Leadership Inspirations Activities

Minefield

Navigate the minefield to retrieve as many of the items on the other side as possible

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

70 Ft of Rope (Playing Area), 50-100 Objects (Obstacles / Items)

 

SUMMARY

Retrieve as many objects from the other side of the minefield as you can without touching any obstacles. This is a wonderful activity to practice coaching (coaching others and being coached). Every moment of this activity provides ample opportunity to practice clear and precise communication.Obstacles are metaphoric problems the group faces either personally or as a team in their pursuit of their goals. They are everywhere in life (personal & public). Some obstacles are big and some are small but they all do damage when we hit them.

 

SET UP

  • This activity can be led effectively with groups as small as 10 people and as large as 80.
  • When the activity is in full motion, there is lots of talking and things can get loud and seem chaotic. Find somewhere to play where you won’t disturb others.
  • Using 70 feet of rope, create a boundary that is shaped like a rectangle.
  • Spread out obstacles inside the boundary in such a way that there are no straight pathways through the minefield.
  • Place objects at one end of the rectangle for participants to retrieve. Have the group start at the opposite end and travel through the minefield to pick them up and then return back through the minefield.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • The group must start at the designated starting area.
  • They must work in pairs (partners).
  • When one partner is inside the minefield (inside the rope), the other must remain on the outside – this person may travel anywhere outside the minefield to assist their partner.
  • People traveling through the minefield must keep their eyes closed (can also be blindfolded).
  • They may not be guided through the use of anything that touches them (i.e. no holding hands, etc.).
  • If anyone touches an obstacle inside the minefield or the rope perimeter, they must return to the starting area and switch roles with their partner. If they had retrieved an object already it must be returned.
  • Goals must be carried. They can’t be thrown.
  • Only one object can be carried per trip through the minefield.
  • Objects cannot be handed off to other participants.
  • The participants may not alter the playing area in any way (boundary or obstacles).
  • The playing area may be changed or altered by the facilitator.
  • Violation of a rule may result in a penalty.
  • Safety: The playing area must be safe because people will not be able to see.

 VARIATIONS

  • Provide the group with large index cards and have them write down personal and/or team goals on the cards. These cards can be used as the objects this group retrieves from the other end of the minefield.
  • At the beginning of the activity before the group actually starts (but after you’ve covered the instructions), warn them that a “communication breakdown” may occur during the activity. If this happens, people will not be allowed to communicate verbally during the activity. Don’t tell them how long it will last (make it last a couple of minutes at the most). This will allow people to plan (or not) for this possibility.
  • Fill the minefield with mousetraps (for safety purposes, everyone in the minefield should be wearing close toed shoes). Be extremely careful with this variation, mousetraps are capable of hurting people.

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?

Accountability

  • Who are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?

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.?
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?