Badges, Activities, & Beyond, Volunteer Experience

4 Awesome Ice Breaker Activities for High School Girls

It’s your first troop meeting or perhaps you’re running an event for Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. You’ve got a group of teenage girls that may or may not know one another, and they’ve grown up in the age of digital communication, so verbal communication can be a tough sell. Icebreakers are only effective if you have willing participants and let’s be honest, teenagers don’t always fit that role.

On top of the block in verbal communication skills, there are the social risks involved…

  • What if I say / do the wrong thing?
  • What if people think I’m weird?
  • What if I don’t have anything that makes me interesting?
  • What if…

The “what ifs” can be stifling.  If you get an answer at all, it’s likely a quick one word or short sentence just so they can move on quickly. It doesn’t really help anyone learn much more than the person next to them plays softball and likes the color purple. It also doesn’t really help with the feeling of commonalities, which is a huge element of gaining trust and openness in a group (one of the primary goals of an icebreaker!).

Considering the complexities of being a teen, we have found some get-to-know-you icebreakers that are geared toward high school age youth.

Find Your People

Provide simple prompts, and then have the group find the people in the room who share that commonality. For example, birthdays. Find your fellow fall birthdays, summer birthdays, etc.  This is super simple, doesn’t require much communication, and helps the group identify some likenesses while also getting the group energy moving a bit.

People Bingo

Create a BINGO card (you can even do that as a group!). Answers may range from dream career to types of pets or favorite subject in school. Have each girl write her answers in each square, then have them find matches until they get a BINGO. You can also run this like a people scavenger hunt, where there is a list rather than a BINGO card and girls try to find as many matches as they can.

For an added challenge, make a rule that participants can’t simply ask the question, “who’s your favorite actor?” They instead have to engage in a conversation and pose the question organically as possible. This challenge helps develop verbal communication and networking skills, which will come in handy as they move into adulthood as well allows for the group to better connect with one another.

This or That

To play, you make a list of topics such as summer or winter, sneakers or boots, movies or books, etc.  This is another opportunity for participants to create the talking points if you want to make it girl-led. Again, you get the room moving, finding commonalities while seeing different perspectives in a very simple, safe way. Sometimes the examples get rather silly and give girls a chance to laugh, which is always a great way to break the ice!

Two Truths and a Tale

This is one we have probably all played. Each girl shares two facts about herself / her experiences, and then one false fact. The group then guesses which one is the lie. You can prompt a certain topic or just let it be open but do encourage girls to steer clear of things like, “my favorite color is…” and more towards, “I won the science fair in third grade.” Girls get to know one another, and it encourages girls to share something about their life experiences.

There are hundreds of icebreaker activities out there, but they are not one size fits all and what works for one group may not work for another. Also, the group doesn’t have to be new to use an ice breaker, they also work as great ways to simply spark some energy in the room, like the warm-up act before a comedian performs.  

Share some of your favorite icebreakers you have used or seen for girls grades 9-12!

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