Props: Two opaque (non-see through) bags.
Focus: Trust / Communication Credit: Teams Kit (page 271)
Divide the group into two and give each group a bag. Have them go out and collect random items. After a set time (say, oh, about 10 minutes), call the groups back together and have them swap bags. Then, the teams flip a coin to decide who goes first. At this point, one team member reaches into the other team’s bag and touches an object. When they have one firmly in hand, they tell the whole group what they think they have in their hands. Once that person has described the object, have them pull it fully from the bag and show it to both teams. Allow the teams to discuss whether they think the description was good enough and then put it to a vote. If the group feels it was a good description of the object, then that team gets a point. If not, then no point is awarded and the other team gets their chance to guess an object.
Note: Usually (and I do mean “usually”) there is nothing gross and/or disgusting put in the bags. Watch out, though. If one team does pick up something slimy and nasty, it will destroy this activity and hamper the growth of the team.
Note #2: This activity works very well as an “Intro to Trust” activity, and a good lesson on team-building. Even though the team is split, did you ever say that this was something about “competition”? No! The team is still required to look out for its members. (Tricky little skunk, ain’t I! )
Trust. It sounds silly, but for a lot of people just blindly reaching their hands into a bag can be a tough experience. Think about it: picture the people you’re working with, is it likely that someone would put something funky in the bag? If it is a problem for you, what must it be like for the participants?
What was it like sticking your hand in the bag? Did you automatically trust that the other group would only pick up nice things? How many of you were a little nervous as you reached in for an object? Why? If (and I’m hoping this, doesn’t happen) your side had picked up a nasty object, would that have made you trust the other group? Why or why not?
Venomous, living things. Non-venomous living things. Sharp, pointy objects. You can restrict what they are allowed to pick up, but that does, in some ways, bring about a lack of trust from within the group. I mean, think about it, if I dictate what they can and cannot put in the bag, where is the trust factor? The group needs to draw its own conclusions as to what is acceptable and what is not.