January 18, 2018

Meeting Icebreaker: All My Friends and Neighbors

This meeting icebreaker is a great game that can be done multiple times and is especially effective at camp retreats where your members will be spending a lot of time together. You’ll need a good deal of space to do this and because you’ll move chairs and break up into groups it won’t work in a lecture hall. It’s sort of like Musical Chairs but with a getting-to-know-you element. So here’s how you learn about ‘all my friends and neighbors.’

Dave Kelly - College Speaker - To All My Friends and Neighbors

  1. Seat everyone in a big circle with one person in middle. Sometimes that’s me or the person leading the meeting or the club president or someone who volunteers or is randomly selected. It’s up to you. Like Musical Chairs, the goal of the person in the middle is to get into a chair.
  2. The person in the middle then says in a loud voice so all can hear, “All my friends and neighbors who… (insert anything here – for example… WEARS GLASSES) have to move chairs.”
  3. At that point anyone who wears glasses (or whatever the mentioned THING is) has to get up immediately and move to a different chair. The person in the middle then has to scurry to a vacated chair.
  4. Of course, as in Musical Chairs, someone is going to be left without a chair. It’s now that person’s turn in the middle to repeat the process…  “All my friends and neighbors who… (must insert something different here – for example… Are Green Bay Packers fans) have to move chairs.”

The objective is that your members get to learn about each other (who has pets, likes to go fishing, are biology majors, is the oldest child in the family, likes Justin Bieber, has eleven toes, plays sports, had traveled overseas, the possibilities are endless!) in a fun and competitive way.

One rule is that you can’t use the same thing twice and Yes, it’s possible to get stuck in the middle because you can’t think of anything. So be creative and have fun with it.

As you can see with all the running around this icebreaker really gets the energy going but if it starts getting physical it’s time to end the game.

Do this early on if you have a weekend or all day session to get people energized. With all the cheering,running around and having fun it really works well first thing in the morning or anytime you need to bump up the energy in the room.

PS. One of the success secrets for the person in the middle is that you don’t have to be EXACTLY in the middle. You can wonder around trying to be close to someone who might stand up… like someone with glasses!

Have fun, run better clubs and let me know below if you have any questions.


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About the Author: Dave "Gonzo" Kelly (64 Posts)

Dave Kelly is the leading authority on student leadership and community service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from student government associations, campus activities boards and campus clubs of every kind on organizational leadership and community service projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 150 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

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  1. I have always sggrutled with coming up with ideas for games that older children will enjoy that won;t seem childish to them. I really like the idea of having the invitees include a game that they enjoy playing, that would help take the guesswork out of the equation.

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  1. […] Park, so I led the group in a game that I often play in my kids’ yoga classes called “All My Neighbors” and we adults had a […]

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