Props: Green Course
Focus: Cooperation / Caring
Credit: Kimball Camp YMCA
You are out on assignment with International Geographic, exploring the grasslands of Africa. While photographing a pride of lions (with a funny-looking blue baboon, a smelly boar, and a meerkat singing out of ‘toon…) you are suddenly aware of a giggling sound from behind you. Fearing the worst, you turn around. The worst isn’t bad enough! Upidstay Hyenas! These incredibly vicious creatures hunt in packs (though occasionally they forget what they are supposed to do when they catch things…) and, if you are captured, you stand at least some sort of chance of being munched!
Immediately, you take off, running as hard and as fast as you can. The sun is setting as you continue running, along at a pace which would make championship marathon-ers blush, give up running, and take up something less strenuous, like crochet. Ahead of you is the village your expedition departed from. As you approach, you realize, to your dismay, that the gate is shut for the night to prevent (well shock and surprise!) Upidstay Hyenas from attacking the inhabitants. The gate is impenetrable, so you take off running around the village in the hopes of finding another entrance. Just when you are about to give up hope and run for the next village, you find something which gives you hope! On the opposite side of the village (is there another word other than “village” that I could use?), you find a small electric fence. An electrical barrier extends down from
the single wire blocking your path, creating a powerful “force field” which, though things can pass through, is so hazardous that anyone who tried to crawl under it would surely have their heart stopped from the voltage! This is your only chance, however, and so you decide to go over it.
The Grand, Official Guidelines For Participants To Follow In Order To Successfully Accomplish This Activity (a.k.a. “The Rules”):
1. Everyone must go OVER the fence. Not under. Not around. Not through. They must physically go over the rope!
2. No one can climb the trees. No one can pole vault over the rope. No other materials, save what the people have on them may be used.
3. No one can touch the rope. If anyone does, or if anything does, the whole group starts over. If anyone shakes the trees around which the ropes are tied and thus moves the rope, the whole group starts over.
4. Only the last person may run and jump over the rope, provided that EVERYONE is in place and ready to catch them as that person makes the jump. (Avoid this option, however, as it is fairly dangerous.)
5. Everyone else must be passed over the fence, feet first, and land softly. NO THROWING PEOPLE OVER THE ROPE!
6. Once someone is on the other side, they must spot those who come afterward.
7. HINT: The final person doesn’t need to jump. Can they go under the fence? No. Can things go under the fence? Yes. Make sure you don’t tell them this, however. They need to figure it out on their own. The easiest way to solve the puzzle, however, is that people reach under to provide steps for the final person to walk over.
Variation: attach the lower rope as well. This way the group is required to send half of the participants over the high rope, and half under the low rope. (High-Low.) They must send at least two under the low rope first, however, to ensure the safety of those being passed.
Cooperation. Working together, this is a fairly easy activity. If the group fails, however, it will immediately become frustrating. I would not recommend this as a starting activity. Caring. Don’t let people harass those who touch the rope. Make sure that everyone assists. and do not let the spotters wander away. Don’t let anyone be thrown over!
How many times did you start over? Why? How many times should you have had to start over? Why? Did anyone have a rough landing? What could have been done differently to prevent that?
Watch people being thrown over! This is critical. If the final person chooses to jump, make sure EVERYONE is ready to catch that person! Facilitators should assist with spotting the first few over the rope, and then should make sure that everyone on both sides has at least a hand on the person going over. If this is a major problem, tell the group that if they do not help spot, they will automatically start over.