If you know me, it's no secret that I am a Karl Rohnke fan. He was first an inspiration, then a mentor, and eventually a friend. He was there in the beginning when adventure-based activities made their way into the schools and then beyond. His activities have inspired and touched millions all over the world (I'm pretty sure this is a safe guess). Here are a few of Karl's challenges I was re-introduced to over the last two workshops with Karl at Northeastern Illinois University. Recycling never looses it appeal.
Draw & Release (a.k.a., Suck & Blow, Found in, The Bottomless Bag, 1988. I tend to stay away from the published name for this one.). You'll need a playing card (any size) and a straw for everyone (a good reason to save those big Starbucks straws!! Be sure to rinse them out real well before using). One player starts by "drawing" air (that's in - but you knew that) through the straw while placing the card at the end of the straw. The objective is to hold up the card at the end of the straw with suction. Then, you'll want to do this quickly, another player straw draws air from the other side of the card attempting to take control of the card - the first player will then need to "release" his or her draw so the new player can now hold and then transfer the card to the next player. The Challenge: How many passes can be made before the card drops. (Historical Note: The original version of this one is done without straws!!)
Heel Clicking (en' mass) (Most recently found in Achieving Fitness from Project Adventure). That old "Singin in the the Rain" heel click is not as easy as it looks, and it also takes a good deal of caloric energy to keep at it for even a minute - one heel click after another alternating sides (this is jumping up, clicking heels together off to the side of the body, landing safely, and then jumping to click the heels off to the other side of the body - then repeat). Start simply by having each player try this on his or her own. Then pair up players, holding a hand, to attempt as many duo-clicks in a row as possible. Put two pairs together for the quad-click challenge (see pic). Maybe eights after that? The Challenge: Circle up the group, all holding hands, and try to successfully make 10 (more?) heel clicks together, alternating sides of course. Sound easy? Let me know!
Popsicle Push Up (Found in the original Silver Bullets, 1984). You need at least four pushupers for this one. Start with tummys on the floor and interlock legs over backs forming a square (see the picture). When ready all players "push up" together and hold it for 5 seconds (more??). Careful to go back down to the ground slowly. CAUTION: This one takes some solid abdominal strength to hold up the push. (Where the "Popsicle" came from for this one is anyones guess - I'll need to see if Karl remembers.)
The Challenge: How many pushupers can be connected together and successfully push up (at the same time, and go down safely. For this challenge players set themselves up so that no more than one set of legs is overlapped on any one person's back. Think of setting up players in a series of "L" connections, chaining them around the space you have. (Another way to approach this challenge is to ask the group to see how many of them can be connected together up off the ground with only their hands used for support on the ground. CAUTION: Some versions of this challenge are more stressful on the wrists - be mindful!!)
Any other fun challenges you like to present? Share in the comments below.
Have fun out there!!
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.
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.