Salt & Light Retreat Resource Manual

A What?
*this is a complicated exercise and therefore complicated to explain
1. Have the students sit in a circle on the floor. The instructor will sit within the circle and before him will be many small objects.
2. He will pick up an object, a pencil for example, and while passing it to the person at his right, he will say "This is a pencil" The person will answer, "A What?" The instructor will answer "A pencil", and again the person will ask "A what?" and the instructor will again answer "A pencil." The person will answer "Oh, a pencil." The person than turns to her right and the process continues;
"This is a pencil", "A what?" "A pencil" "A what?" "A pencil" "Oh, a pencil!"
3. Practice this once so everyone can follow the pattern. Then start again, this time continually adding in objects so each person is carrying on two conversations at once. One person will say to the person on his right, "This is a pencil", then turning to his left he'll ask "A what?" and continues, passing on the next object.
4. Try to get the objects clear around the circle.
This is a fun small group icebreaker for all ages that has nothing to do with God.  Have each person take two strips of paper.  Have them place the same number on both sheets.  Make sure nobody has the same number.  Then have them place one of the numbers in the middle.  Then have the group pick a different number.  Each person should have their original number and a different number.  Now have them write a funny question on the original number piece of paper and a funny answer on the different numbered piece of paper.  Then go around the group saying the number and then asking a question, then have the person with the same number answer the question.  This should be a funny icebreaker.
Hula Hoop Passing
This is a good small group activity that is enjoyable for all ages.  Have the group hold hands with the hula-hoop hooked inside.  Now pass the hula-hoop around the small group.  This is a fun game that should help break the tension that is in the group.

Human Knot
Number of people: 4-15
Number of minutes: 10
Retreatants: junior high school, high school, and college
You get everyone in a tightly packed circle and the people in the group grab the hands of people across from them.  They cannot grab the hand of the person next to them.  They also cannot grab both hands of the same person.  This way, everyone's arms are tangled up.  They must try to form a circle without letting go of each other's hands by climbing over and under each other.  You can revise this by placing a person in the middle and have them tell the others how to get out of the knot, while he/she is standing in the middle.
Jenn’s Game
This is a small group game that is participated with all the small groups doing it at once.  You will need an object to pass around the circle and music.  This game is like hot potato, you pass around an object within your small group, while a leader of the whole large group plays the music.  When the music stops, the person with object must stand and listen to what the leader says for them to do.  The leader then calls out an action that they must do every time they touch the object while the music is playing.  Some of the things we have done in the past are standing on your chair and acting like a monkey,  running around the small group, make animal noises, stand up and say everybody’s name, etc.  The rule is that the object cannot leave that person’s hands until he/she sits back down and finishes what he/she has to do.  The other rule is that a person cannot get more than two things to do.  So if they get caught a third time then they can pass the action to someone in their small group.  This is good for all ages and it takes about 10-15 minutes.
Squeeze
This is a good non-religious small group icebreaker for all ages.  The group sits in a circle with one volunteer from the group sitting in the middle.  The group is told that a rare diamond is going to be smuggled from person to person and that it will be up to the one sitting in the middle of the circle to find the diamond.  The diamond is passed along in the following way: 1) everyone, except the person in the middle, joins hands.  2) The group leader squeezes the hand of the person to his immediate left or right.  3) The person that has received the squeeze has the option to pass the squeeze on to the next person or pass it back to the person they received it from.  4) A person can only hold a squeeze for 2 seconds.  5) When the person in the middle sees the squeeze take place, he says “gotcha” and if he is right the one trying to pass the squeeze moves to the middle.  The person who just got out of the middle starts it off.  You can improvise on this game by actually passing an object or make like you are passing an object, while the person in the middle tries to figure out who is really passing the stolen diamond.
Three Things Theater
1. Have three students stand at the front of the class and prepare to do an improvisational skit.
2. Ask certain members of the class to offer different items that must be used in the skit. For example, ask one students for an item found in a bathroom. Ask another for a person found on a cruise ship, and another for a place or setting.
3. Have the performers create a skit where the three items are utilized successfully.
Two Conversations
1. Break the class up into groups of 3. Have them sit with one person in the middle and the others on both ends facing the middle.
2. The students on both ends will simultaneously hold conversations with the person in the middle as though there was no one on the other side of the middle person. The person in the middle will try to earnestly carry on both conversation.
3. Rotate players