life throws their way!
This Saturday I traveled to the “Little Town with a Big Welcome”…Morris, OK to Morris First Assembly of God to do a leadership training and goals seminar with Experiential Adventure staffer Jerrod Murr. This workshop was centered on goals and vision, and the principles of SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) The group was challenged from the first initiative until the last initiative to develop, culture, progress and define their goals, as individuals, as a group of leaders and as a church.
The sequencing for the group was as follows:
One Minute Frenzy
Bumpity, Bump, Bump, Bump
Number Line Up
Watch a Member
One Word Whip
I Am About Cards
Count the Beans
High and Low Cards
Watch a Member Recap
Dream Catcher Revisited
What a great group…thanks for allowing us to come!
At the end of last month, I was fortunate enough to attend the Oklahoma Division of Student Assistance Programs‘ Annual Conference in Tulsa, and presented a breakout session titled “Teamplay Tubes.” ODSA is the state organization for all of Oklahoma’s TRiO programs, and the conference is an awesome way to learn new information about legislation and regulations within the grant-funded community, but also a great place to share and disseminate information amongst peers. The breakout sessions give us an opportunity to share our newest techniques and information in a fun and informative way.
This year, I decided to use a new initiative, Teamplay Tubes, which we bought from the fine folks at Training Wheels. According to Training Wheels, Teamplay Tubes are a collection of PVC tubing and connectors that can be used for nearly 2 dozen activities that promote teamwork, creativity, communication, problem solving, decision-making, and skill building. This is a very versatile training tool that will challenge any group.
This was how I sequenced the workshop, with everything leading up to Teamplay Tubes and ended with the Feelings Marketplace Debrief.
Bumpity, Bump, Bump
Change Train (Change/Reverse/Switch)
Feelings Marketplace Debrief
Teamplay Tubes has several initiatives you can use with a group, and I decided that “Network” would be the best for our participants. With Network, your goal is to create a closed off network of tubes that has no openings left exposed. Therefore, all pipes and connectors were connected to the “Network.”
It is hard to find a more outgoing and persistent group than the TRiO counselors, so we had an absolute blast! They are an easy group to lead and facilitate, and they dominated Teamplay Tubes.
Rookie Bridge Camp. It is one of my favorite things that Northeastern State University has to offer…a volunteer driven two-day camp for incoming students that helps acclimate freshmen to campus life through games, skongs, small groups, and of course, a great float down the beautiful Illinois River.
I experienced RBC as an incoming freshmen in 2001, and was fortunate enough to volunteer in 2002-2004. It was one of the first places where I participated in experiential learning, and it was influential in my college success.
I am fortunate enough to still be involved with the program, and even got to facilitate activities and initiatives with the RBC Emeritus at the base of the Rockies last summer.
This year, I helped the volunteers learn new initiatives, icebreakers and games, and we had an absolute blast! The sequencing lineup included:
a. Point Around
c. Kung Fu
d. Arm Locked Stretch
3. Fast Fingers
4. Everyone’s It (three rounds)
5. Hospital Tag
6. Midget Bump Tag
7. Just Like Me Tag
9. Thumb Wrestling
10. Bumpity, Bump, Bump
11. Change Train
12. Cowboy, Bear, Ninja
13. Human Geography
15. Rubber Band Challenge
16. Group Row, Row, Row Your Boat
This was a great training. Of course, the volunteers are the perfect group to facilitate! They are fun, lively and full of energy. I look forward to working with them again. Rush RBC!
Thanks to Sarah Johnson Photography for the pictures.
A group line up is a must-have in a facilitator’s “bag of activities.” When used properly it is an effective and powerful way to build cohesiveness within a group, an excellent time-filler, and a unique way to work on a groups’ verbal and non-verbal communication. A facilitator can use many different ways to line up a group (see below), and can have the participants line up in a multitude of varieties, such as with full communication, no verbal communication, no hands (hands in pocket), no verbal and no hands, blind-folded, etc,. You can also make the participants split into two groups and make it competitive, first team to line up correctly wins. Also, have the group line up in order, and the first person in line gets to decide how to line up next and in what order!
This can be done propless or with props, it just depends on your time, room size and resources. A few good, cheap props to have on hand are decks of cards, pieces of paper with numbers on them, or Project Adventure Keypunch (actually not too cheap, but has many other applications!).
Ways to line up a group propless:
1. In alphabetical order by last name
2. In alphabetical order by first name
3. In alphabetical order by middle name
4. By birthdate in chronological order
5. In birthday order, Jan. 1st – Dec. 31st (I have found this is the best way if the age discrepancies are wide within the group)
6. By height
7. By smile width
8. By geography (Who lives furthest from the location of the room)
9. Longest term of employment within their company
10. How happy you were during your childhood on a scale of 1-10
11. How much you fear death (Kind of morbid, but for sure a conversation starter!)
12. Line up on how much you liked this activity on a scale of 1-10 (a great debrief technique)
13. Shoe size
14. Length of hair
15. Height you can jump (tons of fun to watch)
16. Length of nose (also fun to watch)
17. Line up by numerically by street address number
18. Line up numerically by phone number
19. Line up numerically by area code
20. Line up numerically by zip code
25. Line up alphabetically by city born
26. Line up by length of commute time
27. Line up alphabetically by Grandmother’s first name
28. Line up by shirt color in the order of a rainbow’s colors (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
29. Line up by hair color, lightest to darkest
30. Line up by size of graduating class
31. Line up by thumb size
32. Line up straightest hair to curliest hair
33. Line up numerically by the number of letters in their full name
34. Line up by year they graduate/will graduate high school
35. Line up numerically by the number of letters in their first name
Ways to line up a group with props:
1. Line up numerically
2. Line up odd numbers in one line and the even numbers in another line (can become competitive)
3. Line up numerically alphabetically (sounds confusing, but have the groups line up depending on how their number is spelled…for example: eight, eighteen, eleven, nine, one, ten, two)
4. Give the group a large number, and the group must line up in an order that would mathematically create an equation that would combine their numbers to your large number (for example, you have a group of 10, and your number is 25…10*9/1+3*2-8+4/7+5-6=25)
5. Line up from highest number to lowest number
6. Give the group a sequence and have them line up (such as alternating higher and lower numbers)
7. Line up numerically with a deck of cards (jack is worth 10, queen 11, King 12, Ace 1 or 13)
8. Line up by suit order with a deck of cards
9. Line up alphabetically with a deck of cards (same concept as above, but with a deck of cards, this time, however, they have to be in alphabetical order by deck too)
10. Line up with no suit being next a card of the same suit or same number
Be creative! Have fun! Mix up the line-ups, and try some of these without verbal communication, and some with your eyes closed…Let me know if there are any line-ups I left off the list that you have come up with!
P.S. – Props to Ben Ellis for helping me on this list…
Sometimes as facilitators, and as people, we are so wrapped up in what we want to hear, that we lose sight on what is around us…Try to focus on your surroundings, see what is happening “behind the scenes,” and you will get a better understanding of the overall picture.
How many different things did you see change during the video???
What does leadership mean to you? Seems like a simple enough question, right? I was working with a few students prepping for a leadership scholarship interview recently, and we started talking about our definition of leadership. Most of the students struggled with a clear and concise definition of what leadership meant to them, and I got to thinking about the question, and I struggled with it as well. We all finally decided that it is best to look at our leadership mentors or heroes, people who have proven through their actions and abilities what true leadership means. These are my top ten leadership heroes, in no particular order, and what leadership means to them.
Who is your favorite leader, and what do they say about leadership?
In my opinion, everyone should have a Bucket List…according to Urban Dictionary, a Bucket List is “a list of things to do before you die. Comes from the term ‘kicked the bucket.’”
I updated my Bucket List, and thought I would share it with you…let me know what you think, tell me what your favorite on my list is and I encourage you to do the same…I wanna see what you want to do…I put a X by the ones I have already accomplished…and if I knew the dates and places these occurred I put those in there too…
1. Set Foot on North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, Antarctica and Africa
2. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon – X (July 8th, 2007, Edmond, OK)
3. Personally Know Someone Famous – X (Carrie Underwood)
4. Dance with Miss America – X (Miss NSU 2005, Jennifer Berry)
5. Swim with a Dolphin – X (March 18th, 2008, Cabo San Lucas)
6. Learn a Foreign Language and Actually Use It
7. Have my Portrait Painted – X (December 23, 2010)
8. Watch a Space Shuttle Launch
9. Be an Extra in a Film
11. Scuba Dive
12. Ride a Train – X (June 9th, 2007, Oklahoma City to Ft. Worth)
13. Be a Member of a Studio Audience
14. Send a Message in a Bottle and get a Response
15. Go to Space
16. Plant a Tree and Watch it Grow – X (April 22, 2010)
17. Learn to Ballroom Dance…Properly
18. Sit on a Jury
19. Write an Autobiography
20. Be Someone’s Mentor
21. Shower in a Waterfall
22. Learn to Legitimately Play a Song on any Musical Instrument
23. Teach someone illiterate to read
24. Spend the night in a haunted house
25. See a Lunar Eclipse – X (March 3, 2007)
26. Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square
27. Drive Across America Coast-to-Coast
28. Go Snow Skiing – X (Spring Break 2007, Breckenridge, CO)
29. Crash an extravagant wedding
30. Write my will
31. Sleep under the stars – X
32. Go white-water rafting – X (July 24, 2010, Canon City, CO)
33. Own my own house – X (April 13th, 2009)
34. Grow a garden and eat the produce
35. Have six-pack abs
36. Go Deep Sea Fishing
37. Spend time at a concentration camp
38. Create a Family Tree
39. Spoil my grandchildren
40. Catch a foul ball or home-run at a MLB game
41. Hit a hole-in-one
42. Run a marathon – X (April 26, 2009)
43. Swim with sharks
44. Experience weightlessness – no gravity
45. Go to a sumo wrestling match
46. See a tornado touch ground – X (When I was a kid)
47. Go to an active volcano
48. Go to a nudist colony
49. Travel on a safari
50. Ride a bull
51. Run with the bulls in Pamplona
52. Attend a Jewish wedding
53. Go to a Pow-Wow – X
54. Ride a cable car in San Francisco
55. Watch the Yankees-Red Sox in Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium
56. Try to make a guard laugh at Buckingham Palace
57. Walk a length of the Great Wall of China – X (October 23, 2010, Badaling, China)
58. Go to a drive-in movie theater – X (Aladdin, 1992)
59. See Mt. Rushmore
60. Drive an 18-wheeler
61. Eat a meal from a world-class chef
62. Crash a Hollywood Studio
63. Meet someone famous randomly
64. Spend a day in a spa – X (March 17th, 2008, Cabo San Lucas)
65. Walk the red carpet at a huge event
66. Stay at a 5-star hotel
67. See Stonehenge
68. Stand next to a pyramid
69. Ride a Gondola in Venice
70. Take a yoga class
71. Take a photography class – X (Summer Semester 2005, NSU)
72. Shake hands with a President
73. Learn how to sail
74. See the Northern Lights
75. Kiss on top the Eiffel Tower
76. Learn to Juggle – X (July 9th, 2008)
77. Get a tattoo – X (March 9th, 2008, Dallas, TX)
78. Crowd Surf at a rock concert
79. Bungee Jump
80. Save someone’s life
81. Get a book published
82. Get a standing ovation
83. Kill a wild game animal – X (December 24th, 2009, Oktaha, OK)
84. Make a clay pot
85. Relax in Tahiti for at least two weeks
86. Live abroad
87. Eat frog legs and gumbo and shrimp in the Deep South – X (November 27, 2007, New Orleans)
89. Be on a game show
90. Go treasure hunting
91. Be involved in a heist
92. Own a pet monkey
93. Land a flip on a wakeboard
94. Surf the waves in Hawaii
95. Enter a professional Ping-Pong tournament
96. Give my daughter away at her wedding to a man who deserves her
97. Watch the sunset on a beach on my honeymoon – X (March 19th, 2008, Cabo San Lucas)
98. Coach my son’s little league baseball team
99. Run my own successful business
100. Watch OU-Texas at the Red River Rivalry – X (October 11, 2008)
101. Walk across hot coals
102. Go to all 50 U.S. States
- States I have been to:
1. Oklahoma (lived there)
13. New York
20. New Mexico
103. Be on a Reality TV show.
104. Be completely out of debt.
105. Go on a cruise.
106. Drive through a Redwood Tree.
107. Ride the Skycoaster at the Royal Gorge. X – (June 24th, 2010, Canon City, CO)
108. Go to the Summer Olympic Games
Most recent accomplishments:
Plant a tree and watch it grow!
Go White Water Rafting
Ride the Skycoaster at the Royal Gorge (added this after I accomplished it because it was so awesome)
Walk a length of the Great Wall of China
Have my portrait painted
The things on this list I will or want to accomplish soon are…
Skydive (Kristin’s wedding gift to me)
Finish my family tree
Six Pack Abs (Never thought it would be possible)
Take a Yoga Class (mom got me a gift certificate for classes)
Learn to legitimately play a song on a musical instrument (got a guitar and lessons for Christmas)
Grow a garden and eat the produce
I have currently completed 26 on my list of 108…and if anything really cool happens to me I have no problem adding it to the list…I feel as if I accomplish most of the things on this list I will have had a really great life…