Trust-Building

Objectives

  • To build trust between participants
  • To come together as a team

Materials

PUSH ME PULL ME

  • None

TEAM TRAIL ACTIVITY

  • Painter’s tape
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil

ALL ABOARD

  • Rope, tarp, or blanket

Prepare Before

N/A


Experience

Choose 1 (or more!) of the following activities below:

PUSH ME PULL ME (ADAPTED FROM NATIONAL 4H COUNCIL) (10 MINUTES)

The purpose of this activity is to promote trust in the group and to demonstrate how cooperation can be used to achieve a goal. Have the group form a circle and hook elbows. Ask one person at a time to keep his or her feet in the same spot and remain still while leaning forward. Instruct the people to each side of this person to lower themselves slowly, each placing their knee closest to the person on the floor, while they lower the middle person until his or her nose touches the floor. Next have them raise him or her to a standing position. The whole group will feel the weight and therefore will need to assist at all times.

Debrief: Ask participants to identify how the group worked together during this activity.

 

TEAM TRAIL ACTIVITY (35 MINUTES)

Using painter’s tape, construct a grid on the floor. It should have at least 36 boxes (6×6). The facilitator should have a piece of paper with a similar grid and a trail marked out on that grid to refer to during the activity. Ask the participants to break into two lines and stand at one end of the grid, across from the facilitator. Explain the goal of this activity: To find the trail from one side of the grid to the other side.

No one is allowed to talk or help each other out in any way. A person from one line will guess which box begins the trail by stepping into a box in the first row. If he or she finds the box that begins the trail, the facilitator remains silent and the participant can try to find the next box in the trail. If at any point a participant steps into a box that is not the next box on the trail, the facilitator will say a phrase that signals that the person’s turn is over. A member of the other line will then have a turn. The order of the boxes in the trail must be followed.

Once the correct trail is discovered, ask every participant to use it to make his or her way across.

Debrief: Encourage them to think about such things as the experiences of working together as a team and making and learning from mistakes.

  • How did you feel while doing this activity?
  • What do you think the lesson of the game is?

 

ALL ABOARD (15 MINUTES)

This activity requires working together in close physical proximity to solve a practical problem. It tends to emphasize group communication, cooperation, patience, and problem-solving strategy, as well as issues related to physical self and physical proximity.

Basic method: Ask the whole group to try to fit inside a small area which can be marked by a tarp, a small platforms, or a circle of rope, or a blanket.

When the group succeeds, decrease the area (e.g., changing platforms, shrinking the circle, or folding the tarp) and challenge the group again. How far can the group go?

Cautions: Obviously people are going to need to feel physically comfortable in order to get physically close and be supportive of one another. Make sure people are warmed up and preferably have removed excessive jewelry, watches, and other loose objects.

Variation: Tarp Flip Over: With a group standing on a tarp, challenge them to turn the tarp over without anyone touching the ground in the process.