Everyone at camp has a different story – we have different backgrounds, interests, and we look different. Understanding your own identity – and that of others – is crucial to forming a strong group identity.
This activity helps each individual explore their own identity and the identities surrounding them in the group.
Just a large, open space to form the group into a circle.
Explain that you will now be doing an activity to explore the concept of identity, and will be asking the participants to reflect on their own identities.
- Ask the participants to be fully present and participate at their own comfort level. Encourage them to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. We learn the most when we are a bit uncomfortable.
- Be respectful. It’s ok for us all to be at different places with the things we discuss today.
- Respect and maintain privacy.
- Some of them may have done this activity before. Remind them that they have never done it with this group, in this time and place. Ask for their full presence.
Ask participants to move to make a large circle in the middle of the room. The facilitator should read a list of identities – one at a time. Participants move into the circle a few feet if the identity applies to them.
- Once participants move into the circle, facilitator reads “Notice who’s in, notice who’s not. Thank you.” Important to do after every single identity, even if no one has moved into the circle.
- Note to participants that this activity is completely non-verbal. They alone determine if the identities read apply to them.
- Statements: read each identity, in the order below, as “move into the circle if you identify as…”
- *Your camp’s name* volunteer!
- Oldest child
- Youngest child
- Only child
- Middle child
- Child of divorce
- Child from the foster care system
- Participating in a faith community not listed here
- Agnostic: questioning the existence of a higher power
- Atheist: believe there is no higher power
- Identify as more spiritual then religious
- Transgender/outside the gender binary
- Black or African American
- Asian Pacific Islander
- Native American
- Middle Eastern
- If your family has more then enough financial resources to get by
- If your family has enough financial resources to get by
- If your family does/did not have enough financial resources to get by
- Having hidden disabilities (learning, emotional, etc)
- Being physically disabled
- Questioning your sexual orientation
- From a Two parent family
- From a Single parent family
- From a military family
- From a family that values college
- At least one parent graduated from a four-year college
- At least one parent has a Master’s or Doctorate degree
- Child of LGBTQ parents
- Child of an alcohol or drug abuser
- Born outside the US
- Native English language speaker
- Speaking more than one language
- Veteran/member of the armed forces
- Having negative body image
- Suffering from (past or present) an eating disorder
- Ever feeling like you didn’t belong
- Feeling proud of who you are!
Once the facilitator has concluded the prepared statements, ask the participants if there are any identities they would like to put out to the group that were not read. They are only allowed to say an identity to which they belong. Continue as long as there is time.
- Be sure to wait a full 10 seconds for anyone to share an identity. Some people need some silence to get the courage to speak up!
It’s imperative to have a discussion at the end of this activity. Simply letting the group leave the activity without hearing how the participants are feeling can be catastrophic for personal development and team building!
- How are you feeling right now?
- What did you notice about how you/others participated in this activity?
- What feelings/thoughts did you have when you moved into the circle for an identity?
- What did it feel like to move in to the circle by yourself, or watch other people move in by themselves?
- Were there any identities that you could have moved in for, but didn’t? Why
- How does this activity relate to us living in a community?
- How do we connect with campers and create community when they are “the only one?”
- What things can we do so that everyone can step in for the last statement – “feeling proud of who you are?”