To this day I remember my first Project Adventure workshop - 1990. Turnstile was one of the first activities our group attempted. I remember this activity because I wasn't very good at it. Now, I knew how to jump a rope by myself, but I never picked up the skill of jumping "into" a rope being turned by others - I truly remember being uncomfortable. What I liked about the process was that the facilitator had two ropes going. One for the challenge and one off to the side for practicing - those of use not ready for the challenge could practice as much as we wanted and then join the challenge when we were ready - or never join in at all. We could just keep practicing. (I'm sure this had something to do with Challenge by Choice!)
I couldn't find the earliest entry for The Turnstile, but here are the directions from the 1994 Second Edition of The Empty Bag Again by Karl Rohnke:
The added challenge to my first experience with The Turnstile was to see how many consecutive jumps we could perform, as a group, without missing "a beat". That meant once you got through to the other side after jumping you ran back to the starting side, got into line again so that you could keep the jumps going. So, as the challenge jumpers were working on the consecutive jumps, a number of use continued to practice until we felt ready to join into the count. Everyone was engaged and everyone was participating in a way that was comfortable to them at the time. And yes, I did eventually join into the jump count and logged in some points for the group - it was a heartfelt accomplishment I still remember! (Certainly I'm still part of the World Record team!)
Recently I was reintroduced to turnstile done in a new way (by my friends at Group Dynamix). The facilitator has a wide variety of challenges he/she can present to a group based on their readiness. In other words the range of challenges spans from easy to more difficult. Before I share my every-growing list of challenges with you there are several things you need to know: .
The Group Jump Challenge List
As noted above. You can start anywhere in the progression of challenges based on where you believe your group will initially find success. Then move them through as many as they can tackle within the time you have. Now, you can end with a success or not. What will your group need the most? (Failure is a powerful motivator and makes us think!!)
HERE'S WHERE YOU FIT IN
Okay, over the next week or so let's add to this list of challenges. Include your challenge in the Comments below or direct email me and I'll put them into this "ever-growing" list.
Have fun out there!
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.