Moving Towards Extinction

Type of Activity: Problem-Solving, Change, Energizer

Props Needed: Webbing circles or hula hoops

Set Up: This activity will require several (about a dozen) Raccoon Circles, and is useful for groups of 12 to 50 people. Begin by spreading about a dozen Raccoon Circles around the floor.

Process: The task is for each member of the group to find a “safe place” to be when a “shark” is spotted in the surrounding water.  Circles on the floor will be the safe islands. Ask members of the group to swim, boat, jet ski or snorkel about in the surrounding waters, but be cautious. If the lifeguard (facilitator) should yell “shark” members of the group can become safe by placing their feet within the perimeter of the Raccoon Circle islands (illustrate this by having a facilitator standing within an island, for visual clarity). After the first sighting of a shark, the facilitator removes one of the islands, and the participants again venture into the murky waters.

Thinking Outside the Box:  If you begin this activity with the Raccoon Circle webbing untied, but simply placed in a circle - you will leave open the possibility for the participants to combine islands. This will produce a collaboration rather than a competition effect as the resources continue to diminish.

A final possibility, as the number of islands reduces to one or two, is for the members of the group to combine islands (thinking outside the box), sitting on the ground so that their feet ARE within the perimeter of an island (even though their body is not), or (really outside the box - in fact, let’s throw away the box), with ZERO islands, by placing their feet in a CIRCLE.

Variations: See Sharks and Sharks in Energizers of this Field Guide.

Debriefing Topics:

  • How did it feel when circles were removed?
  • Did your strategy on how you played the game chance once the islands started disappearing?
  • What were some feelings that came up during the process?

For resources:  The Book of Raccoon Circles, Webbing

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