Meet my tree

General Aim

To recognise and use all our senses and help to strengthen the connection with nature.

Learning goals

● developing all senses,
● experiencing the lack of sight,
● developing trust through blindfolded exercise in pairs.

Short description/background/Introduction/Tips for the trainer

This exercise helps the participants to connect with nature in a non-traditional way, with their sight switched off. They can experience the touch, the texture, the smell of a tree and make a comparison between their inner image and the actual look of the tree.
Pairs develop a deeper trust when letting each other lead while being blindfolded
Tips for the facilitator: always ask if it is acceptable for each participant to be blindfolded. If it is too uncomfortable for someone, he/she can be with closed eyes without a blindfold to be able to open the eyes at any moment.
The purpose of the exercise is to raise good feelings, and to experience all senses, no one should feel uncomfortable.
Tell the participants that it is sometimes advisable to step out of the comfort zone.
If someone really doesn’t want to be neither blindfolded nor to be with close eyes, find a way to include them in another way.
Nobody should be left out, unless it is really necessary.

Target

children, youth, adults

Suggested group

10-12 (preferably in pairs) if the group is bigger, a co-facilitator can help

Materials

blindfold (scarfs) half the number of participants,
a small grove of trees preferably with different kinds of trees

Duration

20-30 minutes

Procedure/steps

1. The group moves to an area with plenty of trees.
2. Pairs are made, one player will be blindfolded, the other acts as guide. (later the roles are switched)
3. The guide disorientates the partner by rotating him/her a few times and walking him/her around the area, carefully leading him/her by the arm towards a tree to ‘meet’ it.
4. Once there, he/she can touch and smell the tree to get to know it; feeling for and making a mental note of the lumps, bumps and branches. (It is important to give enough time for this connection)
5. Then, the blind is disorientated again and guided back to the central point.
6. The blindfold is removed.
7. The player who was blindfolded then tries to find the tree with open eyes. All senses can be used (touch, smell, etc)
8. The players then swap roles.

Evaluation/Final debriefing

It is advised to include a short sharing about the participants’ experiences. It can be done either in pairs (same pairs who did the exercises) or in a plenary circle in case the number of participants is not too high. Each participant has 2 minutes to share. They need to ask to explain how it was for them to be guided and blind.