River Crossing

Perfect exercise for Communication, Coaching, and Problem-Solving!

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Reach toward shared goals!

"You have managed to guide your group through a treacherous swamp and have one last fast-moving river to cross... You just heard something in the swamp behind you -- you had better get across the river FAST!"

River Crossing requires clear communication as well as the passing of critical information from person to person. This event will show what happens when there are gaps in communication and the resulting frustration will be a source of long dialogue. Change is NEVER static, much like a river. And many times, leadership must be shared by many to actually accomplish the goal.


  • Participants: 6 - 24
  • Location: Inside or Outside
  • Activity Level: Medium
  • Time Needed: 15 to 20 Minutes plus debrief - 45 to 60 minutes total
  • Objectives: Coaching, Communication, Problem Solving

River Crossing requires that groups cross a "river" using the tools available. The entire team must cross at the same time.

At the beginning, the goal (the other side of the river) is clear to everyone. As the team moves into the middle of the river, everyone's perspective changes -- some are in front, some in back and no one can see the same thing, or have the same information, as everyone else.

Occasionally mistakes are made and the person in back, or the least likely to lead (which is why they are in the back), must now take charge and tell everyone what to do.

Throughout the entire activity, everyone's perspective is constantly changing and the information changes. Communication must be clear to cross the river in time.


The experience of trying to get your group across the river mirrors the challenge of a group working toward a shared goal. As participants move into the river, their perspective changes, they can't see obstacles, but need to figure out how to move forward. Perseverance, planning, communication and mutual support will lead the group to success.

The goal of the exercise is to have the entire team involved, demonstrate the power of teamwork and show the interdependence teams have.

What is the other side of the river for your group?

The team building activity comes in an easy-to-use storage bag and includes:

  • Comprehensive information on purpose of the game, how to set it up, the storyline and the safety measures necessary during the course of the exercise.
  • Instructions on how to debrief the exercise and questions that you should ask the participants.
  • 3 "Planks" (different lengths)
  • 10 Mouse Pad "Rocks"
  • 2 ropes, 20 ft long

River Crossing

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