Command tasks are activities which are designed to challenge leadership and teamwork, and involve completing a mentally and sometimes physically challenging task under time pressure, whilst being assessed. Here we have listed several popular command tasks, and below a general guide to completing them. Although completing the tasks in hand is always important, what is more important is the way in which it is done, and how the people completing it work together.
Get two trees/poles/sticky-up things, and construct a spiderweb between the two, making sure that there are various sized holes between the ropes/tape that you use. The aim is to get the section through the web without touching it.
- Get rope ladder or similar, with sections big enough to stand in (TIP: one of these is often found in PE depts as a sprint training aid) and split the section in two. Get the 2 groups to stand inside the ladder facing the other team, with a square in between.
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- The aim is to reverse the positions of the section, so it ends up thus:
- 4321 DCBA
- Members can only move into an empty square, they can jump over others, but only one at a time.
- Have all the cadets in a particular section stand on top of a poncho on a flat surface. The aim is to flip the poncho over so they are standing on the other side, without any of them standing off the poncho itself.
- Cadets are blindfolded with the exception of a leader who must move the cadets through the minefield without standing on any "mines" and avoiding all obstacles. This can be made more difficult by preventing the leader from speaking, and only giving him a whistle or other method to use for communication.
Succeeding at Command Tasks
- Ask "has anyone done a task like this before?", and if so find out how it worked.
- As a leader be sure to listen to others, but make a firm decision and act on it.
- Appoint a timekeeper.
- Don't get too involved, and stand back so you can command the whole group.
- Do not be afraid to change your plan if it's not working.
- Once your team are moving through the obstacle, keep yourself in the middle of the group, so you can influence the front and the rear of the group.
- Give praise to your group members who are doing well, and give encouragement at all times.