What are you doing with a 50-foot (more or less) activity rope?
If you've been facilitating team building programs for a while, I will bet you have an "activity rope" in your gear bag! Could be a retired climbing rope, a haul rope from your local big-box hardware store or even a 3-mill utility cord.
Please Share! (In the Comments section below)
I'm "gearing" up for Fall programs and want to learn some new activities with a long rope. It doesn't need to be a super detailed description (share in the Comments below or email me), I'm pretty sure I'll get the idea and can go from there. (I'll reach out if I have questions.)
Here's A New(er) One from Me
Below is a description of one of my newest activities with a rope; Knot Around Here. The full details can be found in my, Portable Teambuilding Activities book (now available for purchase at the: FUNdoing.com/store). I give you the basics here so you can give it a try.
Knot Around Here was one of those activities that popped in my head one day and as soon as I could I tried it out. If it wasn't for the first (adult) group I tried it with, I might not have included this one in my book. It came down to, "asking for what you needed".
Some people in the group were not comfortable spinning around very fast (Knot Around....you can imagine what the group is going to do!?), they got dizzy and even nauseous. But, instead of asking the "group" to slow down, they chose (to the person) to step/challenge out. The first debrief I had for this activity was a meaningful discussion about asking for what was needed in order to stay a part of the group/community.
Since that first group, it has been hit-or-miss for the specific "asking" facilitated objective. But, overall, it's always been a fun and creative activity. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Procedure: Tie the ends of your activity rope together with a good knot – one that won’t come out until you want it to. Have your group circle up. Distribute the rope circle throughout the group so each participant is holding the rope in front of them and everyone is equidistant from each other. Then, ask everyone to carefully step forward bringing the rope up over their heads down behind their backs resting the rope behind them about belt level or a bit higher in the small of the back. In the end, you will want the group to back up enough to produce a tight rope circle. WARNING: Caution your group to be careful during this process. Tugging and pulling on the rope could cause unnecessary complications. Once the rope circle is set behind the group there are a couple possible challenges I have presented.
Ask your group to specifically “roll” the rope around the circle moving the knot 360 degrees as quickly and safely as possible. Rolling involves each person turning in place (or as in place as possible) causing the rope to move like a chain moves around a sprocket. You can provide multiple attempts to produce the best possible time.
Safety & Facilitation: What I like about the timed dynamic of this activity is the concept of voice – especially during the rolling movement. For some, spinning around quickly is not comfortable and for most of us unstable. When time becomes a factor I have found participants more willing to step out of the activity (challenge by choice) than speak up for what they need – “keep it slow so I can keep up without losing my lunch.” The challenge is “quickly and safely” not specifically lightning fast. The question presents itself, “Will people ask for what they need?”
Keep an eye out for those pushing themselves into an uncomfortable place. This behavior could lead to safety issues. If needed, stop your groups for a mid-brief in order to explore what is happening. As always, safety first!
Have FUN out there my friends!!
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.