Fresh activities for a University's Frosh week.
May 12, 2010 9:17 PM   Subscribe

I have, for various reasons, been put in charge of creating activities for a university's frosh week. They will take place outdoors, on a large grassy field, mostly during the day, but evenings are a possibility. There will be a beer tent, and possibly a hot dog stand on the side, but these should not be the focus. Traditionally, frosh have just sat around, drinking and eating. But this year, we are hoping to come up with some activities that are innovative. Can you suggest some?

All the usual suspects have been brainstormed already: create human pyramids, 3-legged races, pickup baseball-soccer-frisbee. What we are hoping to do is get frosh doing INNOVATIVE things. Recently, the more innovative suggestions we've concocted are things like creating cardboard forts, or buying parachutes and doing those things with parachutes that we used to do during gym class - that is, all stand around the chute, throwing it up, filling it with air, then bringing it down behind our backs and sitting on the edges, on the inside. Can you suggest other cool and innovative things we might do on a large grassy field that are a little odd, but will definitely get people engaged?
posted by Sully to Human Relations (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How about ice blocking!?

Parachute thing is awesome, btw. In fact, lots of stuff from elementary gym class would be awesome - the ropes!
posted by Sassyfras at 9:45 PM on May 12, 2010

My sister used to be in charge of big corporate game-playing and hanging-out events. She had books like these around, and drew a lot of inspiration from them:

Great Group Games: 175 Boredom-Busting, Zero-Prep Team Builders for All Ages

Everyone Wins!: Cooperative Games and Activities

Best New Games

Good luck!
posted by circular at 9:47 PM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Rent a bounce house! (they also have one that functions as a pugil stick battle platform!)

Big slip and slide (if you have a hill). Double points if there is a ramp at the end into a pool of some form.

Tug of war

A water balloon toss
posted by milqman at 11:18 PM on May 12, 2010

a game i enjoyed then was capture the melon-- capture the flag, except with two greased watermelons for flags. Sharpie 5-6 polka-dots onto each melon. The melons will invariably break, so a capture requires getting all the polka-dotted shell parts.
posted by sninctown at 11:19 PM on May 12, 2010

Giant Jenga can be a lot of fun and is a great social game too.

I built some blocks which I often take to friends' parties etc. Just the wood ended up costing a reasonable amount, but it's an easy project. Alternately you can usually buy or rent them.

You can play in different ways, depending on the group / social dynamics.
Simple: Each person nominates anyone around to pull the next block. If it falls, some punishment (drink, stacking the blocks etc.).
More structured: Get two towers and have groups to see who can get their tower the highest.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 11:42 PM on May 12, 2010

Cage Ball! If you can drop about $200 giant 72" canvas-covered ball like these, you can play a game of soccer that makes you feel like you and your teammates are the size of mice!

The ball is a bit heavy- it's tough to change its momentum without cooperating and communicating as a team, and the task is so silly that it gets everyone on giggly grass-stained buddy terms in no time.
posted by alight at 2:53 AM on May 13, 2010

Do you have a tall building near by? Can you do an egg drop? All you need are eggs and a bunch of junk to build egg holders out of and a tall enough building to drop it from. I really enjoyed that during my orientation week as a frosh.
posted by chiefthe at 4:24 AM on May 13, 2010

Maybe you already know this, but beer tents, food stands and anyone else profiting from your event should be paying to come, or kicking back some portion of their takings, and this might increase the budget you think you have for activities.
posted by emilyw at 4:39 AM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Where I did undergrad, there was a frosh week game called Bigger & Better. Each frosh group was given a copy of the (free) student joke paper and told to trade up for the best thing they could get. No money could be involved and the team that won brought the biggest and best thing. People got pretty creative and eventually as people kept trading up, you would get things like a helicopter, a tank from the nearby army base, or the mayor showing up as a winning item.

On a more practical note, the student area surrounding the school was usually full of junk that people didn't want anymore. This game cleaned it up.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 4:59 AM on May 13, 2010

Have quieter activities for introverted frosh. Use a book of questions to start group chats.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:44 AM on May 13, 2010

I can't and don't really want to claim credit for this activity - but an Orientation Week activity at Adelaide Uni is White Fear during which participants race to skull 4 litres of milk. It is alcohol free, juvenile, draws a large crowd and is horribly memorable due to its often er, spectacular nature.

er, here's a video

[It should be noted that uni starts in february, which is pretty much the hottest month in South Australia.]
posted by pipstar at 6:09 AM on May 13, 2010

posted by craven_morhead at 8:05 AM on May 13, 2010

Do you have a budget? If you can swing it, a Wii and/or Rock Band make great evening-type games, and you can have a Wii bowling tournament or a Rock Band competition.

Or a game of Assassins (or the like).
posted by honeybee413 at 10:53 AM on May 13, 2010

How about a treasure hunt? They'll form themselves into groups, and the activity will encourage them to get to know the campus (or town, however wide you want to cast the net) better.
posted by toomuchkatherine at 2:53 PM on May 13, 2010

Well-designed scavenger hunts can be pretty cool, but they'd take people off the green for awhile.
posted by salvia at 6:49 PM on May 13, 2010

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