Recently in Just for Fun Category

This activity works with every group size and every age from elementary to corporate teams!
All you need is two decks of Ubuntu cards.

"We aren't sure why this didn't make it into the Ubuntu Activity Guide. Ryan and I had a good laugh about that because we use it all the time". Chris Ortiz

Ubuntu Mimeograph
When working on a project, we rely on team members to do their best work to contribute to the success of the project team. If that work is not organized and agreed on by all team members, details can be missed and distrust in team members can fester. The object of the activity is for the team to recreate a pattern of cards that the facilitator has created in another, out of site, space.

Resources/Materials: You will need 2 decks of Ubuntu cards.

Set up:
Create a pattern of 10- 15 cards out in a hallway or in another room. Place some cards single image side up and others multi image side up. Turn some sideways or angled. Include the remainder of the deck as a part of the pattern.

Give the group the second deck of cards.

• Each team member may only leave the room to go look at the pattern of cards one time.
• They must go alone, no talking or technology allowed while in the other space.
• They may not touch the cards that are a part of the pattern.
• When they return, they can describe what they saw to the other group members.
• Can the group recreate the pattern exactly as it is in the other space?

Facilitator tips: Snap a picture of the pattern at some point so at the end you can lay your phone down to check the groups work before you discuss.

Reflection Ideas:
• How did the group decide to organize information? Was the strategy and vision of the plan clear for all group members?
• In what ways does this activity reflect the groups typical organization? Similarities? Differences?
• What lessons could be brought back to the workplace as a result of this exercise?

Saboteur Layer
Prior to playing, pass around folded up note cards to everyone and tell the group to secretly look at the card. Tell them that if someone has an X on the inside of their card they are the saboteurs for this activity and their goal is to prevent the group from being successful. (I never actually put an X on a card but adding this layer of distrust on the team can be a powerful discussion point.)

And if you like this activity, you can find over 30 more in the Ubuntu Activity Guide.

Join us at the Ubuntu Workshop and get the Ubuntu Activity Guide FREE!


Thanks to Scott Goldsmith for this fun activity. Two teams go head-to-head in an attempt to capture everyone onto their team. But which team are you on?

Group Size: Larger Group
Time: 10 minutes

Competition is not always evil; in fact it can be a great motivator to enhance performance. The key is to create a situation in which players practice positive sportsmanship and celebrate victories, instead of demeaning losses. This activity allows for competitive spirits to shine while blurring the defined lines of what team they belong to.

1. This game uses the multi-image side of the cards.
2. Divide the group equally into two teams.
3. Place a spot marker on the ground and have these two teams line up across from one another (the first person in line on each team is face-to-face with the spot marker between them).
4. Give each participant a card and ask that they not peek at the multi-image side.
5. On GO, the two participants at the front of each line flip over their card to the multi-image side.
6. The player who finds the matching image first captures the other player onto their team and they both go to the back of the line.
7. The next person in line on each team steps up to the spot marker and shows their multi-image side.
8. First to person to find the match captures the other player onto their team.
9. Continue play until one team has all the players or it stops being fun.

This is not a particularly heady game; however, it does offer an opportunity to talk about sportsmanship. It is interesting to watch players as they cheer each other on. Ask players which team they were on? Why did they choose that particular team?

By giving each participant a card, some players will begin to memorize their cards and know what the match is with other players before they even come to the line. If you are playing with a smaller group, this is more likely to happen. An alternative way to play which would eliminate this possible scenario would be to give the first person in the line half the deck of cards. He or she would turn over the first card and then pass off the deck to the next person, placing the spent card on the bottom of the deck.

Tired of the same old community building games? Looking for something fresh and unexpected?

Grab the best deal in town! Access to over 30 activities with one prop smaller than your smart phone...literally. The Ubuntu Deck and Activity Guide. And only $31.75 (INCLUDES SHIPPING in US).

Beth Wonson, leadership and team building consultant, says, "I've used Ubuntu in several ways with the same management team. The first time was around identifying team strengths. Then we used the "Junk Drawer" activity to let go of behaviors we'd outgrown. Next we used it to share how we applied behavioral norms. Ubuntu is a small but versatile and powerful tool. I always keep it in my computer bag on consulting gigs!"

The activities in the guide have been compiled by both High 5 Trainers Ryan McCormick and Chris Ortiz as well as submitted from practitioners in the field. Grab your set today, play around with them and then send us your feed back and ideas. You just may see your name and activity in Ubuntu Guide TWO!

Have fun and share with us how you like it!

If you've been teaching or working with people long enough, you can relate all to well to the challenge of how to get things happening. Too often we put all our attention on the person we believe to be the natural leader given our text book definition.

Or perhaps you are perplexed one day when you hear one day about a former student who was never the first person to take a risk or to lead, but always seemed to be the follower and they ends up being an amazing, unexpected leader! And you wonder, "How did I miss seeing that when I had them in my program?"

Derek Sivers challenges us to look at leadership and followership in a whole new light! A must see for shifting your perspective!

And I bet you can't help but smile while watching! Enjoy!

I recently presented a workshop sessions at the the Northeast YMCA Camp Gathering at the New York YMCA Camp on Team Building Activities You Should Know. I love presenting this workshop at conferences. What could be easier than gathering up your game bag and presenting your favorite activities that always seem to work. I had a great group of about 30 YMCA Camp Professionals who gave great energy and played hard.
Click the link below to download the activity descriptions.
NE YMCA 2011.pdf

Vegas Baseball

Every once in a while an activity develops out of necessity. In this case it was lack of the proper equipment that spawned Vegas Baseball...
Click the link below for pdf of activity description.
Vegas Baseball.pdf

Taking Play Serious


The topic of brain research is hot and as our field continues to grow, so does our need to validate the effectiveness of our programs on those they serve. Experiential programming, in most circumstances, offers participants the opportunity to learn through doing, or put differently, through playing. Though play is seemingly fun and engaging, does it serve a purpose? We seem to think so but, how do we prove it? Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneer of research on play, is beginning to provide that research and says that play is more than just fun, that it's vital to human development and intelligence in children and, more interestingly, also in adults. Brown is providing scientific evidence that being playful, in a wide sense of the word, is critical to healthy human development and that the more play we experience, the better we socialize, adapt, solve problems and meet with success, sound Familiar?

Hulbert to High 5

| 1 Comment

We are often asked at conferences and in trainings how we ended up with such great jobs. Each one of us has a different story, a different path that has landed us at High 5 Adventure, but for 3 of us... that story has a similar sound. That path meandered through the same place, the Hulbert Outdoor Center.

Recent Comments

  • Rachel Sampson: I would like to try this but can't find where read more
  • Jen Ottinger: Hi Ryan! Great words to live by. read more
  • markcollardinc: Ryan, I saw Michelle Cummings present this exercise earlier this read more
  • markcollardinc: Ditto! We - Ryan, Nate and me - all reading read more
  • markcollardinc: Hey Ryan, why is this activity called Ubuntu CIRCLE when read more
  • higherbeing: Love it! read more
  • Wes: Hi Ryan. I am currently looking into establishing a physics read more
  • Ryan McCormick: Thanks Nate, I love this activity and find useful in read more
  • Nate Folan: Right on Ryan! This activity is very effective. Thanks for read more
  • Ryan McCormick: Well, it depends on the size of the group. With read more