You usually need a nice preparation and many materials to create a challenging outdoor activity for your participants. Well, if you are searching for a powerful and challenging activity to do on the spot, which doesn’t require too much preparation, this one is going to be a wise choice.
Name of the activity: Blind goal
Duration: 1 hour
Preferred location: outdoor, preferably a big place with stuff and obstacles in it (ex. forest).
Working method: teamwork – focusing on cooperation and communication (groups of 6 people at least, the bigger the group the better).
Purpose (expected impact, outcomes): improving communication in groups, improving teamwork, being more aware of how leadership works, being aware of how to create a working plan.
Materials: one rope and blindfolds.
– the group will have to choose, in the area of the game, two tangible spots, it can be everything they want (for ex. in the forest it can be trees or bushes or plants). One spot they chose is going to be a checkpoint and the second one is going to be the final goal they want to reach;
– in order to finish the activity the group will have to reach the checkpoint first and then the goal;
– the spot is considered reached only if all members of the group get to touch it;
– when the activity will start each member of the group is going to be blindfolded;
– the rope is the only tool the group can use during the activity.
– the group will choose two spots and decides which one is the checkpoint and which one is the final goal;
– after choosing the spots the group is going to have 15 minutes to come up with a strategy to accomplish the activity and they are free to use the material (blindfolds and rope) already;
– when the time is over the group is going to have 20 minutes to accomplish the activity;
– during this 20 minutes the members of the group are not allowed to put the blindfold off.
Debriefing: When the whole group reaches the goal or when the time is over you can facilitate a reflection on how the activity was with the group, here are some questions to guide the process:
– how did you find the activity (easy, hard); how come?
– what worked in the group; what could work better if done differently?
– was it easy to come up with a plan?
– did each member of the group have an active role; who did what?
– how was the communication working in the group? If you could communicate differently, how would you do that?
– do you think the goal was too far away; how come you decided to put it that far?
– (to wrap it up) if you could do this activity again, how would you do it?
Possible alternatives, changes for different circumstances: the activity can be done also without the rope, it won’t change the expected impact. You can also change the time limit and give more or less time either for the plan or for the execution, depending on the group and if you want to put more time pressure. Also, in case would like to bring more challenges during the process, you can move the guidelines that the participants created for themselves (for ex. branches they placed in order to indicate the direction), this way you create more chaos but you can also check and reflect more on the way they communicate with each other.