“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.”
These words were written over 2000 years ago by the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is with this philosophy we developed the resource that you are reading. We did it in an attempt to help others, whether they are professionals in Conflict Resolution, members of corporate America, educators, or simply families looking for a new way to interact with each other.1
There have been countless books, articles, and websites written on challenge-based or experiential learning over the years. What makes this one unique? For one, it is the only one written by us, your humble authors. With years of experience leading groups through a variety of programs three or more times a week, we ought to have learned something useful by now.
Perhaps more importantly, this may be a first-of-its-kind interactive resource, allowing the user to quickly access over one hundred activities. They can be searched by name, by topic, and even by group format. One simply needs to think of what they would like to learn or instruct, and then ask the site for what they want; it’s like magic! Even better, not only will you be able to read about each activity, but many include pictures or videos to help you visualize the setup, execution, and solutions.
We think for the first time, anyone will be able to design their own Challenge Learning Program that they can use with their team building, corporate trainings, and challenge-based/active learning programs. Each game or puzzle was designed for the enjoyment of people of all ages, but at the same time was developed to teach the participants valuable lessons. These lessons include Group Roles, Creative Thinking, Teamwork, Communication, Problem Solving, and many more. All the activities require some creative problem solving abilities, cooperation, and communication to complete. Some may on the surface seem rather easy, only to have a surprise twist at the end which will inspire that “light bulb” moment. Hours upon hours of hard work and research2 have been dedicated to the creation of this resource to help you explore the world of Challenge Programming and Experiential Learning for yourselves.
Before we let you loose in the resource itself, you may be wondering, why Playing Peacemaker? Simply put, it’s what we all do every day. Conflict is a part of our lives at home, at work, and in the community. How many times have you tried to settle a conflict between your children, or between two friends, or co-workers? You’ve played the peacemaker countless times, and someone has assuredly played the peacemaker with you. If only more people would practice peacemaking, and know how to do it more effectively, a better world this would be. Plus, playing is exactly what we like to do best. So, enjoy this book, and every day, enjoy “Playing Peacemaker.”