Staff Encouragement & Motivation

Favourite Mid-Summer Team Building Activity

My favourite mid-summer team building activity is one that is not only fun to participate in, but hilarious to watch as well.

It’s called GROG. Or at least that’s what we always called it… I think that’s a made up name though. If anyone has a different name for this activity, feel free to share.

General Set- Up

  • Break group up into teams of three.
  • Assign one person on each team to be the SEER. That person stands facing the field of play. They may not move or speak, but they can see everything.
  • Assign a different person on each team to be the SPEAKER. The speaker stands directly in front of the seer facing them. They have their eyes open, but they can’t see the field of play. SPEAKERS can only look at the SEER. They cannot move, but they can speak.
  • Assign the third team member to be the MOVER. The mover is the one IN the field of play, they can move anywhere, but they cannot see or speak.

How to Play

The object of the game is for the SEER & SPEAKER to guide the MOVER to complete a task.

You can make it as easy or complicated as you want, I’ve had to search for the parts of a flashlight and put it together, and just search for random objects in a large field (that’s my favourite variation of this.)

The MOVER is moving around the field of play, while the SEER watches them and silently conveys to the SPEAKER what needs to happen. The SPEAKER then loudly lets the MOVER know what they need to do.

Here’s a little diagram for my fellow visual learners. (Apologies for the poor drawing skills!)

The green folks are the SEERS.
The blue folks are the SPEAKERS.
The purple folks are the MOVERS.

A poorly drawn diagram of GROG- My favourite mid-summer team building activity.
My VERY professionally drawn diagram of how to run GROG, my favourite mid-summer team building activity.

Assigning Positions

Okay, this is the second most critical part of the activity – depending on what you want to get out of it.

Don’t just assign roles at random, figure out beforehand who’s going to be in each position. The whole reason this is my favourite mid-summer team building activity is because it will help reinforce the things you’re challenging your team to take on during the second half of the summer.

The absolute best time to do this activity is after you’ve done your mid-summer evaluations, because chances are you’ve encouraged some staff members to step up, take more initiative, take on leadership roles, etc.

While you’ve encouraged others (usually senior staff) to create space for their colleagues to step into some of those leadership roles, let them know it’s ok to delegate some tasks, etc.

Tips on Choosing Positions

  • Assign any staff who are outspoken, competitive, question things all the time, or find it challenging to follow directions as MOVERS.
  • Make your staff who usually let others take the reins, or overthink things SEERS.
  • Put those you see leadership potential in, but haven’t yet found their voice as SPEAKERS.

Debrief

Don’t skip the debrief – this is the MOST critical part of the activity.
And all the work you put in to assigning folks to specific roles won’t matter if you don’t debrief about it.

Here are some questions you can ask during debrief.

  • What was everyone’s overall opinion of the activity?
  • SEERS, how did it feel to not be able to speak? Why do you think you were chosen for that role? How do you think you did? How can you apply this to your role at camp?
  • SPEAKERS, how comfortable were you in your role? What were your challenges in understanding what your SEER was trying to convey, then communicate it to your MOVER? How can you apply this to your role at camp?
  • MOVERS, you weren’t in charge of the situation, how did that feel? Did you trust your teammates to guide you though it, or were you trying to figure out how to regain control? How can you apply this experience to your camp role?
  • SEERS & SPEAKERS, when you were communicating what did you notice? How can you be aware of body language and non-verbal communication when working with campers or each other? How can you use that to your advantage?
  • Who was frustrated? Why? What could you do differently next time?
  • Next time you’re feeling frustrated in a camp situation, how could you apply some of those solutions?
  • (Specific) MOVER, I noticed that there were times where you were sort of wandering around confused in the field of play… how did that feel? (There’s always one who wanders around confused – even if just for a few moments.)
  • Has anyone ever felt like that at camp? Like they were sort of wandering around, not sure of their task, or what the instructions were, feeling alone and scared of falling? Moving forward into the second half of the summer, how can we support each other and prevent that from happening?
  • Did anyone notice anything about how we assigned the roles? We already chatted with each of you about goals for the second half of the summer, so we hope that you’ll remember this experience as you move out of your comfort zones and continue to grow in your role at camp.
  • Any other questions that might be applicable to your group. This is just a starting point.

So that’s it. My favourite mid-summer team building activity.
It’s SO fun, but also SO valuable if you spend some time debriefing it.

Have you ever done this activity? What do you call it? What’s your favourite debrief question?
And if you have’t done this one before, what’s your favourite mid-summer activity?

Until next time!
xo P.

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