Building a solid cheerleading squad is all about establishing strong bonds of friendship and trust between teammates. These bonds often begin at cheer camp, where icebreakers help the cheerleaders get to know one another and develop a rapport. Get your camp off to a fun start with a series of warm icebreakers.
Put cheerleaders in a circle. Instruct each girl to come up with a gesture or dance move to represent her. Pick a cheerleader to go first. She should perform her gesture and say her name. When she finishes, the next girl will repeat the first girl's gesture and name, then perform her own. Continue this pattern until the last girl, who must try to repeat the gesture and name of everyone before her. Or put cheerleaders in groups of three and tell them to take a few minutes to get to know their group members. Then they must create a 10-second cheer that introduces each girl in the group.
Have cheerleaders sit in a circle and tell them to think of of two truths and one lie about themselves. As each girl gives her information to the group, everyone else must try to figure out which is the lie by asking questions. Or have all the cheerleaders throw their shoes into a pile. Have them turn away for a moment and mix up the shoes. Divide the cheerleaders into two teams and blow a whistle. The first team to find and put on all of its members' shoes wins.
Set up a big table with paint, glitter, scissors, glue, poster board, markers and construction paper. Put the cheerleaders in teams and tell them they have 10 minutes to create a spirit tribute to their school. Give a prize to the most creative tribute. Or pass out colored children's clay and have teams compete to create the most accurate and decorative reproduction of their school's mascot. You could also give teams a disposable camera and give them half an hour to go around the camp and take pictures of people and objects that they feel represents the spirit of cheerleading. Print the pictures and have the cheerleaders make a spirit photo collage.
Have one girl stand on a raised platform with her arms outstretched so that she resembles the letter "T". Arrange the other cheerleaders below the platform and instruct the girl on the platform to fall back, trusting her teammates to catch her. Or put cheerleaders in pairs and blindfold one of the pair. The other must guide the blindfolded one through an obstacle course using only verbal instructions. This is especially effective for cheerleaders who have just met. If they don't know each other, they may have a more difficult time showing trust immediately.
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