Type of Activity: Trust - HIGH RISK

Props Needed: None

Set Up: Need a small open space for every group of 8 to 10 participants that you have – if you have several groups you’ll need a nice open area. Be mindful of the safety needs of this activity. Take one step at a time making sure everyone understands their responsibility at each step. If you have 16 or more participants you can create smaller groups of at least 8 people. We do not require that you have a facilitator with each group because groups will only Gyroscope participants when you are with that particular group.  Plays well with 8 to 25 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Process: The overall idea here is that the group will be turning (Gyroscoping) one of their members around 360 degrees – head-over-heels. Planning the process is the most critical part of the activity. One participant will volunteer to be Gyroscoped – he stands in the center of the group. His responsibility during the activity is to keep completely stiff-as-a-board during the gyro process – just like in Trio Trust Lean and Touching the Sky above. The remainder of the group (with constant check in with the participant they are gyroscoping) plans how they are going to lift this participant up, turn him around, where at some point he will be upside-down, and then continue the turning until he is placed back on his feet again.

The action cannot be performed in any way until the facilitator approves it. The facilitator will be asking for the overall plan and then specific information from each participant about what they are going to be doing during the activity – describing every step they are going to take from the time the participant is lifted from the ground to the time he is set back onto the ground. If the facilitator does not need to make changes, for safety reasons, and the participant that is being gyroscoped agrees with the plan, the group is allowed to perform the gyroscope. The facilitator stays with the group to monitor their actions and assist them if needed. If there are other groups still working on their plan, they can continue their process or observe another group performing the Gyroscope. Remember, groups cannot implement their plan until it is approved by the facilitator at which point the facilitator stays with the group for supervision. After a rouse of celebration groups rotate participants so another person can be gyroscoped. Most groups we have seen implement the same plan on another participant, however, there have been times where the plan is adapted for a given reason. In any case, the same steps must be followed, as described above, for each participant that is gyroscoped.

Variations: An interesting challenge can be added to this activity. Have the participant being gyroscoped hold onto a glass of water – how full is up to the participants (see pictures).

Debriefing Topics:

  • Was there a communication break down at any point?
  • What feelings did you experience?
  • How did it feel to be responsible for someone else’s safety?
  • What pushed you outside your comfort zone?

For more resources see: The Empty Bag

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