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How to Plan a Large Group Activity By Michelle D. Sanders

Michelle Sanders photoHave you ever been asked to lead a large group activity and didn’t know where to begin? A few years ago, when I worked for the Peoria Housing Authority, they had the “Employee’s Association” and were in need of ice-breakers for various community events. The techniques used helped the groups to relax, made everyone feel welcomed, and fostered camaraderie.

There are many planning solutions that you might find useful for your upcoming event. Before going into panic mode first decide who your target audience is. What is the gain or goal for the event? Is it building relationships, increasing performance, or tearing down barriers? Regardless, increasing interaction amongst one another is a crucial factor. Some ideas you can apply are:

  • Try giving back to the community as a team by donating clothing items or food staples. Many churches and organizations have done this activity in the past. It really gives a person a sense of accomplishment to serve others in a positive way and is also rewarding.

  • In the workplace, you might want to bring down negative barriers and show that you care for one another. Everyone has a purpose and wants to feel they are valued as an individual. Try greeting four people from another department every day for a week with a smile; you just might make that persons day.

  • One of my favorites is a Charity Team Building Event. Create cooking teams to show off culinary skills and at the same time feed those in need of a meal.

  • Use ice-breakers to start meetings when you have people who don’t know each other. Have the leader of the group start with a question that everyone can have fun with. For example, “I like to have a “water (blank?)”. The answers will get everyone laughing and relaxed.

  • Another ice-breaker is called, “Truth or Lie”. Have everyone write down something about themselves and let the others guess whether they’re telling the truth or not.

These are just a few ideas to help you plan for community or team-building exercises. Please share them with your co-workers, friends and family.

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