Leadership Development

Ropes Course

The Office of Leadership & Service is rolling out phase one of the ropes course for UT Tyler only. This phase will include 30+ low-ropes activities that your organization, class, office or department can request to have facilitated. Activities will be centered on developing skills such as teamwork, cooperation, communication, problem-solving, and more. If you have questions about these activities or would like to schedule one, please contact us.

ACTIVITY EXAMPLES

BLIND SQUARE

Concepts: Handicap awareness, teamwork, cooperation, communication

Objective: To form a geometric shape with a 50 foot loop of rope.

Task: Gather the group into a large circle, Place the loop of rope on the ground inside of the circle at the feet of all of the participants. Tell the group to blindfold themselves, then pick up the rope. When the group is ready tell them to form a perfect square with the rope. When they think they have succeeded, have them remove their blindfolds. 

Rules: Each participant must hold onto the rope with at least one hand at all times, blindfolds are to remain in place until they feel they have completed the figure. 

MINUTE MEASURE

Concepts: Problem-solving

Objective: To develop an awareness of the duration of a minute and to practice estimating time spans.

Task: Ask the group to find a comfortable spot and sit down. Explain that they are going to estimate three minutes. Have them close their eyes and keep them closed. They begin timing on a signal from the instructor. At the end of one minute, each one should raise their hand with one finger up.  At the end of two minutes, they should raise another finger. At the end of three minutes, they should open their eyes and put down their hand. Everyone should remain silent until everyone is finished. 

Rules: Everyone keeps their eyes closed until they are finished timing, everyone remains silent until the end of the activity.

DIMINISHING LOAD

Concepts: Problem solving, teamwork, cooperation, trust

Objective: To move a group across an open field as quickly as possible.

Task: Instruct the group that they are to get across an open field as quickly as possible. To get across a person must be carried. 

Rules: The first person must return to be carried across, if someone being carried across touches the ground, both must return to be carried across. 

RED HANDED

Concept: Cooperation

Objective: Pass the marble without the “it” knowing who has it.

Task: Form a circle and put the “it” in the middle with their eyes closed. Give someone the marble and they start passing it from person to person. The best method of passing is to hold the marble in one fist, palm down, and drop it into the palm-up hand of the next person. Then s/he passes it from one fist to the other and on. The “it” tries to see who has the marble and taps the fist. If wrong they get to guess again. If right that person becomes the new “it”.

KNOTS

Concept: cooperation

Objective: To form a knot by holding hands in a group and untie it

Task: To form the knot, stand in a circle, shoulder-to-shoulder, and place your hands in the center. Now everybody grab a couple of hands. Do not hold hands of the person standing next to you or the same hands of one person. Now untie it. You may have a leader point to one at a time to do something to untie or just do it as a group.

THE SHRINKING SHIP

Concept: team building, cooperation

Objective: put everyone’s feet in the circle

Task: Make the perimeter of the circle large enough to guarantee success. Everyone’s feet must be inside of the circle in fifteen seconds. Once they have experienced success from the first round, ask them if they would be willing to make the circle smaller. Continue as long as the group is willing.

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