Grand Prix Racing

Type of Activity: Energizer

Props Needed: Webbing tied into circle

Set Up: Turn the Raccoon Circle into a complete circle or loop using a water knot, you are ready for the ultimate in sport racing. Thanks to Tom Heck for not only the idea for this activity, but also the enthusiasm to lead it effectively. This activity will boost the enthusiasm of your audience, and provide some moderate competition in the process.  Begin by spreading several Raccoon Circles around the available space, in close proximity to each other. Ask participants to join one of the “racing teams”, picking their favorite color team in the process. You’ll need approximately 5 to 10 participants per Raccoon Circle. Have participants hold the Raccoon Circle with both hands in front of them.

Process: “Ladies and Gentlemen! It is summertime, and that means one thing in this part of the world - Grand Prix Racing! Now I know that you are such die-hard race fans that just the thought of a race makes your heart beat faster. So this race comes in three parts. First, when I say that “we’re going to have a race”, your response is a “Tim the Tool Man” response (sort of a grunting version of   ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-O!) Next I’ll say, start your engines! and I want to hear your best race car sounds (audience practices making race car revving engine, shifting gears and braking sounds).

Finally, with so many cars on the track today, it will be difficult to see just which group finishes their race first, so we’ll need a sign indicating when your group is finished. That sign is to raise your hands (and the Raccoon Circle) above your heads and yell “Yessssssssss!”  Logistically, Grand Prix involves having the group transfer the knot around the group as quickly as possible, using only their hands. This activity can even be performed for a seated audience. To begin, you’ll need a “start / finish” line, which can be the person that was born the  farthest distance away from the present location. The race begins at this location, and ends when the knot is passed around the circle, and returns to this same location (Yessssssss!)

Typically in Raccoon Circle Grand Prix racing, there are three qualifying rounds or races. The first race is a single lap race to the right, with the knot traveling once around the inside of the circle to the right (counterclockwise). The second race is a multi-lap race (two or three laps) to the left (clockwise) around the circle. And the final race of the series, is a “winner take all” championship race, with one lap to the right (counterclockwise) followed by one lap to the left (clockwise).

Incidentally, after this activity, the group will not only be energized, but perhaps in a slightly competitive mood. From a sequencing standpoint, you can either continue this atmosphere (with more competitive challenges - such as into a summer camp competition) or introduce a bit of   counterpoint, by following this activity with one that requires the group working together in a collaborative manner.

Debriefing Topics:

  • Did your group compete with the other groups?
  • What strategies did your group come up with to increase your speed each round?
  • What was fun about this activity?
  • For original write up purchase "Book of Raccoon Circles" by Cain & Smith.  

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