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Get A Move On:Alternative Activities that Teach and Reinforce Skills for Youth and Adults Presented By: Rose M. Torrez L.C.D.C., CPS Robert Alvarado San Antonio Council On Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Why do we do alternative activities? Engage youth, adults and families Enhance communication, team work and develop leadership skills among participants Develop problem solving skills Establish connections within the community TEACH AND HAVE FUN!!
Alternative Activities as defined by DSHS: Activities under this strategy are designed to assist participants in mastering new skills and promote a sense of belonging and bonding with peers, family and community. This strategy provides for the participation of the target population in activities that exclude Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD). This strategy provides participants the opportunity to take part in educational, cultural, recreational and work-oriented substance-free activities to meet the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and cultural needs of the target population.
Examples include :(but not limited to…) Cultural events and activities Wilderness and adventure oriented activities Ropes/challenge courses Rites of passage activities Artistic/theater activities Mentoring Tutoring Community service projects Social outings/events Health fairs Athletic and other recreational alternatives
Let’s have some fun!Icebreakers, Warm-ups & Energizers Ole’ Lady Grady Human Knot Ninja Tag Sharks & Minnows Angels & Demons Dragon Tail Giants, Wizard & Elves Moon Ball What’s True For Me Hula Hoop Pass 2 Truths & A Lie Colors Drawing A Bug People –to- People Jungle Boogie In the Sea/One the Shore
Some things to consider when doing Icebreakers… Age appropriate Physical Limitations Create a positive group atmosphere Allow people to “think outside the box” Time SAFETY!!! HAVE FUN!!!
Let’s Process:Initiatives Group initiative tasks are designed to offer “real” or “perceived” mental, physical, social and emotional challenges that are fun and rewarding. Implementation of these initiatives requires careful planning and skillful facilitation. Some activities present the potential for risk and possible serious injury. It is imperative that the facilitator incorporate safety measures that are carefully thought out, clearly communicated and consistently reinforced.
Let’s Play & Learn!!! TP Shuffle Toxic Waste Raging River Spider Turning Over A New Leaf Bull Ring Helium Stick Walking Sticks/ Portable Trolleys Trust Walk The Ladder T.R.A.P. Pipeline The Grid Sinking Raft
Some things to consider when facilitating Initiatives… Challenge By Choice! Is the initiative appropriate for the participants at this time? How can the initiative be adapted to fit the needs of your participants/group? Physical Limitations DO answer questions but DON’T give them the answers. Stick to the rules! Time SAFETY!!!
What’s the Process?Debriefing the activity when you are done Debriefing the initiative is vital to the entire learning process. Ask open-ended questions to illicit feedback concerning the participants’/ groups’ thoughts, feelings or concerns about the activity. The debriefing process should allow the group to: Recognize achievements and contributions Evaluate itself Value diversity of resources in the team
Examples of Debriefing Questions: Can you name a feeling you had at any point in completing the initiative (frustrated, glad, sad, scared, etc.)? How many different ways were used to communicate? Which ways were most effective and why? How does judging and not judging others affect the completion of the initiative? Were all suggestions from the group heard? Explain What interfered with your ability to listen to others? Did anyone criticize or put themselves down?
TP Shuffle(Problem Solving) Challenge: The group is divided in half. Each group stands on the opposite end of the element. The groups will meet in the middle and attempt to switch sides on the element. Parameters: All group members must be on the element to start the initiative. If at anytime a group member steps off the element or touches the ground, the group may receive a “challenge”. The group may not use anything in the environment to help them accomplish this activity.
T.R.A.P / Human Handcuffs(ATOD & Problem Solving) Challenge: Groups are paired off and are intertwined with one another. The two must figure a way to separate from each other. Parameters: Participants must separate from one another without (1) cutting the rope, (2) untying the knots, and (3) slipping the knotted portion over their hands/ taking the wrist loops off.
The Spider(Problem Solving, Trust) Challenge: To have all members of the group pass through the Spider’s Web without “waking the spider.” No two individuals may go through the same opening. Parameters: Each participant must enter the spider’s web from under the web and exit through the top of the web. If the spider is “awakened” (falls off the web), the individual who woke him must exit and start over.
Raging River(Problem Solving) Challenge: Group members must cross an area using bandanas or carpet squares to stand on. Parameters: You may cross the area as long as no part of your body touches the ground The carpet square must have at least one body part on it (no more than 2) If you lose contact with a square for any given length of time, you lose that carpet square The carpet can not be moved once placed on the ground until ALL members have passed that particular square
Turning Over A New Leaf(Problem-Solving/Communication) Challenge: All members of the team begin on top of a tarp/blanket and must work together to completely turn over the tarp without touching the ground in any way. Parameters: All members of the group must remain on the tarp/blanket at all times. No part, other than the feet, may be used to turn over the tarp.
Bull Ring(Problem Solving) Challenge: To carry a ball using the bull ring through a series of obstacles and place the ball back onto the goal. Parameters: This version of the bull ring is modified so that each individual must pick up one of the items placed in the activity field and dispense the objects into a bucket. If the ball is dropped at any time, the team must start from the beginning and they may receive a “challenge”.
Helium Stick(Problem Solving) Challenge: With participants on either side, a tent pole is laid to rest on the participants’ index fingers and they must lower the pole to the ground while remaining in contact with the pole at all times. Parameters: The only thing that can touch the helium stick is the top of the index finger. Groups must remain in contact with the stick at all times using only the tops of the index finger.
The Grid(Problem Solving) Challenge: Carpet Squares are used to make a grid in which the entire team must navigate and discover the correct path from one side of the grid to the other. Parameters: All team members must navigate through the grid. Only one team member at a time is allowed on the grid. All members must take turns so that everyone participates and no member may take two consecutive turns.
Wrapping It Up…(Some Things to Think About) In co-facilitation: Balance inputs and style Consult on judgment calls Model teamwork and cooperation Periodic check-ins to gauge group readiness Provide feedback with focus on the group’s issues and agenda (not the facilitator’s) Allow participants to reflect on their experience and how that experience relates to themselves, the group or the organization.
Sources:(It’s All About Collaboration) Adaptations from the book, Groups, Process and Practice by Gerald and Mary Corey The Wilderdom Store Quicksilver: Adventure Games, Initiative Problems, Trust Activities and a Guide to Effective Leadership by Karl Rohnke and Steve Butler www.palossports.com www.trainingwheels.com
Contact Information:Rose M. Torrez, l.c.d.c., firstname.lastname@example.orgRobert Alvaradoralvarado@sacada.orgSan Antonio Council On Alcohol & Drug Abuse7500 US HWY 90 W, Ste. 100San Antonio, TX 78227o:210-225-4741 / f:210-225-4768www.sacada.orgwww.facebook.com/sacadatex