If you are taking a wilderness trip to L’Abri, a big part of your adventure will be the activities that we include in our
wilderness team building programs. In addition to the typical camping activities like hiking,
swimming, singing songs, telling stories around the campfire, and making memories, you will have a
great time to use nature to engage in one another's senses of wonder, awe, and imagination.
There are many simple games that we use as great icebreakers to get everyone smiling and laughing together and really starting to knowing each other. Some of these activities are;
We have participants partner up and quietly look at one another for about ten minutes. Simply from how their partner looks, they must create an entire life story for them.
This biography is shared with group, and then the person who's "life story" was being told gets to tell the real story of their life! The roles are then reversed. This is especially effective with groups that don't know each other well, and is an excellent way to get people to think about how our stereotypes and first impressions can be mistaken.
On scrap paper, we have everyone in the group write down one fear they have about anything. Then, we place the papers in a hat, pull one out and read it to the group. We explore how others in the group may have similar fears and through group dialogue how the group can help you to overcome that fear.
On scrap paper, we have everyone in the group write down one thing they admire about every other person present. Collect these, separate them by the people they're addressed to, and place them in envelopes labelled with the appropriate name. At the end of the trip we hand these out for a memorable keepsake for all.
There are many educational and uplifting ways to incorporate the wilderness into your camping activities.
For our own sanity, our bodies filter out a significant portion of the information our senses give to us on a daily basis. In nature, however, it can be incredibly uplifting to realize just how keen our God-given senses are. We encourage group members to "open" their senses - first, have them close their eyes. Then, have them listen for the sounds of the forest, their own bodies, and the people around them. Next, we move on to the smells of the trees and the dirt, followed by the feel of the breeze against their skin, or the feel of their t-shirts on their backs. Finally, have them open their eyes, and spend a few minutes focusing on really seeing their surroundings. Afterwards we talk about what they noticed during the exploration that they hadn't noticed before. This activity is facilitated by our L’Abri instructors.
Once you're out in the Forest or at one of our Big Five Waterfalls we have everyone in the group find an object that they like the look at;- a rock, a particular branch, a leaf, etc. Then each member of the group have to deliver a brief "sermon" to the group about why they chose this object and how it represents or relates to their beliefs.
We send everyone out to find something in the forest that can be used as a musical instrument - two rocks to clack together, a blade of grass, sticks of different weight, etc. Then we bring everyone together to create a well-known song of hymn at or creating your own “camp song”. This is always quite funny and is a great way to get people loosened up.
Just remember, the most important part of camping is having fun - and activities help to keep your group friendly, interested, and interconnected during your trip or retreat. So when you come to L’Abri
keep these things in mind for a great getaway in the WILDERNESS!