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4-H Resiliency


Susan Kerr, WSU-Klickitat County Extension

Group Size
2 to 2,000+ (the more the merrier!)
Time: Depends on group size and amount of discussion; 5 to 30 minutes.

• Bouncy rubber balls
• Hacky sacks
• Life skill wheel
• A hard surface to stand onActivity
• Divide youth into two groups and have them face each other in two lines
• Give all the youth in one line bouncy balls and all the youth in the other line hacky sacks
• Say “On the count of three, bounce your ball.”SHARE questions

What did you notice?

Which type of ball bounced better?

PROCESS questions What does “resiliency” means to you? (It is OK if no one knows at this point). Why is it so important to be able to bounce back when things don’t go as you had hoped?

GENERALIZE questions
How do you react to disappointment—are you more like the hacky sack and fall flat, or are you like the bouncy ball and able to bounce back? What is an example of a time when you were very disappointed? How did you feel and how did you get over these feelings?

APPLY questions How can you improve your ability to bounce back from disappointment? How can you help others become more resilient?

Discussion Resiliency means the ability to be flexible or bounce back. It is an important life skill because we all face disappointment and changing circumstances. You may get a white ribbon instead of grand champion, you may not get the job you want, your significant other may lose interest in you, your parents may get divorced, you may have to move, etc…. You have the choice to be like the bouncy ball or hacky sack as you respond to these life situations. Which is the healthier choice?