Team Building Exercises

Prague, August 6
Team Building and Bonding Exercises
Led by Bob Cabeza
About 200 participants congregate in the Open Field. This segment gives Change Agents the opportunity to
better know each other and to begin bonding as a team. The timing for these activities includes a quick
debrief after each game, time for feedback and verbal interaction from the group as well as meaningful
Expected outcomes:
The group will bond, becoming closer and more comfortable with each other socially and relationally
The group will have a better understanding of each others’ differences and similarities as it relates to
culture and beliefs
Everyone will feel more comfortable sharing information and personal stories in order to have
courageous conversations and solve problems
The group will create a safe space for open dialogue, setting a positive group dynamic.
Bob Cabeza and team (Trang Truong and Alvaro Rodriguez) led this series of exercises. These exercises
involve light physical activity and make use of metaphorical learning to advance individual communication
and leadership skills that reduce barriers to storytelling. The intent is to open up communication between
diverse cultures and beliefs around common issues, problem solving and storytelling. These exercises also
help build a cohesive team, establishing connections and trust, and enabling participants to further build
the shared community through which learning and support will take place in the future. We want everyone
to have fun, be active and play!
The large group will sit in a circle for the following activities.
(Necessary supplies: Ropes to form a circle.)
1. Introduction by facilitators
2. Stretch Game
Participants will be led through various stretches before moving to the active games. Participants will partner
up with one other person shoulder to shoulder. They then will stretch their arms, legs, waist and necks in a
fun, creative way to prepare.
3. Navajo Finger Game
All participants will stand shoulder to shoulder in a large circle. They will be instructed to place their left palm
up flat, while also putting their right index finger into the left palm of the person to the right of them. Once the
facilitators say “go,” participants must attempt to capture their neighbor’s finger with their left hand while also
making sure their own right finger doesn’t get caught. After, everyone switches by attempting the same
process with the opposite hands. Let the broken social and cultural barriers, camaraderie and childlike
laughter begin!
4. Introduction Swap
Participants will be instructed to mingle in a large circle and meet one person. Once everyone is paired, each
will share three specific details about themselves that answer these three questions: (1) What is your name,
(2) What country are you from and (3) What social/community/global cause or issue are you passionate
about and want to impact? Once both participants speak, they must split up and find a new partner that they
do not know. Participants will pair up three separate times, each conversation lasting about three minutes.
The space will be filled with noisy conversations that participants don’t want to end!
5. Dosey Doe
Participants will be asked to find a partner; someone that they do not know and have not yet met. Once
paired up, the participants must move only in a straight line together. They will link arms and begin walking
forward. Once they encounter another pair of participants, the pair that ran into the other first, must then
move in the opposite direction while still linking arms. This activity causes participants to move around
frantically, constantly switching directions and encountering other pairs. Instant communication and trust
occurs in this environment of controlled chaos!
6. Head to Head
Within the circled barrier, participants will be instructed to move around, never staying in one spot. Facilitators
will shout out various body parts, like “HEAD!” Participants will have to quickly find a partner to connect head to
head with, and as long as they can fit, participants can also work in groups of twos, threes or fours. The
facilitators will shout “WALK” and participants must continue moving around until another body part is named, for
instance, “ELBOW.” The process will start all over again until the game is finished. Bonding happens very quickly
during this fun activity!
7. Change Game
At this point, participants will return to the large group circle and stand shoulder to shoulder. Participants must
find a partner and face one another, staying silent for 30 seconds. After that time, each will turn away from their
partner and change something about their physical appearance, such as untying a shoelace, taking off a bracelet
or turning their shirt around. After 30 seconds, partners will face each other once again and identify what looks
different. Once both people speak, they must each turn around and make more changes and engage the
process again. Body language, depth of communication and understanding our common humanity are an
essential outcome of this game.
8. Captain My Captain
Participants will stand shoulder to shoulder in the large group circle while facilitators explain the instructions for
Captain My Captain. They will list four commands that they will shout out during the game. The first command is
“Swab the Deck!” Participants will find a partner, link arms and “swab the deck” together, meaning they must
pretend to clean the deck of a ship. The second command is “Land Hoe!” Participants will form groups of three to
perform this task and copy the motion made by the facilitators. Third command is “Grub!” Participants will get
into groups of four and again enact the motions made by the facilitators. For the fourth and final command,
participants will get into groups of five, stand shoulder to shoulder and salute while yelling “Captain My Captain!”
If participants cannot form the group correctly with the right number of people as directed, they are disqualified
from the game. Four judges will assist the main judge, or “captain,” monitor the game and eject participants.
Following directions, listening carefully and having fun are prerequisites for this activity!
Day 1
9. The Blob
Participants will again meet in the large group circle. Facilitators will identify one participant to be “The
Blob.” Once the participant is identified, his or her goal is to tag another participant. Once someone has
been tagged, they must link arms together with the Blob. The Blob will continue tagging other participants
and linking arms to grow. Participants are allowed to move around but must stay within the set boundary
area. If anyone steps out of the boundary, they are automatically sent into the Blob. No running is allowed
in this game! “You too can be one of us!”

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