Awareness, Challenging Assumptions, Seeing the Unnoticed: Activities from Lessons of the Way

In their book Lessons of the Way Mark Rose and Greg Robinson offer a number of activities and lessons that focus on perception, awareness, challenging assumptions, community building and asking for help. The activities featured in this week’s post are perfect for creating reflective lessons and especially fit summer and camp programs in an outdoor setting.


Theme: seeing the unnoticed, awareness, challenging assumptions
Materials: a magnifying glass, note book, and pen for each person
Reference: Challenge Quest, LLC

Activity Description
Participants log their findings as they search an area with a magnifying glass.

Take the group to a particular setting (a wooded area or small stream is ideal).

Take participants to a predetermined area and ask them to list what they see. Have them write this down. Then have them spread out and use their magnifying glass, making a list of as many different things as they can find in the 5 or 6 feet around them. Bring the group members back together and have them compare their first list to their second list.

Facilitator Points
The goal of this activity is to help people begin to notice many of the things that they just do not notice typically. We tend to see the big things but if we look close there is much more going on than we think.


Theme: seeing in the dark, community, asking for help
Materials: 1 flashlight, 3 mirrors for each 5 person team
Reference: The Bottomless Baggie by Karl Rohnke, p. 38

Activity Description
The group works together while in the dark to read a note that has been posted about eye level on a tree or utility pole.

Verbal Directions
• The object is to read an assigned passage which is on a paper that has been posted about eye level on the side of a tree or utility pole. The problem is that you are doing this in the dark.
• The flashlight cannot be taken into the 180 degree area on the paper side of the tree, nor can it be shined directly onto the paper.
• Only one mirror is allowed in the paper side of the tree.
• The light must be reflected off all mirrors before it illuminates the paper.
• Five people are assigned to a team.

Facilitator Points
• Make the passage or quote something that relates to your program or something the group will be discussing next.
• For an indoor version of this, place the paper to be read inside a closet or a dark room where the flashlight cannot shine directly on the paper. Only mirrors are allowed in the room or closet.

Reflection Questions
• What did you see in the beginning?
• What surprised you about what you saw or thought you saw?
• What kept you from seeing the truth?
• What allowed you to see what was really there?

The focus of all these activities is that there is more to see than we think. This is an awareness building activity and would typically be used to get the conversation started about assumptions and what we think we know. The first step to learning is often becoming aware of what we have to unlearn in order to clear our vision.

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