The first activity on the program was Frenzy. Frenzy is a win-win outside the box and lateral thinking exercise. It consists of a large tray filled with colorful balls and four hula hoops placed around the tray in equal distance.
Spllitting the group into four teams, each team was asked to stand behind the hula hoop before the activity begun. The objective of the activity was for each team to get all the balls into their hoops.
The first round was quite frantic, with delegates storming towards the tray, grabbing the balls and taking them back to their hoop, just to notice that in the meantime some opposing players would steal the balls from their hoop.
It was a helpless no-win situation. So I blew the whistle and asked for a time-out.
Before the second round started, I gave the players a bit more time to strategize. One young IT-expert from the Philippines actually came up with the solutions, for all four teams to work together and to stack their hoops on top of each other on the tray, yet, as it so often happens, he was neither able to get the other team’s full attention, nor their ultimate agreement.
So the second round went similar like the first, a hectic and at times violent battle for the balls. I interrupted the game again. Before the third round, I promted the solution more obviously and I gave the IT-technician another chance to convince his team-mate to work together.
Finally it seemed that everybody understood the concept and for the first time, delegates approached the tray more cautiously. Just before all teams laid their hoops on the tray, one delegate changed his mind and threw the other team’s hoop away, indicating to his team mates, that he didn’t agree to this win-win situation. And the battle started from scratch again.
Some delegates walked off and sat down on the beach, indicating either frustration with the behavior of their team mates, or simple exhaustion of another fight.
The debriefing was a bit more serious than usual and those behavioral issues were addressed.
We played ring stack high up on the plateau, with a tremendous view over the ocean to the nearby cave.
In ring stack, three cones are located approx. one, two and three meters away from the playfield. Each delegate was given a ring to throw over the cone, without stepping outside the designated playfield. Team members were able to support each other while always remaining inside the designated area.
There are different points given for each hit, depending of the distance of the cone. The first round was played sighed, the second round blindfolded.
Delegates were split into two teams, and each team was asked to throw one ring alternatively. Team one won the first round 14 to 8. The second round, blindfolded was closer. It ended in favor of team one, with 9 to 6.
After ring stack, it was time for a short refreshment.
The third activity, buried treasure, was played on the beach. Delegates were asked to assign six people to be puzzlers and the rest of the team to be communicators. The puzzlers were asked to walk onto the playfield and find the puzzle pieces, carry them back to the designated area and assemble the puzzle all while wearing a blindfold. The communicator’s role was to give instructions to the puzzlers of where to go, and how to put the puzzle together. The communicators were unable to step into the playfield and the designated area where the puzzle was put together.
This activity encouraged communication, team support and problem solving skills. In a record-breaking time of just 20 minutes, team one assembled the puzzle perfectly. A remarkable high-performing team. Team one burst out into emotional cheering when the task was accomplished.
In human knots, teams stand in a circle with ones hands crossed, holding hands firmly with the person next to one other. The objective was to disentangle the knot without letting go of ones hands. The team completed this challenge in very short time.
Water throwing relay
Water throwing relay is a rather physical activity. Teams must assign members into three areas of the playfield. It works like a chain reaction. Two people were asked to carry water from the sea with a bucket, throwing the water to the person standing next in line. This person must catch the water with his bucket just to throw it to the person next in line. And so forth. At the end of the line, there is a vertically positioned tube containing a ping pong ball. The last person in the chain poured the water into the tube, and while the water level increased, the ping pong ball was floating upwards.
The tube consisted of lots of small holes, so there was constantly water leaking out of it. It was an added on challenge to prevent the tube from leaking until the water was overflowing and the poing pong ball fell out.
Suddenly, both team were cheering simultaneously, indicating their victories. The race was so tight, it was impossible to judge which was the winning team. So I asked for a replay. Team 2 didn’t agree to a replay so we concluded the winning team: “And the winning team is…team one!” Uncontrollable cheers erupted.
At the end of the activities, a cheeky monkey approached the beach and tried to steal one of the delegate’s sunglasses. A sign of good luck? We successfully chased the monkey away.