Activity time: 5 minutes
Description of Activity
This short, fun activity from the website of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, helps youth understand the need for interdependence and cooperation. Participants experience what it is like to make a group promise of trust and dependence. This activity is best with 10-14 people and there must be an even number of people. If there is an odd number of youth, a leader may participate.
Invite the group to stand in a circle and count off by twos (1-2, 1-2, etc.). Instruct them to hold each other's wrists around the circle and spread out so that their feet are about shoulder length apart. Tell them that some people will lean in and some people will lean out, but that they must all hold each other up and maintain the circle. Invite them to make a verbal promise of interdependence and cooperation to one another.
Tell them that all "ones" should lean in towards the middle, keeping their body straight without bending at the waist. All the "twos" should lean out from the middle without bending at the waist. The group should then try to balance itself so that the "ones" are leaning in as far as they can and the "twos" are leaning out as far out as they can.
When the group has successfully balanced the circle, tell them to switch so that the "ones" lean out and the "twos" lean in.
After the game, say that covenants are generally taken very seriously, not like the bit of fun we just shared. However, you might use that experience to extrapolate about how we act in covenant. Ask the group the following questions:
- How was that for you? Was it easy or difficult?
- What was the "covenant" in the activity?
- Without naming names, was the covenant ever broken? What happened then?
- How did this activity remind you of what it is like to be in covenant?
Including All Participants
This activity is not appropriate for groups that include members with limited physical mobility.