Trust Walk is a great activity for workshop openings, especially if the workshop aims to build trust and understanding between participants. It challenges the participants to give up control over a situation and put their "fate" into other's hands.
- To get to know each other
- Build trust
- Appreciate diversity
If any participants are blind or otherwise sight-challenged, this should be taken into consideration. This may be an excellent activity to help others on the team understand that perspective. If any participants are using wheelchairs or have other mobility challenges, this must be taken into consideration when determining the course and when leading them or them being the leader.
Identify an area or several areas where the walk can happen. it is good to explore an area new to the participants, but if it is one they are familiar with, that gives a chance to experience it in a new way. This is better outside: forest paths, city streets, around a park. If inside, it may be best to be in a building with various rooms and hallways. Make sure each pair won't run into or interfere with each other - they can begin at different points along a loop, or go on different paths. Scout the area ahead of time to eliminate or avoid possible dangers - overhead, underfoot, to the sides. Have people divide into pairs, designating an "A" and a "B" in each. Discuss safety and respect as priorities. The blindfold can be taken off any time someone becomes truly uncomfortable or afraid, emotionally or physically. Those leading need to stay quite aware of the obstacles overhead, underfoot, and too the sides. Take into consideration the person's height, strength, and balancing abilities.
Each A puts on a blindfold and closes his eyes to assure "no peeking." B takes A's hand, if both parties are comfortable with that.(Alternatives: A holds the sleeve of B; B leads by vocal instructions only . . .) B leads A slowly along a pre-determined course. B keeps in constant communication with A, assuring of safety, and warning of what to avoid, giving instructions such as "duck down here" or "make your next step really wide." A can ask questions. A should use all senses but sight - be aware of sounds, smells, textures of the ground, feel of the air, etc. A and B can then switch roles. This walk may be best on a different path.