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“Icebreaker—straight ahead!”

Icebreakers are a great way to, well, break the ice during your meetings and spark some fun and  energy. Here are two icebreaker ideas to get you started.

“May I join you?”

Time: 10–20 minutes

Supplies needed: 4 notecards

The game: Pick four volunteers to be leaders of each corner of the room. Give each of your four volunteers a notecard with an attribute. Each attribute will be the theme of that leader’s corner. (Some examples: blue eyes, club leader, ponytail and striped shirt.) Make sure leaders keep the copy on their notecards a secret.

Once each leader is standing in his or her corner, direct club members to split up and ask a leader, “May I join you?” Each leader will reply based upon the attribute listed on his or her card. For example, a leader with a card that reads “blue eyes” will say, “Yes, you may join our group!” to any blue-eyed member who asks to join. If a club member without blue eyes requests to join the group, the leader will suggest that he or she find another group to join. Members will continue to ask until they find a group to join or until all four leaders have denied them access to the groups. Members who were not allowed to join any of the four groups will stay in the middle of the room.

When everyone has a place in the room, ask members of the four corner groups what they think is their common attribute. Let the members left standing in the middle express how it felt to not be accepted into any of the groups. Ask the leaders how it felt to accept or deny people. Start a discussion about how this game relates to real-life situations.

Power of positivity

Time: 10–20 minutes

Supplies needed: A “fun-sized” candy bar for each participant

The game: Each member starts out with a candy bar. Members must walk around the room and ask questions to the other members they pass by. The object of the game is to respond in a positive way—but there’s a catch. No matter what kind of question you’re asked, you cannot lie. For example, if someone asks if today is Saturday, a member can’t lie and say yes. He or she could respond by saying, “Oh, today is actually (insert day of the week).” With the fast-paced nature of the game, it can be hard to remember to stay positive when people start getting sneaky with their questions.

As long as players answer positively, they just move on and ask someone else a question. The trick to this game is that there are consequences when a player’s attitude becomes negative. Whenever students answer questions negatively (or tell an obvious lie to stay positive), they must give up all pieces of candy they’ve collected so far to the person who asked them the question. For example, if a player collects five pieces of candy and answers a question negatively, he or she must give all five pieces of candy to the person who asked the question.

The game ends either when one person has all of the candy, or when the game reaches its time limit.

Ask members how difficult it was to stay positive. Talk about how they felt when they had to give up all of their candy. Discuss the ways being positive can make daily life easier.

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