Leadership Inspirations Activities

Bondfire Buddies

Appreciate and recognize the other members of your group


30-45 minutes

Team Stage


Type Of Activity

Bonding Activity


Paper, pens



In this activity, group members will be challenged to learn about and recognize the contributions of their fellow team members. They will share these things with the rest of the group as a way to demonstrate appreciation.



  • Each person write their name on a slip of paper, including facilitators.
  • Mix up the cards.
  • Each person chooses a card- they can’t get their own!
  • Instruct them to keep their Bondfire Buddy a secret.
  • Tell participants that it is their job to get to know this person over a set period of time (for this exercise to be most meaningful, it is recommended that this time period is more than a single day).
    • How has this person impacted you/ the group?
    • What do they contribute to the group?
    • What have you learned from them.
  • They will share what they have learned about their Bondfire Buddy at the end of the period of time that you have established.
  • Facilitator Note: To ensure no one is left out, have a strategy to incude latecomers and be attentive to early departures (have both people effected share with their bondfire buddy before they leave).


  • When it is time to share, gather everyone in a circle so that everybody can see each other.
  • Begin with a quote, moment of deep breathing or silence to get participants in the right frame of mind.
  • Explain the process and establish some groundrules: “We are now going to share our Bondfire Buddies. Although some things people say might be funny, this exercise is an important and serious experience. Please speak TO your Bondfire Buddy. Describe how they have impacted you during our time together and how they contribute to the group. I’ll begin. My Bondfire Buddy will go next, and we will continue until we get to the last person”
  • Once everyone has been recognized, you are welcome to open it up to the group for any general comments about the experience. Gently remind them that this is not the time to recognize each person, they can do that individually later.
  • Be cautious, this can be a VERY long process depending on how many people are in your group and how eager they are to share.


  • Networking style: To save yourself some time or if you have done Bondire Buddies with this group before, you can try leading the activity as a networking round. Give your group 10-15 minutes to find their Bondfire Buddy and share.
  • Dear Bondfire Buddy: Another way to lead this activity is to have participants write letters or notes to their Bondfire Buddies. This can work well for remote teams or teams that don’t meet together very often!


  • 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?


  • 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 & 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?


  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
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?