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Get Acquainted Night

Number of People: 2
Budget: $0

In arranging this event, you select and oversee some process whereby conferees learn to relax and get to know one another a little better. This event is usually an hour long and held after dinner on Sat. It is announced at Orientation. Old Shoalers should attend, for there are always New shoalers to meet as well as Shoalers who have been away for some years. A group event like this loosens people up faster than isolated instances of personal recognition.

Get Acquainted Evenings are often held in the lobby, at Brookfield or out on the front lawn. In 1999, it was held in Brookfield and not many people came. It may be better to do it in the lobby. Because the number of people is large and the hope of remembering even fifty names is dismally small, a gimmick to break up the large groups into smaller ones is necessary. If the method of division is fanciful, humorous, or outlandish, so much the better. After breaking into smaller groups, designate a game, quiz, charade, or something of the kind, anything to emphasize that Star is for everyone, that competition is not important here, and that silliness is prized. Don't award prizes or reward competition in any way -- the goal here is just mixing. You will desperately need a bell, whistle or some other loud attention-getting device. The Recreation Leaders Handbook has been suggested as a source of ideas. Any library or den mother would have a good suggestion, too. Almost any fun goes! Games shouldn't require a tremendous amount of energy, and should allow time for talking.

Ideas for games - if you have better ones, try them out!!

The Sock Game emphasizes remembering names. Divide into groups of about ten and stand in circles. Go around the circle twice with each person saying their name. The leader tosses a pair of rolled up socks at someone in each circle. The thrower must say his/her name and the name of the person to whom s/he is throwing the socks. After a few minutes a second pair of socks is introduced into each circle.

The Matching Star Game requires that you make bunch of stars from eight colors of poster board. Cut each star into two pieces with a jagged edge. Also make one large star of each color. Put these stars on the floor around the room. As people come into the room give each person a piece of star. Tell the conferees to take their half-star to the large star of the same color and find the person with the other half of their star. This creates eight groups, one at each large star. Tell the star-couples to talk about their most unforgettable experience in the last year. Then have everyone share them with their large group.

Act out the Ten Commandments. Select a word (like `honor') to identify each commandment and make one large sign and lots of slips of paper with the word. Write each commandment out on a "scroll". As people leave Orientation, hand each one word. Instruct them to go to wherever the event is being held and form 10 groups under the large signs of the same word. With each sign put the scroll with the text of the commandment and a pile of props that might be useful (or funny like a mop, wigs, capes, toys, etc.). Instruct each group to act out their commandment in pantomime. Everyone in the group has to participate and no one can speak during the performance. Give the groups ten minutes to prepare. Groups can use any and all props, or make their own.
Make fifteen signs with group names and fifteen slips of paper to go with each sign. We named the groups Power, Sex, Money, Beauty, Fame, Virtue, etc. to arouse curiosity. Put the signs around the room and hand out the slips at random as people leave Orientation. After the groups gather at their signs, ask everyone to hold hands, sit down, and introduce themselves by giving their name and favorite dessert. Then have each group send a representative to the center of the room. Give each representative drawing paper and a magic marker. Show each representative a word written on a card (basically Pictionary). Tell them to return to their groups and at the signal to start illustrating the word until the group guesses it. Give first, second and third groups to guess it 5, 3, and 1 points respectively. Repeat three or four times with different drawers. Pick words that relate to Star like Smuttynose, Showers, Rocking chairs, Candlelight. Announce that the purpose of the game was to determine which value (money, sex, etc.) would prove to be the most important during the week of All Star II..

Human Bingo involves giving each person a "bingo card" that requires people instead of numbers. Each square has a type of person to find, i.e.: a man with green pants, a person born in New Jersey, a woman with a birthday in February, a person who teaches, etc. Finding the names of people who fit the description and having them sign your card promotes mingling and talking. Break into pairs. Each pair converses for about five minutes, long enough to learn a bit about each other. Then each person introduces the other person to the group, mentioning one true fact and one false fact about him/her. The group tries to identify the fiction.

Pin the names of interesting or weird people on each others' backs, so that each person does NOT know what name they have, but can read others' names. Each person can ask one yes/no question to anyone about who they are, e.g. Am I alive? Am I a woman?