Outdoor challenge games let families, campers and adventurous adults have the chance to work as a team and have some fun. Although there are ample opportunities to use high rope courses and climbing walls to build camaraderie and teamwork, there are also simple games that make a great challenge. Here are a few to get you started.
Have everyone stand in a close circle and reach across to grab someone else's hand. Everyone should hold hands with two different people. Now that the circle is a human knot, give the, "Go!" and have the group try to untangle themselves. The game finishes when everyone is back into an untangled circle. It's OK if the circle finishes with some people facing backwards.
In this race, teams work together to move as a group with their feet attached to two planks. Two 4-by-4 inch boards sit parallel to each other. There is a rope attached to the front, rear and middle of both planks. Three team members will be in charge of holding these ropes in order to lift the planks as the team walks and moves forward. Team members put one foot on each plank and face the same direction. Everyone who does not hold a rope should hold the waist of the person in front of him to stay balanced. When the race starts, teams work together to move forward toward the finish line.
For this challenge game, ropes are tied between two trees in the shape of a spider's web. The web makes different-sized holes at different heights between the trees. Teams work together to get each member of the group from one side of the web to the other without touching the rope. To get to the other side, team members must be passed through the holes of the web. One hole cannot be used more than once. If a teammate touches the web while she is being passed through, she has to go back and start again.
Split into four groups. Lay out the four-way tug-of-war rope and have each team claim a side. Mark on the ground on each of the four sides where the "finish" line will be. On the whistle, let the teams pull. The first team to pull to their finish line wins. Mix up the teams: Play an all-girls round, an all-parents round or an all-counselors round. Don't forget to give a prize to the most spirited team.
Article Written By Kathrine Cole
Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.