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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart



For a group of people to work together to problem-solve and to be resourceful when given a

challenging task.

Group Size

5 or more




Create an area that is to be a “fast-moving river” by marking off an area on the ground at least twenty feet across (make it a bigger distance for larger groups). Ask for one or two volunteers from the group to go to the other side of the “river,” Once the team members are across the river, tell the rest of the group that their friends have become stranded on the far side of the river after their boat tipped over, and the group must create a lifeline so that they can pull their comrades to safety.

The group must make a chain of items that are tied together out of anything they can find

(clothes, shoelaces, tree branches, etc.). Once the group makes a chain, they must be able to hold onto one end and throw the other end to their stranded teammates. The lifeline must make it all the way to the other side when thrown. If it goes into the river it must be reeled in and thrown again.

Once the lifeline reaches the other side, the teammates may be pulled to safety one at a time.

Discussion Prompts

1. Did everyone contribute to the lifeline? Why or why not?

2. Could one person have made the lifeline? Why or why not?

3. Would you want to be across a real river and be depending on this group to throw you a

lifeline? Why or why not?

4. If this was a real river, how would trust be a factor?

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