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.
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!
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!
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…