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Tiny Teach: Recipe #2

November 9th, 2015

In our second week of sharing recipes we’ve learned from the game Tiny Teach, we want to share 1 tip for the game to go along with the recipe.

Tip:  Use Tiny Teach (from Great Group Games) for youth-adult pairings.  This game is the perfect opportunity to help youth and adults realize that they have much to share and learn from each other.  Over the years we have frequently used this game to even the playing field as we prep youth and adults to serve together on boards.  Since both get to teach whatever they want, whatever it is they know something about, it allows them both to be both teacher and learner . . . and begins to create the ground work for mutual respect.

You can gain more games and activities to use in workshops and trainings from our book Get Things Going.

Now for the recipe:

Fruit Dip

  • 1 8 oz. bar of Philly cream cheese – let set at room temperature
  • 1 small jar of Smuckers caramel sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • white bread
  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine cream cheese and caramel sauce.  Blend cream cheese mix with 1 egg yolk and a box of powdered sugar. Melt butter and mix with cinnamon and sugar.

Take the bread; roll it out with a pin to flatten and cut off the crust.  Smear onto the bread the blended mix, and then roll it up and dip it in a butter, cinnamon, sugar mix.

Bake for 10 minutes.

What’s your favorite dip for the holidays?

Connect Well with Youth

January 19th, 2015

You’ve seen adults that know how to really connect with young people – engaging their hearts and minds in such a natural, yet powerful way.  But many well-intentioned youth professionals and educators struggle (if they are honest) with connecting with you on a transparent, authentic and rich level.  We have a workshop to help adults build this skill set:

Title: Connect with Them

Description: To create an environment of trust and support where youth can thrive, you have to take time to connect with them. This workshop will give you practical ideas to welcome youth, check in, learn names and develop common ground – all critical pieces for helping youth learn and thrive. The two hours is packed with activities and strategies to enhance your connection with youth.

Time: 2 hours

Schedule:  615-262-9676 or


Advisory Time – Wasted or Welcomed?

January 12th, 2015

The idea for this workshop came from leading an advisory group and listening to my colleagues struggle with advisory groups.  They can be a wonderful outlet for student growth or they can be a complete waste of time.  Much of that possibility for growth lies in the hands of your advisors – do they understand the vision for advisory groups and are they equipped to facilitate young people in an environment that is very different from the classroom?

Title: Advisory Time – Wasted or Welcomed?

Description: Advisory time is enjoyed by those advisors blessed with charisma and student groups that naturally connect, but what about everybody else?  This workshop will give advisors a tried-and-true framework for healthy youth development and a toolbox of activities to strengthen students’ character, leadership and communication.

Time: 3-4 hours

Contact us if you want to bring this workshop to your school! 615-262-9676 or


Building Teams and Relationships

January 5th, 2015

Sometimes people are thrown together into groups and expected to work well together.  Sometimes people are joined together based on a common interest, and automatically expected to thrive as a team.  But highly functioning teams don’t happen without a lot of practice and intentional work together.  If you are working with a team that you would like to thrive, we would love to help you!  We can lead this workshop for youth or adults in any setting.  We can also combine it with other workshops, such as setting vision or understanding our differences.  You tell us your  team’s pain points, and we’ll custom design this workshop for you:


Title:  The Power of Relationships

Description:  We practice when we need to work in many types of teams – for sports, for theater, and for choir. But we tend not to practice developing and growing teams in the classroom or workplace. This session will delve into practical tips for building a sense of team with your colleagues and building strong youth/adult relationships. You will leave with activities and ideas for strengthening relationships in your professional and personal circles of life.

Time:  3 hours

Call us to talk more about how we can help you – 615-262-9676 or


Lunch and Learn Opportunities

December 15th, 2014

Lunch and Learns are perfect for the small group experience of 6-12 people that wants a deeper professional development opportunity. Participants meet on a regular basis and practice skills in-between sessions and have time to reflect and ask questions about implementation.  Research says that this kind of learning style is more likely to create change in work habits AND produce more long-lasting results in your organization. 

Our most popular Lunch & Learn is called:  Connect * Explore *Grow – Strategies for Youth Engagement

Description:  This interactive learning circle will explore a variety of creative strategies to engage youth – meeting them where they are in order to help them grow in mind, body and spirit. Specific strategies will include service-learning, play with purpose, discovering a sense of self, literacy and creative arts. You will leave sessions with practical and inspiring ideas to connect with young people, access to resources to help them explore the world around them and grow in their goals as well as activities to build literacy and creativity skills. Come ready to learn and share.

Length of Time:  4 Sessions, 2 hours each session

Let us know if you are interested in scheduling a Lunch & Learn for your organization or school.  We can facilitate this topic, or combine your choice of other workshops that we offer – custom-designed to fit your group.  615-262-9676 or


Expectations and Options for Professional Development

December 8th, 2014

We offer a variety of training and professional development support opportunities to help staff teams grow in their understanding and development in putting positive youth development practices into action. From research to implementable ideas, Susan and Ann work to help your team become more experiential, engaging and knowledgeable in impacting youth.


Participants can expect:

  1. To have a good training experience and feel their time was used well.
  2. To have reinforced positive attitudes – recharged about their work and their calling.
  3. To learn something: about the subject, about themselves and/or about the team.
  4. To leave with at least 2 concrete ideas they can apply to their work.
  5. To leave with an expressed intention to take action.
  6. To receive a follow up e-mail that reminds them of their action commitment and asks how things are going, 4- 8 weeks after training..


Mix and match from these professional development options to choose what your school needs based on how your staff team learns best:

  1. Lunch and Learns – professional development in small group settings, where participants practice concepts with practical applications between sessions.
  2. Professional Development Programs Trainings – 2-8 hours workshops for adults, youth leaders or a combination of youth/adults.
  3. Consulting – our staff can assess the culture of service and service-learning at your school; from the classroom, to the athletic fields, to student groups, to goals for grade levels, to awards, to student leadership, from the school calendar, to the website, to field trips. We will listen to hopes and dreams from students, faculty, board, and parents; then and outline next steps for growth towards a school wide culture of giving/serving. Or we can develop systems to help you meet your growth goals.
  4. Curriculum Design – we can customize existing curriculum or write new curriculum to fit with your service, service-learning, and overall youth development plan.


From Personalities to Differences: Know Your Group

November 24th, 2014

You wouldn’t believe the number of calls we get from youth organizations and schools asking for help in bridging the gap among the untold number of diversities we are seeing in teams of youth and adults.  It can be tough to work together with a multitude of differences!  So we developed a fun, interactive, reflective workshop to help teams know their groups well and learn to work together based on the strengths found in our differences.

From Personalities to Differences: Know Your Group

Want to learn how to build relationships with the infinite variety of ways youth come to us: culturally, geographically, economically, physically, emotionally, sexually and educationally diverse. Whatever the package, we want to know them, respect them, and help them build common ground with people that are different. Personal assessments, conversations, strategies and activities will all be part of this interactive process.

Length of time:  3 hours

Wanna know more?  Contact us at 615-262-9676 or




Building on Strengths – An Introduction to Positive Youth Development

November 17th, 2014

We work with many schools and organizations who want to embrace a strength-based orientation to youth development and education.  But they need someone to come in to describe what that means, what it looks like, and how they can integrate it into their organizational culture.  We love doing that!  Here is our most popular workshop that gives a 101 type orientation to positive youth development:

Building on Strengths – An Introduction to Positive Youth Development

Workshop description:  Our culture likes to fix things, and usually that’s good. But it’s not good to focus on the deficits and challenges of young people. It’s much more productive to focus on their strengths – and build them up from there. In this workshop, we’ll talk about strength and introduce you to the concept and practices of positive youth development and the Developmental Assets. You’ll have time to do a private assessment of your own practices and map out how you can use this approach to nurture youth in your programs.

Length of time:  2 – 2 ½ hours

Interested in knowing more?  Contact us at or 615-262-9676

Infusing Your Vision with Heart

November 10th, 2014

I’m very excited about this workshop that Susan is leading with Tennessee State Parks:

Workshop Title:  Infusing Your Vision with Heart.

Workshop Description: Visions comes and go and what they all need are inspired, purpose, passionate team members to make them happen. “Heart” is often the left out piece of planning, and yet once purpose is activated, watch out! You can change the world. Come ready to dream, explore, and work together towards positive community change.

It’s critical for teams of youth and adults to talk about vision before they start talking about planning, but often that piece of the planning process stumps us.  What is vision – really?  How can a diverse group of people find a common vision?  Do we really have time to waste on establishing our vision?  If you’re struggling with any of these questions, let us help you!  We can lead a workshop or a retreat to help you and your team establish and pursue your vision.  Call us at 615-262-9676.

Our Newest Book Came Today – GET THINGS GOING!

December 6th, 2011

Our newest book, Get Things Going, is a collection of activities for administrators, teachers, PTOs, student leader groups , coalition members, or others who want to lead activities that engage others, build trust, zone in on respect and understanding, emphasize vision, and promote positive youth development in creative and meaningful ways.

We’ll share more from the book soon, but we wanted to share the news as soon as the book came to our doorsteps!!  HOORAY!!

Our Newest Book – “Get Things Going”

February 25th, 2011

From Editor Karl Anderson’s Search Institute Press listserve announcement of the book:

This title is a new version of our earlier booklet Get Things Going: 50 Asset-Building Activities for Workshops, Presentations, and Meetings, but it has been largely rewritten by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor (authors of Great Group Games, Great Group Games for Kids, and Building Character from the Start) and expanded to include 85 engaging activities, most of which are brand new to this edition.

Here is some more information about the book:

Get Things Going is a resource featuring 85 fun-filled activities to transform meetings, workshops, trainings, and group culture. This thoroughly revised new edition by Great Group Games authors Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor features:

• A refreshing collection of icebreakers and mixers that will help your group get acquainted with each other and set the tone
for your time together.

• A variety of team-building activities that focus specifically on increasing participants’ knowledge and understanding of the 40 assets.

• Interactive games for intergenerational audiences.

• Meeting closers that help participants reflect on the information, and spark enthusiasm for continued involvement with asset building.

Get Things Going! is perfect for team leaders, staff, coalition members, or those who want to lead activities that engage others, build trust, zone in on respect and understanding, emphasize vision, and incorporate the Developmental Assets in creative and meaningful ways.