Cross the Line Partner Pull

Type of Activity: Problem-Solving, Communication

Props Needed: Webbing

Set Up: This activity requires a single untied Raccoon Circle, stretched into a straight line. With half of the group on one side of the line and standing about 6 feet (2 meters) behind the line, and the other half of the team on the other side, the scene is set for a moment of conflict (of “us” vs. “them”). Make no mistake, this Raccoon Circle activity is a bit higher level than most, but it is excellent for setting the stage to talk about conflict, negotiation and win/win, win/lose, and lose/lose scenarios.

Process: Tom Heck calls this activity, “Their Ain’t No Flies On Me!”, and begins this activity by having one side say, “There ain’t no flies on me, there ain’t no flies on me, there might be flies on you (point to folks on the other side), but there ain’t no flies on me!”, and then boldly take a step    towards the line (with just the right amount of attitude). The other side now replies, “there ain’t no flies on me, there ain’t no flies on me, there might be flies on you, but there ain’t no flies on me!”, and takes a step towards the line. The first side now repeats, and moves to the line, followed by the second side repeating their lines, and stepping face to face with the other side.

Now the facilitator says, “you have 10 seconds to get the person across the line from you onto your side of the line!”  Typically, this phrasing results in a rather quick tug of war between partners, and usually a physical solution (for one person at least) to the challenge. Leaving open a major opportunity to discuss conflict, challenge, attitude, negotiation, and how to resolve differences between people.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What did you enjoy about this activity?
  • What did you and your partner do to ensure success?
  • What was the first thing that went through your mind after the instructions were given?

For original write up go to The Book of Raccoon Circles, for webbing go to Webbing.

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