Team building exercises build life skills

by kentucky4h

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Team building exercises build life skills

Source: Mark Mains, state 4-H youth development specialist, teen programming, international exchange programs

Every time 4-H members gather, they establish or renew relationships and state the purpose of their meeting. This communication is accomplished through team building.

In 4-H, team building activities are often referred to as icebreakers or energizers. While they may look like fun and games, these exercises are actually carefully organized and planned activities that serve the specific purpose of building group trust and cohesion. Team building activities are directed, leader-supervised activities that take into consideration the needs of each individual in the group to help them connect with each other and grow as leaders.

Team building activities build consensus, create a comfort level within the group, establish strong foundations for future relationships, support an environment of open communication, increase the members’ commitment to the group and contribute to members’ growth as leaders.

The importance of team building is further reinforced because it actively supports and enhances “belonging,” one of the essential elements of 4-H. It creates an inclusive and safe environment and creates a positive relationship with caring adults.

Team building also meets another goal of 4-H, leadership. Participating in team building activities and reflecting on the experience and the outcomes allows the young person to develop essential leadership skills. They “learn by doing.”

Never underestimate the importance of team building as a vital part of each 4-H gathering.

For more information about team building, contact the (YOUR COUNTY) Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.