Ropes and Team Building

3 Fun Team Building Activities You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Team building activities can be fun and challenging, but they can also become stale for the facilitator and participants if the same ones are used over and over. Here are three that you probably haven’t heard of that have been recommended to me by other camp professionals.



This is a timed event where groups are tasked with separating balls by color into four quadrants.balls-4-colors


  • Two ropes
  • Two colored balls (four different colors) for each participant
  • A bag to hold the balls


  • Lay two ropes out so that they look like a plus sign (+). This will give you four separate quadrants. It will look like a four square court without the outer boundaries.
  • Have four people (one at each end of the rope) hold the ends of the ropes tightly at about chin height.
  • Divide the group into four smaller groups.
  • Assign each group their own quadrant.
  • Have the remaining participants choose two balls out of the bag without looking, then return to their quadrant.


  • At the facilitator’s signal, participants begin separating the balls by tossing them over the ropes to other participants.
  • Balls can only be held by participant’s hands.
  • If a ball touches the ground there is a 5-second penalty.
  • If a participant or ball touches a rope there is a 10-second penalty.
  • Once all the balls are in their own quadrants, the time stops.




All participants are to enter and exit the rectangle safely.


  • Poly Spots or carpet squares – four of them plus one per participant
  • Rope or tape for boundaries


  • Create a large rectangle with rope or tape. Figure about a foot in length for each participant and 1/2 foot in width per participant (i.e. for 20 people the rectangle would be approx. 20′ x 10′).
  • Place poly spots or carpet squares randomly in the rectangle. There should be one per participant and one on the outside of each corner.
  • Divide the group into four smaller groups. Each small group are to go to a different corner.


  • Participants enter and exit the rectangle by using the corner spot.
  • When a participant steps on a spot inside the rectangle, that spot is “active”. Once a spot is activated, someone must have contact with it at all times. If nobody has contact with an “active” spot, it is removed by the facilitator.
  • Boundaries and spots may not be moved at any time, except for when they are removed by the facilitator.
  • If participants must jump or hop (both feet come off the ground) to get to a spot, the game is over.
  • Contact with the floor inside the rectangle means that participant must exit and return to their original spot to reenter.
  • All participants must be in the rectangle before anyone can exit.

The original game can be found in the book Raptor and Other Team Building Activities by Sam Sikes.




Shepherds must herd the blindfolded sheep into the pen without talking. Whistling or other noise are okay.


  • Rope or cones for pen boundaries
  • One blindfold for each participant playing a sheep
  • Whistles for the shepherds (optional)


  • Divide the group into 2-3 teams.
  • Assign one participant from each team to be the shepherd.
  • Have the sheep put-on their blindfolds.
  • Lead each sheep to a random spot on the field/playing area.
  • Shepherds are to stand away from the pen area.
  • Mark off the pen area using the rope or cones.


  • Give teams 5 minutes to come up with a game plan before setting up.
  • There is no running during the activity. Facilitators need to watch for possible participant collisions to keep everyone safe.
  • Shepherds are to non-verbally herd their sheep into the pen. They can only use a whistle, clap hands or make sounds.
  • Shepherds must stand in one spot the whole time.
  • Sheep cannot take off their blindfold until the activity is over.
  • Sheep cannot verbally respond to their shepherd.
  • After a certain amount of time has passed (15 minutes or so), or the shepherds get all their sheep into the pen, the activity ends.

This can also be played with just one shepherd.


Have you heard of any of these? What are your favorite, lesser known, team building activities?



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