Phase I: Team Building Exercises

We all met one night to complete our five team building exercises as well as to get to know each other a bit more!

The first team building exercise we completed was Cathryn’s Poker Deck. In teams of two, we had 15 minutes to build the tallest free standing structure, only using 15 cards from a deck and a pair of scissors. We split into teams first, it was Jason and Cathy then Kelly and I. The activity ended up being a lot harder than I expected. Unfortunately, we were not the winners. Jason and Cathy built the tallest structure out of cards. I think the reason why Kelly and I did not win was because we didn’t have a clear plan of action. We had to change our structure multiple times and ultimately it ended up falling over. However, we did have effective communication and worked together very well but our plan and method for building was not successful.

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The second activity we did was Drawing Charades, one of my activities. The idea of this activity was to have one person draw an object while the other team members described it, without giving it away. Jason offered to draw while the rest of the team described what to draw. Everyone but Jason brainstormed what to draw and we came up with pizza. We thought it should be food related because this class is Food for Thought! Jason got a piece of paper and a pen and began to draw what he was told. We told him to draw various shapes for the toppings and one large circle with a smaller one inside for the crust. After going back and forth giving him descriptive hints, Kelly gave him the last clue. She told him to split the larger circle in to 8ths and quickly after that was said he guessed correctly what he was drawing. This was a fun activity but it was hard to come up tricky descriptions in order to stump him!

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Jason’s team building exercise was the balloon challenge. The object of the game was to get the balloon from one end of the room to the other. The catch was that we were not able to touch it with our hands or feet and had to be standing in a straight line while doing so. We all participated in this activity expect for Jason, he wanted to capture it on video. We were all nervous! We didn’t know how to go about hitting the balloon up in the air and to keep it going. We just gave it a shot and we weren’t very successful the first attempt. We kept trying, we wanted to see how far we could get. We never fully reached the other side of the room, but the last try was very successful!

After the balloon challenge we decided to do Meghan’s activity, which was Mine Field. The purpose of this game was to be able to effectively communicate while trusting the other members in the group. One member of the group would be led around obstacles blindfolded. The others would direct the blindfolded member around the course making sure they did not bump into anything.  Jason offered to be the one going around the “mines” or obstacles. We had him cover his eyes and promise not to peek because we didn’t have a blindfold. We all directed him around the course and made sure we were expressing the directions clearly. Jason made it out of the course successfully and did not run into any objects. This promoted team work as well as effective communication.

IMG_8694Our food related activity was one that Kelly improvised. It was Chinese X-Mas but with candy. The idea of the activity was to share our goals about the class and working with ReEstablish Richmond, while enjoying candy. Kelly put all of the candy in a bag and after sharing your goal you were able to pick something out. We were allowed to trade candy with any member that previously shared their goal. This made it more interesting because it gave us the opportunity to strategize toward which candy we wanted. It was also nice to know that the majority of the team had similar goals in which we all hope to gain experience from working with the refugees.

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