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Icebreakers and Team Building for SAVE Promise Clubs

SAVE Promise Club team using hula hoops

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Team building and icebreakers are excellent ways to build positive relationships, connections and inclusion within your SAVE Promise Club and the entire school. Whether you use them at the beginning of your meeting, as a way to break up a long meeting/event or to draw closure to a meeting or event, they provide a way for youth and adults to interact in fun and creative ways. 

Icebreakers are used to help people get to know each other. They are great to use when your SAVE Promise Club interacts with classes or visits younger grades. This month’s icebreaker idea comes from the Start With Hello materials. Ask participants to introduce themselves to youth they don’t know, and ask one of the “If you” questions. This activity allows participants to help find things in common with others to help connect individuals together. 

Team building activities help to build self-confidence, trust, creativity, planning, communication skills, and a whole lot more! This month’s activity is called “Up the Creek”.  The only materials you will need are paper plates and masking tape or string.  You will start with one less paper plate than the amount of people participating. 

1. Place masking tape or string down each side of your creek.  Place plates on one side. Be sure to have plenty of space between the sides of the creek to be challenging, but achievable.

2. Share a story of today’s challenge: We are on a peaceful walk through the woods and suddenly we hear a large rumble! Oh no! It is Mount Angry erupting. We know that we must leave the woods and get to safer ground. As we are leaving the woods, we come across a large stream of hot molten lava! The only thing we have to help us cross the stream are these magic rocks (hold up paper plates).  However, these rocks are only magic when someone is touching them. 

3. There are some important rules to using our magic rocks:

a. Once a magic rock is placed in the creek, someone must be touching it at all times.

b. If a magic rock is not touched, it combusts into flames and is gone forever.

c. We must move our entire team from one side of the creek to the other and save as many of our magic rocks as possible in case we come across another lava stream.

4. Ask the group to determine how they are going to move all of them from one side of the creek to the other. If at any time a plate is in the creek with no one touching it, it is removed from the game.

5. The last person in line must pick up the plates as he moves across the creek. 

* Optional ideas to make the activity more challenging:

  • Once participants enter the creek, they must hold the hand of the person in front of them.
  • The smoke is so bad no one can talk and must accomplish the task without talking.

All team-building activities should end on a debrief.  Ask open-ended questions like:

  • What was difficult about this activity?
  • How could we have accomplished the task at hand faster and more efficiently?
  • How did we work well together?
  • Were there leaders in our group? What skills did they use to lead?
  • Were there followers in our group?  Why is it important to have followers?
  • What type of communication skills were needed for this task? What examples did you see?
  • How does this activity relate to things that we do with our SAVE Promise Club?