Free Team Building Activity -Snake Tie

Free Team Building Activity -Snake Tie

This activity is a very challenging problem solving activity that has a couple of variations available to scale up or scale down the difficulty.  First, you must be able to demonstrate how to tie a knot.  I like to start with a simple overhand knot since most everyone knows how to tie it even if they don’t know what it is called.  You will want to make sure everyone has their own short rope for this so they can learn at their own pace.  I will often ask people to become as competent as they can become so I will challenge them during the learning process to tie the know with their eyes closed or behind their back.  It is also important that everyone is accomplished so encourage coaching in the group until everyone is good.  This activity should not be done with groups larger than about 10 or you will not have everyone engaged in the process.

Set Up

  • One long length of rope (approximately 15 to 30 feet or about 2 – 3 feet of rope per person in the group)
  • One short length of rope (approximately 4 feet)
 Briefing
Once everyone has learned to tie the overhand knot, tie a “sample knot” in one of the short ropes so the group has an example.  Instruct everyone in the following instructions:
  • Everyone on the team must pick up the long rope and hold it with two hands for the entirety of the initiative.YOU MUST COMPLETE THE FIRST INSTRUCTION BEFORE PROCEEDING! The bad new is that you have just grabbed a very poisonous snake, the good news is that he cannot harm you as long as you do not move your hands, not even to slide them. More good news, you will be able to control the snake enough to take your hands off if you can tie a knot into the center of the snake.
  • No one may change positions or slide their hands along the length of the rope after you have picked up the rope. With each team member holding onto the rope with two hands, the team must tie a knot into the center of the rope.
  • At no time may any team member let go of the rope with either hand. When finished, the team should lay the rope on the floor and tighten the knot.
  • Team leaders will inspect the knot.  If it doesn’t match the sample knot, the team must begin anew.

Safety Concerns

  • Caution participants to not pull the rope when someone is stepping through or over it
  • Caution participants about tripping on the rope

Rules

  • No one may change positions or slide their hands along the length of the rope after you have picked up the rope.
  • With each team member holding onto the rope with two hands, the team must tie a knot into the center of the rope.
  • At no time may any team member let go of the rope with either hand.
  • When finished, the team should lay the rope on the floor and tighten the knot.
  • Team leaders will inspect the knot.  If it doesn’t match the sample knot, the team must begin anew.

Variation

  • If you start with a simple overhand knot, you can always try a different, more complex knot for a second round if the group is still engaged.

Disclaimer:

All activities contain some inherent risk of injury whether it be physical or emotional.  The author had devoted reasonable attention to the safety of any activity included on this website be describing potential hazards and testing the activities with others.

The reader assumes all risks and liability for any loss or damage that may result from the use of the materials contained on this website.  The information presented on this website is for your reference, and you (the reader/end user) are ultimately responsible for judging the suitability of an activity and safely supervising the activity.

As always, you should consult a professional facilitator where appropriate.  If you would like invite Greg Huber to deliver a team building program to your group, please contact him at info@signatureteambuilding.com