Team Building Exercise: Stepping Stone and Blind Polygon

I. The morning started out with a warm-up exercise called “Stepping Stones.”

Process:

Place five sheets of paper, spaced approximately two feet apart, in a straight line. One person stands on one single sheet of paper. Four out of the five sheets are occupied, leaving the sheet in the middle empty. The object is for each person to reach the opposite side using as few moves as possible. Each step consists of one person moving one space or one person skipping over another person to an empty spot. The game is over when each member has successfully reached the opposite side.

Our Strategy:

Here is a sample grid:    a(1)  b(2)  x(3)  c(4)  d(5)

c moves to (3), b skips c and moves to (4), a moves to (2), c jumps a and moves to (1), d jumps b and moves to (3), b moves to (5), a jumps d and moves to (4), d moves to (2). This took a total of eight moves.

Impressions: We did it once and found out our process was incorrect. We reset and made the successful, second attempt. One of our first things was that we had to actually leap frog to complete a “skip”, but actually we were graciously allowed to walk around the person instead. It was a good exercise to begin the morning: quick and engaging.

II. The first “real” exercise began with blindfolds for each of the four people and a ten foot length of string. The task assigned was to create a square with each person as one of the points.

Our Strategy:

We first found where the two ends of the string were and one person joined them to make one big loop. Verbal communication allowed us to determine where we were in relation to one another and to establish an equal distance between each of the four points. The last thing we did was to tighten the slack that was in the rope.

Impressions: We were silent for a long period of time while each of us thought about possible solutions. Finally we quit waiting for someone else to lead and each began speaking out. It would have been more pressing if we had been given a time limit to begin with.

III. The last exercise was similar to the second: we were all still blindfolded and had a single string, except we were to create an equilateral triangle.

Our Strategy:

One person took the entire string (which was tied at both ends), and folded the length to make three equal segments. She then held one point and passed the other two off to two other players. Holding the points on the string, we spread out until the string was tight. We established a triangle, and the fourth person who was not holding the string walked around the triangle to measure the length of each side (one could use the length of an arm or arm-span).

Impressions: Since we had already done activity II, there was no real hesitation this time. The strategy of folding paid off!

Blind Polygon Activity