Custom Built Team Building and Leadership Initiative Training

Cowboy Up – A Free Icebreaker

The majority of the Paradigm Shift team is from Oklahoma, so we like a good cowboy activity from time-to-time. This activity gives your participants options on how they want to proceed as a cowboy.

Cowboy Up

Number of Participants: 5-15
Time: 5-10 minutes
Activity Level: Moderate
Props: None

Description: This activity is a last participant standing activity that will get your group laughing and thinking at the same time (what a great combo).

Circle your group up! All participants can choose to do 1 of 3 things each round:

  1. Load: Take your hand pistols out of your holsters and raise them in the air, thus loading your gun.
  2. Shoot: Point your hand pistols at another participant in the circle and imitate your best pistol noises.
  3. Defend: Place your hands across your chest (mummy-style) to defend from a pistol shot.

Play this activity in rounds until you have a lone ranger in the group. Following the rules below, the facilitator will count to three and then each participant will choose one of the three options. If a participant is shooting, they must clearly point to another person in the circle. This activity is played on a level of trust, and therefore if someone says you are shot, by golly, you are shot.


  1. A participant cannot shoot unless they have loaded their gun.
  2. If a participant shoots, they must reload before they can shoot again.
  3. If you are defending yourself, you will not be eliminated from the activity.
  4. If you are shot, you are eliminated from the game.

Let us know if we can help you implement this into your program’s curriculum.

Ryan Eller
Founder, Paradigm Shift

If you would like to receive information regularly that will include new and fresh activities and materials, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here
You can follow us on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter by clicking here.


2 responses

  1. Ryan, this is so much fun, have you seen it done in pairs, as a kind of elmination game. I learned it from two boys at summer camp many years ago, who were using it to determine who (the loser) had to do a chore. I call it Slap Bang I like the large group version, so with your permission, I’ll add it as variation on playmeo. 🙂

    September 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    • GO for it friend! I love how well you can put activities into words.

      September 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s