An activity that provides a meaningful opportunity to connect and spend some time appreciating a group in a meaningful way

Materials & Media:

  • (optional) Bandanas or pens for folks to hold who do not want to be touched

Set Up:

  • 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.

Framing:

  • 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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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
  3. Ask everyone to close their eyes and/or lower their heads
  4. Pull a few folks up to be the first tappers
  5. 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
  6. After a few of the prompts, indicate to those tappers to sit down and pull up the next group
  7. Continue until everyone has had a chance to tap—even if you have to repeat prompts

Sample 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 courage

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

Wrap Up:

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.

Co-Facilitator Notes:

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.