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Add Fun To Your Event!




































Teambuilding at John Knox Center


The Team Building Process

The Challenge Course at John Knox Center is a great way to build communication and team work among your group. We have a variety of activities our facilitators can use to help your group build trust and cooperation.  Groups come to the John Knox Center from all over to learn the valuable life skills of teamwork, communication, and problem solving.  Each activity provides a unique challenge and can range in difficulty both physically and mentally.  Sessions are offered in 1.5 hour increments.  Activities are led by an experienced instructor who will facilitate, provide for safety concerns, and debrief each activity. 

We start with ice breakers (Name Game) to begin participants thinking about what it takes to be an effective team, then move on to simple initiatives (Pass the Can).  After the group can successfully complete easier challenges, then complex initiatives (Turnstyle, Whale Watch, Pipeline, Marshmallow River, Key Punch).  With additional sessions we can delve further in the teambuilding process (Spider Web, T P Shuffle, and Portal). There are also culminating trust activities (Raccoon Circles, Trust Fall, and Wind in the Willows) that can be used with groups for whom group trust is critical.  The more Challenge sessions you schedule, the more activities we can do with your group.  We ask that you choose at least one challenge course session prior to participating in our high ropes course.  You may be familiar with the terms:  low ropes, challenge course, low elements, team building, and group initiatives.  All these names refer to the process we use to help your group become a better team. 

 

Class Session Structure

 Each session of challenge course is 1.5 hours in length and participants may move through several activities during each session. The following list contains some of the Team Initiatives that your group could possibly participate in.  The Challenge Course 1, 2, 3…. name simply denotes the number of sessions you choose to take, not the actual activities in the session.  The facilitator has the freedom to pick and choose which Initiatives to use depending on how well the team interacts, what goals you have for your group, and what issues arise during the session.  This is just an example of the types of activities that you may participate in; there are numerous activities our trained instructors could possibly use. 

 

The Goal Is To Learn, Not Win

We let the participants know that it is not a competition to see which team can complete the most activities.  We also let them know that depending on how well they do as a team will determine how far they get in the Team Building process. The more effectively their team can communicate and work together, the more difficult and challenging their activities become.  We ask that any adults, who are on the course with a youth group, please DO be positive and encourage kids to step outside their comfort zones and participate.  Please DON’T give solutions or directions!  Part of the learning experience is trying new ideas, even if those ideas don’t appear to work.

 

General Objectives:

Build trust within the group

Exhibit mutual cooperation within the group members

Use process skills in problem solving and decision making

Effective communication between team members

Increase his or her sense of personal confidence and self esteem


Examples of Challenge Course Team Initiatives:

Alligator Pass- The object of this activity is to have the group travel across an open area and cross over the finish line. However the only time they can move in the open area is when they have the “alligator” in their possession and then only one person can move at a time.  If the object touches the ground during their travels, the entire team starts again.

 Blind Polygon- Participants will hold onto a large circle of rope, while being blindfolded.  The facilitator will call out a shape and the group must make the shape with the rope.  Group members must at all times have both hands on the rope. Once the entire group is satisfied with the shape, have them set the rope on the ground in that shape and take off their blindfolds.  A variation would be to have one person in the group that can see but can not talk, without the group knowing it.

 Toxic Waste- Participants are given various objects to move a bucket of “toxic waste” (water) to a containment unit (another bucket) outside the danger zone made of a rope.  The group must move the “toxic waste” using on the objects given and not stepping inside the danger zone. Group members must utilize problem solving techniques, effective communication, and creativity to complete this event.

 Pass the Can- Participants will work together to pass a metal can around the circle without letting it touch the ground. This initiative progressively gets harder and focuses on communication and problem solving.

Birthday Line Up- Participants may be blindfolded and told that they can not speak.  The challenge is to line up from youngest to oldest using their birthdays without the aid of conventional communication.

Turnstyle- This activity takes a long rope or a jump rope.  Two facilitators stand in front of each other and turn the rope, much like jump rope.  The group’s objective is to get the whole group from one side of the rope to the other, without touching the rope.  The group may not go behind the facilitators and there must be one person jumping at all times.

Raccoon Circle- Participants in this activity must hold on to a rope and as a team, lean back and hold each other up. Once the team has successfully found their balance and are supporting each other with the rope, they then as a team must sit down and stand back up while still supporting each other with the rope.


Add Fun To Your Event!

The Challenge Course at John Knox Center is a great way to build communication and team work among your group. We have a variety of activities our facilitators can use to help your group build trust and cooperation.  Groups come to the John Knox Center from all over to learn the valuable life skills of teamwork, communication, and problem solving.  Each activity provides a unique challenge and can range in difficulty both physically and mentally.  Sessions are offered in 1.5 hour increments.  Activities are led by an experienced instructor who will facilitate, provide for safety concerns, and debrief each activity. 

The five goals of the Challenge Course (team building):

  1. Click to ZoomTo increase the participants' sense of personal confidence.

  2. To increase mutual support within a group.

  3. To develop an increased level of agility and physical coordination.

  4. To develop an increased joy in one's physical self and in being with others.

  5. To develop an increased familiarity and identification with the natural world.
If you are interested in adding Challenge Course to your retreat or event please let us know.

John Knox Center
591 West Rockwood Ferry Road
Ten Mile, TN 37880
Phone: (865) 376-2236
Fax: (865) 376-1719
    

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