Introducing Games (D-D-A-D-D-A)

Anytime you want to introduce a new game to a group, use this method (remember D-D-A-D-D-A). I learned it from Rangers of the California State Parks ( Jack Shue and Gail Krippner if I remember correctly) who were instituting a new program at the time called “FamCamp”, whereby new leaders were being trained to introduce families into the camping experience. A big part of the camping experience is to get outside and to play.


 D-D-A-D-D-A. Say it. It is pronounced “duh-DAH-duh-DAH“. When it is your job to lead a group in a game, D-D-A-D-D-A, don’t just fly by the seat of your pants, D-D-A-D-D-A . Ensure your group has a great experience the first time, D-D-A-D-D-A . Follow the method exactly as outline below, D-D-A-D-D-A , step by step D-D-A-D-D-A . And don’t ever forget D-D-A-D-D-A.

DESCRIBE:  Describe the game by telling what type of game it is, what equipment is used, where it’s played, the objective, how many players and what the players do.

DEMONSTRATE: Demonstrate by showing the main points using volunteers.

ASK: Ask if the group has any questions about how to play.

DO: Do the game. Yes, that means play the game.

DEBRIEF: Debrief all participants afterwards by asking them how they liked it, what could be better, did they feel safe, was it fun…

ADAPT: Adapt the game to the needs of the group. If your group is age 5 – 7 and you are introducing volleyball, it is unlikely that anyone has the skills, coordination or strength to play it correctly. This will set you up for failure and a whole bunch of otherwise happy campers will be crying. Ask yourself and ask the group what needs to happen for this to be enjoyable and successful.

Homework: If you have time, before you ever have to introduce a game to a group, practice in the mirror using the DDADDA method. This is much like a person practicing a speech before they have to deliver it. Get it down. Make it interesting.


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