Type of Activity: Problem-Solving, Change, Energizer

Props Needed: Webbing

Set Up: Here is a communication challenge from Tom Heck that is loud and playful, but still carries a significant message about how we communicate. Using two untied Raccoon Circles as boundary lines, create the activity space shown below. In this space, the “senders” occupy the left “endzone,” the “interferers” occupy the middle space, and the “receiver” occupy the right “endzone.”

Process: The challenge is now for the senders to verbally or visually communicate a message to the receivers, while the interferers in the center region attempt to disrupt the message, distract the senders or receivers, and basically add a great deal of chaos, noise and confusion to the activity.

Senders       ¦         Interferers           ¦          Receivers

After 30 seconds, the receivers are asked for the message. Then the three distinct groups switch to new roles (interferers become receivers, receivers become senders, senders become interferers) and a new message is delivered. Typical messages might include:

  • In order to listen, you must first become quiet.
  • Somewhere on the ocean, there is a tree, that remembers it was a ship.
  • The best things in life, are not things.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What communication challenges did you face?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • What was the most frustrating for you?
  • How is this activity like everyday life?

For resources:  The Book of Raccoon Circles, Webbing

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