What you hold in your hand is one of the most
exciting new courses in team games. It was designed to promote a good
understanding in the Biblical creation of the world in a fun and exciting team
building atmosphere. This section of learning involves the group coming
together to create a “team” and then we set out and perform “team building”
exercises that do several things. It helps them learn about the subject, it
helps them learn about their friends but most importantly, it helps them learn
how they function in a group setting. Team games are simply exercises that
groups go through as one unit. Your facilitation in the team games will ensure
students and adults alike in having a happy time in learning.
Team building is all about setting goals,
making roles clear, solving problems and working on interpersonal relations. In
team building, you work as a team to accomplish a task using teamwork and
collaboration. Each participant will find their own place in the group
naturally. They will each grow in critical thinking skills as well as
relations. The emerging leaders, the enablers, the followers, the thinkers and
the Shriners. You will see the seeming loners shine in this arena and often the
students with the highest marks in a school setting will be at a complete loss
in this setting. Each member will grow as a person as their team coalesces as a
whole. We will be using small groups. Please do not use more than 12 people per
Team building starts as a mob and moves into
a well-trained squad. Similar to a sports team, team building relies on each
person being actively involved in solving the problem before them as a team.
Team building will stretch and grow your small groups into powerful dynamos
that can accomplish tasks that would be impossible by themselves.
Understanding team dynamics in five stages
This is a very brief outline of some of the
issues amongst the groups you should expect to see today. This is a five-fold
stage that some groups will quickly grow into while other groups will grow into
it at a more leisurely pace. The five stages are: Forming, Storming, Norming,
Performing and Mourning. You will not see the evidence of stage five today
unless you are staging these activities during a lock-in or an extended
weekend. Let's look at each stage:
Forming: Team members are
positive and polite, some will be a bit nervous. They don't know what they are
doing and they don't know how it will work. As the group leader, this is your
time to shine. Confirm that they are in charge, you're just here to help. You
will need to give the rules once and answer simple questions. Always give them
hopeful and helpful words. They need to get to know each other to get to the
Storming: The team will move
into this stage soon enough. If they already know each other as a youth group
or a soccer team, they will already be here. If they are peer office workers,
it will take much longer. Each person works in different ways and relates to
others differently. If they cannot come together at this stage they will
ultimately fail. Your job as the facilitator is to promote them to their position
as the leaders. Your words will be mostly encouragement and rule defining.
Norming: Soon enough, if
they've successfully gone through the Storming Stage and come out on the other
side, things will become normal. There will be a person who is in charge, you
will find that they have an assistant, there is a person who is quiet and does
the work, etc... You will begin to understand how the group comes to rely on
different people and how this new beast works. Goals become easier to
accomplish and commitment to the team good becomes solid. Your role is to
answer questions at this point. Let them do all the thinking. Only when you are
asked to define something in particular, should you really speak.
Performing: This is the Norming
Stage at its peak. It's a fine tuned machine where everyone is working together
in absolute harmony. It's easy to be part of the team at this stage. As a
matter of fact, this is when many team leaders, such as yourself might
introduce a new challenge. Maybe give one of them a blindfold. Maybe tie two
feet together. Maybe no one can talk. Maybe only those with red shirts can
touch anything. Use wisdom. Choosing to incapacitate a strong leader fully may
result in destroying the team, if done too early. Start slow and see how they
handle it. At this point, your role as the leader is to become part of the
obstacle without them knowing it. They should react and respond with
positivity, as they know that they have overcome every obstacle until now.
Mourning: This stage comes
hours, or sometimes days afterwards. They miss their team, they miss the
collective tasks that they accomplished. They miss being part of the exercise.
It is important to see the possibility of this phase at the end of the
exercises or the retreat. Before they go home, you should address this stage in
a brief cooldown/debrief session on how to apply what they have learned in
their daily lives when they go back home.
Action Steps in Leadership: You
will undoubtedly come to this event with a better understanding of the people
you will be working with than anyone else ever could. Understanding
pre-existing attitudes and potential problems will help you work with the
people involved but you should not let it hinder them in their growth process.
Try to be unbiased and impartial when first picking out the teams or groups.
Ten people per group seems to be a good number, but if you have the space seven
to nine seems to be best. Have a positive attitude, overlook mistakes, include
everyone, be positive, and don’t be afraid to fail, but most importantly, have
fun. You should have gone through this game with your friends to understand the
pinch points and problems, you should have all the equipment, you should know
all the rules and you should always be willing to be wrong. If the group comes
up with something outside of the rules, if it fits, let their creativity win.
You don’t want to be the bad guy. Be the hero and help them win! It’s supposed
to build teams, not destroy hope. Be nice! Smile! Jump around and be silly, lead
Before You Start
As yourself: Should Pauly be doing
this? Hey it’s an honest question. If you would rather skip all the heavy
lifting and take all the credit, just fly me out there and we can make a whole
weekend of it. I’m a pretty easy guest and have around 25 more activities at my
disposal. I can be booked any time for a quick 15 minute presentation to a
Prepare yourself: Alright, so you
want to do this yourself. Awesome. You can do it. You are able. You are smart.
You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Get your required sleep (six
hours for me), get some good food in ya, and get somewhere peaceful to go over
all your information. Relax, you’ve got this. You’ve read all the materials and
you’ve laid out all the cookies. You’ve memorized your opening speech (or at
least you’ve memorized the flash cards) and you’re going to be great.
What day is this on? What is the weather like? Did you buy all the supplies?
Did you prepare all the supplies? Did you get snacks? Did you get name badges?
Did you put signs out in front of the building? Who’s running the sign-in
table? Who’s organizing the snack table? What happens if it rains? What happens
if there’s a tornado? Do you have fire extinguishers? Do you know how to use them?
Is there someone there who is CPR trained? There’s a MILLION things to think
Prepare the leadership: You’ve
gathered your people together. These helpers/co-leaders will be the people to
assist you and help define the rules for the participants. I would suggest one
co-leader for every thirty people if adults, and one for every ten people if
children or youth. These co-leaders should have gone through all of the
exercises with you before the day of the event. Going through it even twelve
hours before will allow it to settle in and give them time to ask questions if
they have any. They should be well matured and well-seasoned leaders capable of
tackling the task of helping you accomplish the goals you set for your team
Prepare the room:
Inside: Are you planning this
inside? Make sure that the room is well ventilated and well air-conditioned or
heated to ensure comfort during this time. There should be water available at
all times and a designated snack area. Make sure trash-cans are empty at the
beginning of the event. The floor should be litter-free. You should have an
area for yourself (probably a table) so that you can have everything laid out
and ready for the next event once the first one comes to a close. Have your
bottles of water ready at your area for yourself and for your co-leaders. Games
should be set out and face down to deny prying eyes. Extra pencils ready, extra
score-board markers and scrap pieces of paper also ready. If you have many
newcomers and are doing name-badges, you should place them at another table and
not your table.
Outside: Is this going to be
outside? It should be a nice day. If you can, professionally fog the area
directly before the event so that ticks, lice, fleas and mosquitoes are not an
issue. ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO GO INSIDE. Construction? Thunderstorm? Bees? You
never know. The area should be well mowed and the grass dry.
Note: Please DO NOT play
Empire Attack on pavement or concrete. It is also preferable that you do not
play this game inside. Undoubtedly someone will trip or fall or collide. Your
insurance agreement should cover scrapes, cuts, or bruises.
Prepare the timetable: People
are wonderful. You can always tell them what to do and they’ll do it
immediately right? Sure! Give them an extra hour and they’ll get anything done.
The problem is that you don’t have that extra hour. Many times you will find
yourself clearing your throat and saying, once again: “ALRIGHT, LET’S GET
STARTED!” Have patience. That timetable you spent hours on probably went out
the window already anyway. Don’t worry. If your games have to conclude in ties
or if you can’t do “that one last thing” then it’s no big deal. The overall
participation in each event is the most important. Maybe you can shave a little
here and a little there. You’ll be fine. And even if you aren’t fine, just
smile and nod and everyone will think you’re fine.
Prepare the people: You should
appear confident and capable when you give the groups the rules and
expectations for the day. Let them know what time snack time is and what time
restroom break is. Let them know they will have fun. Be fun when you tell them
they will have fun. Smile. This is going to be one of the most eye-opening days
of their lives. They should place their purses, backpacks, coats, rain slickers
and anything else they brought with them on the side or by the door. Because
these are active games you don’t want a lot of clutter around them in the
group. I suggest children and youth sit on the floor, while you may want to
give adults some chairs. These should be placed in small semi-circles with the
opening facing you at the front of the room.
Prepare for the unpreparable: You
should be aware of physical disabilities within your group. Obviously, groups
of wheelchair bound players will make Empire Attack have many adjustments.
That’s alright. You were made to be flexible right? Uh oh, the villagers are
ringing the bell for a tiger sighting! Make sure to have your rifle loaded and
in a place where you can easily defend your people. Or what about the local
biker gang that told you they were “gonna come back.” Make sure you have the
local marshal's number handy. Whatever the case, you should be ready in season
and out of season for such emergencies. You should have mobile phones charged and
in a good service area in case you need to call the ambulance.
Timetable Example (Friday or Saturday Night)
Arrival: 4:30-4:45 Welcome
(Last minute details)
Sign In: 4:45-5:00 Name
Badges (Last minute details)
Kickoff: 5:00-5:35 Opening
Introduction and skit
Organize: 5:35-5:45 Split
up into groups
Activity #1: 5:45-6:30 Hebrew
Activity #2: 6:30-7:15 Project
Team Break: 7:15-7:45 Team
Planning & Quick Meal
Activity #3: 7:45-8:15 Earth
Activity #4: 8:15-9:00 Empire
Break Writing: 9:00-9:30 Journal
writing while eating a treat