Car and Driver | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2018

Car and Driver

By Sam Halverson

This team building game takes the classic trust walk to the next level helping students explore communication and trust when everyone is working with different abilities.

What to do:

  1. Start by having youth find a partner (or assign them into pairs).
  2. Once everyone is paired up, let the couples decide who will be the “car” and who will be the “driver”
  3. Give out specific instructions to the cars and drivers. Instruct the “cars” to wear blindfolds and walk with their arms out (their “bumpers”) Instruct the “drivers” that they will drive with eyes open (of course) and will establish with the “car” how they will communicate a right turn, left turn, drive (forward), reverse, braking (slowing and stopping), and honking the horn. To make it extra fun, eliminate the ability to say words (or even make noise).
  4. Once partners have decided how to communicate, tie each pair together around their waists (car in front) with the yarn or toilet paper (the seat belt).
  5. Tell the groups they are to spend a few minutes driving randomly around the room, staying within the boundaries you have set. Explain that they must stay together and not go so fast that the blindfolded person “crashes” or that the seat belt breaks.
  6. After a few minutes, have the couples stop and tell them a pre-planned “route” you want them to take. This can be very specific (like following a meandering line on the floor) or can be a route of various points in the room where they must arrive at each one. Let the partners to travel this route at their own pace.

After 10 minutes…

Have everyone sit where they are and answer…

  • How did you decide how you were going to communicate the directions? What were some of the choices?
  • What helped this work? What made it difficult?
  • How does trust fit into this activity? Who has to trust whom? How does trust go both ways?
  • What happened that made some trust less?
  • Why is trust so important in a real “Car & Driver” situation? Why do you suppose in reality we trust cars and drivers (and many of them strangers) coming our direction at speeds as fast as 60 or 70 mph?
  • What helps you trust each other in our group?

You’ll need:

  • Blindfold for half the group
  • Yarn long enough to go around two people (or, for a different and more careful experience, use toilet paper strips long enough to go around two people)
  • Clear and flat playing space large enough for pairs to move around but with clear boundaries
Sam Halverson has served as a youth minister in the local church for over 35 years. He is an ordained United Methodist elder currently serving as Associate Director of the Office for Congregational Excellence for the North Georgia Conference, directing and resourcing youth ministries for the conference. Sam is author of three books for youth ministry; the most recent is One Body: Integrating Teenagers Into the Life of Your Church (The Youth Cartel). Sam and his wife, recent empty nesters, live in Canton, Georgia.