There's no better way to foster friendship than by kicking your camp off by running team-based activities. Great team-building puzzles should encourage interaction between members, be exciting and create opportunities for communication. Check out this blog here that explains how team building activities help to foster their camp culture.
1. The River Crossing-Conundrum.
Here's a classic. There are many narratives that are found online, the story you use will be dependant on how many participants there are in a team. This puzzle involves teams of five.
- Ask your group to imagine five characters. a woman, a rowboat, a chicken, a fox and a bag of corn. If you're prepared you could provide props. The woman wants to get the chicken, the fox and bag of corn across the river. The chicken can't be left on one side of the river with the corn and the fox can't be left with chicken alone. She can use the row-boat but is only able to take one other item at a time.
Challenge the group to find a solution that will get all five elements safely to the other side of the river. Give the groups time to discuss their ideas. You can implement a time limit but you're fostering a great atmosphere by allowing them carry on finding solutions together.
Give your organizers this solution.
- To begin, the woman and the chicken cross the river together.
- When on the other side, the woman leaves the chicken then heads back across the boat. She brings the fox across the river, but brings the chicken back. So now the fox is sitting by itself and the chicken and the corn are with the woman on one bank. She takes the corn and rows across the river to leave it with the fox.
At last, she returns to pick up the chicken and rows across the river one last time.
2. The Tarp Switch.
This is fun with a large group of people. Everyone in the team stands on a tarpoline or mat. It could be an old blanket or sheet as well. The aim of the game is to flip the tarp onto its other side without anyone touching the ground or falling off. The team will have to work together to be achieve this. If a member touches the ground or falls off then the tarp is reset.
3. Lost at Sea.
Have the activity leader set the scene by telling a story. The story involves the team members and they've been shipwrecked and stranded on an island. The members have salvaged a number of items from the shipwreck but must choose which ones are more important for survival.
- Floating seat or cushion
- Mosquito net
- Water container
- Plastic sheet
- Chocolate bars
- Fishing rod
- Shark repellent
- Can of petrol
- Shaving mirror
- Bottle of rum
- Sea chart
- Emergency rations
Each team member is given a printed ranking chart. As the team discuss and make decisions together, each member will note down what the team settle upon next to their own individual ranking. The story teller will then identify the correct order deemed by the US Coast Guard below.
- Shaving mirror. (One of your most powerful tools, because you can use it to signal your location by reflecting the sun.)
- Can of petrol. (Again, potentially vital for signalling as petrol floats on water and can be lit by your matches.)
- Water container. (Essential for collecting water to restore your lost fluids.)
- Emergency rations. (Valuable for basic food intake.)
- Plastic sheet. (Could be used for shelter, or to collect rainwater.)
- Chocolate bars. (A handy food supply.)
- Fishing rod. (Potentially useful, but there is no guarantee that you're able to -- catch fish. Could also feasibly double as a tent pole.)
- Rope. (Handy for tying equipment together, but not necessarily vital for survival.)
- Floating seat or cushion. (Useful as a life preserver.)
- Shark repellent. (Potentially important when in the water.)
- Bottle of rum. (Could be useful as an antiseptic for treating injuries, but will only dehydrate you if you drink it.)
- Radio. (Chances are that you're out of range of any signal, anyway.)
- Sea chart. (Worthless without navigational equipment.)
- Mosquito net. (Assuming that you've been shipwrecked in the Atlantic, where there are no mosquitoes, this is pretty much useless.)