|By Joe Bouchard|
This is a series of new icebreakers from Joe Bouchard, a retired 25 year corrections veteran and corrections writer. He wrote these icebreakers for the International Association of Corrections Training Personnel (IACTP). These are a part of over 200 icebreakers Bouchard has written for IACTP since 2007. To learn more about IACTP, please visit www.iactp.org.
Part I – Teamwork Towers
Please note that the various exercises that feature a team building a tower from paper and tape is one which I do not know the origins. I am grateful to whomever created it. It serves as a base for Part II of this exercise - Troika Towers.
Give each team 12 sheets of paper and a roll of tape. The goal is to build a tower out of the material that will stand on its own. The tower has to have a base of at least 8 inches and had to stand six feet tall or more. The tower has to be placed only on the floor but cannot be taped to the floor. External buttressing of any kind is strictly forbidden. Teams are given five minutes to plan and ten minutes to build the tower.
Small incentive gifts for the winning team help drive this exercise. Also, facilitators can observe group dynamics in action.
Part II – Troika Towers
In Team Towers that I conducted on October 19, 2018, six teams worked against each other in a quest to be the first team to make a free standing 6-foot-tall or taller tower made from nothing but 12 pieces of 8 ½ x 11 paper and tape. November 30, 2018 featured the first run of Troika Towers with the same people who competed six weeks earlier.
All participants in this exercise cooperate for the same goal – to build three towers. This was a pass or fail proposition for everyone. If all towers stood, the entire team will be declared successful. If even one of the three towers fell, the whole team failed.
General guidelines and the finished product:
Postscript: For those who wonder, the tower stood for the first run of Troika Towers.
Joe Bouchard is a retired corrections veteran and writer with 25 years of experience. At the time of his retirement, he was employed as a librarian by the Michigan Department of Corrections and was collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014” and "Operation Icebreakers: Shooting for Excellence" among others. The installments in this series include his opinions. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.
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