Let me begin by redefining Potted Sports. Potted Sports consists of a series of simple physical activities designed to help build team work and leadership skills in a competitive environment at school camps. The emphasis is on the word ‘simple’, i.e. activities that do not require any special skills.The purpose of this article is to show how you can use facilities at a camp site to create some interesting, challenging and fulfilled potted games.
One of the venues I used to organise a leadership camp contained a small lake with an island in the middle of the lake. It also contained a suspension bridge that crossed that lake. The camp site had a number of canoes and paddle boats available for us to use.
What these resources allow us to do is to create the following three potted sports. Below they are explained:
A: The Canoe Race: (10 minutes)
• Life jackets must be worn.
• Two canoes may be used at a time with no more than two people in each one.
• The objective of the race is to transfer as many people as possible to and from the island as you can in the time limit.
• Passengers must disembark. All the team must be transferred across to the island before they can be returned.
B: Paddle Boat Circuits: (10 minutes)
• The objective is to circumnavigate the island by paddle boat or canoe as often as possible in the time limit.
• No ramming is permitted. Penalties may be applied.
• Only 2 persons may occupy a paddle boat or canoe.
• Life jackets must be worn.
• The start and finish line is opposite the pontoon.
N. B. We used 3 paddle boats and three canoes so that all members of the group were on the water for the whole time.
C: Suspension Bridge Shuttle: (10 minutes)
• The objective is to get as many people across the bridge and around the circuit as possible in the time limit.
• The rules are that
o Only two people on the bridge at a time. The second person only starts onto the bridge when the first person is half way across the bridge.
o Once across the bridge the person walks or runs around the lake back to the starting point.
o All members must participate in the same order.
o No person may pass another in the circuit.
There were a number of advantages to these activities that eased the planning and preparation of these activities. Firstly, we could use equipment already available at the camp site. To do this effectively, the camp organiser needs to visit the camp site before the camp to see what was available. Secondly, because you have three teams working close together, the change-over time between activities is shortened helping to make sure each team has the maximum time on each activity. The team is responsible roulette to get itself to each venue on time. That is part of their leadership training. Thirdly, the water venue created a venue that could create “funny” outcomes. I’m sure you can guess what they might be. Remember to have a teacher who responsibility it is to be the safety officer watching for any mishap on or in the water.
Each activity is started and finished on a whistle blast and the time to get between activities and get ready to start remained constant.
So it is important for the camp organiser to visit the camp site to check on the availability of resources or physical features that can create opportunities to create simple but effective potted sports. These resources or physical features could be the catalyst to produce effective leadership activities.
Our author, Rick Boyce, attended many school camps during his long career. He was often camp leader/organiser. These camps involved first year students being inducted into school life, school army cadet camps and leadership camps for senior students. Rick has written many books on teaching which provide practical advice for the beginner.
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