Leadership Inspirations Activities

All Aboard!

Get your whole group together in a small space

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Rope, Tarp, Tape, Poster Paper

 

SUMMARY

All Aboard requires groups to work together in close proximity to get their whole group to fit inside a small area. The purpose of the activity is develop trust between members while solving a challenging problem.

 

SET UP

  • Create a space using rope, tape, poster paper, or a tarp to act as your ‘life raft’. The size of this space will vary depending on how many people are in your group, but you want to begin with a large enough space for everyone to fit closely, but comfortably inside.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Tell participants that the goal of this activity is to get everyone in the space that you created for 5 seconds (on your count!), or for a rendition of “Row Row Row Your Boat.”
    • You can also tell the group this story to set the stage: “Your crew encountered a storm while sailing across the sea. The ship was destroyed but you all survived. You must find a way to all fit into the one small life raft that is left so that you can safely wait for rescue.”
  • You should begin with a space that is large enough to fit the entire group closely but comfortably.
  • You can set aside time for the group to strategize or just let them begin.
  • Once they have successfully completed the challenge, you can make the space smaller. The smaller the space, the more physically, mentally and emotionally challenging the activity will be for groups. The activity will also take longer because groups will need to collaborate and strategize to find a solution.
  • Make sure that you have warmed the group up prior to this activity before making the space too small or difficult.
  • As the activity becomes more challenging, make sure to have a few participants designated as spotters to help keep the group safe (1-2 for every 10 people). To be successful, groups will need to use each other for balance and support.
  • You can lead as many ’rounds’ of all aboard as you have time to complete, just remember group size and level of difficulty will affect the time needed.

VARIATIONS

  • You can break larger groups into smaller, more manageable groups of about 6-10 people. Smaller groups allow more people to be involved in strategizing and for more people to have a voice.
  • If your group is struggling, have them pause and regroup to strategize and then try again.
  • If your group completes the activity easily, consider giving the group a smaller/more challenging space or give them new rules, like no talking for the next round.

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Alignment

  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?

Inclusion and Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?