Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Activity: Rope Connections

Activity Type:
Icebreaker, trust builder.

5-8 minutes.

Group size:
3-15 people. 

This game is ideal to get a new group comfortable with each other. It is also a fantastic way to build trust in any group and especially in a new group.

A 3 foot (1 meter) piece of sturdy rope or webbing is needed for each participant in the activity. It is necessary to use a strong rope not string or twine. Preferably use a rope that is at least 3/8” or 7mm.

This activity is best done at the beginning of a trip or activity period. If you have a larger group break them up into smaller groups of no more than 15 people. 

Begin by passing a piece of rope to each participant. Tell them this represents themselves as an individual. Next, ask the group to make a circle facing the middle with everyone about 1 foot (30 cm) apart. Instruct each person to turn to the right and tie the right end of their rope to the left end of the rope that belongs to the person on their right. When this is done the ropes tied together should make one giant circle. Each person should still be holding their rope but now it is tied to the rope of the person on either side of them. Note: everyone must tie their own knot, no helping each other!

Now comes the trust building part. Have each person hold their section of rope and step backwards until the circle is almost tight. Finally, ask each person to hold onto their rope section and lean outward away from the circle until they are being held up by the rope. Ideally, the knots will all hold together and no-one will fall to the ground. Everyone will be holding each other up. If it does not work the first time, fix the mistake and try again until the group can lean out without falling. After the first try, you can allow group members to help each other to tie secure knots.
Potential Lesson:
Trust: If one person does not tie a good knot the whole group can fall over. You must trust your team members to do their part.
Teamwork: Point out how teamwork is critical for this to work. If someone decides not to cooperate the whole thing fails. Every single person in the group matters and they must all cooperate or it will not work. Teamwork is very important! (See Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Humility: If we do not know how to do something the group is relying on us to do, we should be humble and admit we don't know. We should be willing to ask for help rather than put the whole group at risk because of pride.