Materials & Media:
- (optional) Bandanas or pens for folks to hold who do not want to be touched
- All participants should be seated in a circle (either on the ground or in chairs). We recommend having everyone facing each other and then having folks move to tap each other on the inside of the circle.
Goals & Learning Outcomes:
- To allow for anonymous encouragement, checking in, thank yous, and appreciations.
- To close out an activity on a note of connection, meaning-making, and appreciation.
- this activity is a way for all of us to take some time to appreciate each other, time we’ve shared together, and the inspiration that we feel from one another
- is going to be silent to allow for everyone to have time and space to reflect and be present.
Process Steps & Talking Points:
- Provide directions for the activity, “In a moment I’m going to ask everyone to close their eyes and/or keep their heads down. A few folks are going to start as tappers. I am going to read a statement and then folks who are standing will go around and “tap” folks to which they personally feel that statement applies. We will continue like this for 3-4 statements and then I will pull up the next group of tappers. I will pull on your bandana or on the corner of your shirt to indicate it is your opportunity to stand up and tap folks. Everyone will have a chance to both give and receive taps.”
- Clarify that everyone understands the directions. It is particularly important that folks understand directions before this activity begins as it is silent and will break up the flow/feel of the activity if they ask questions once you have started
- Ask everyone to close their eyes and/or lower their heads
- Pull a few folks up to be the first tappers
- Being to read the prompts—go slowly enough so that the tappers can make it once around the circle prior to reading the next prompt
- After a few of the prompts, indicate to those tappers to sit down and pull up the next group
- Continue until everyone has had a chance to tap—even if you have to repeat prompts
Tap someone who….
you believe is a quiet leader
you’ve learned something from this weekend
you would turn to for help
you want to get to know better next semester
you’ve gotten to know better this weekend
you wish you had gotten to know better this weekend
has done something that has inspired you
you’d like to thank for something that didn’t know they did
you consider to be a strong person
you wish to continue to get to know after the retreat
you think has showed integrity
has taken a risk this weekend
you think helped you to be comfortable this weekend
has challenged you this weekend
you believe was very honest this weekend
you think is a kind soul
has made you think this weekend
you would want to hang out with for fun
you believe to be thoughtful
you believe to be caring
you’ve learned something about yourself from
made you laugh this weekend
said something that inspired you
you are proud of
showed you a new perspective this weekend
has motivated you
impressed you with their willingness to simply be themselves
you expect great things of
let someone know that you are committed to supporting them and their causes
This activity is often done at the end of a workshop/training; therefore, transitioning into a larger discussion for the entire workshop/activity/class may be most appropriate.
If you’re working with a co-facilitator, consider together who will read what prompts and when you will sit in order to be a participant. If there is someone who is able to read the prompts (and understands the activity) who is not a facilitator (like an event coordinator) who can read the prompts, that person may also read the prompts in order to allow the facilitators to fully participate—however, you can also trade off.
Challenges & Tips:
Tailor the prompts to your specific audience. Discover the things that you would find most meaningful and important, and ensure those are included.
This activity write-up is contributed by Meg Bolger, but she by no means to take credit for the creation of this activity. Meg has experienced this activity a number of different spaces, mostly to close a longer workshop or retreat experience. Meg believes the first time that she ever remembers being introduced to this activity was the Posse retreat at Hamilton College in 2009.