I spent the early spring learning the tour guiding ropes from several seasoned guides. My confidence grew with each training tour. Some of the senior guides were more helpful than others though. Certain guides were reluctant to share their secrets to running a successful tour with the new guides. It was as though they had copyrighted their material and all associated intellectual property – lock, stock, and barrel. I was fortunate to have trained with one guide in particular who was extremely generous. She shared some of her signature games with me. My favorite was “Sing That Tune.”
Here is how it worked: the tour guide had a typed list of songs and artists from the 1930s to the 1950s (remember this was twenty years ago). The bus would get divided into two teams, right down the aisle. Door side versus drivers side. Alternating sides of the bus, the tour guide would name a song from the list. For one point, the team would shout out who made the song famous. For a bonus point, the team could sing it. Such fun! No, really! If the first team could not guess the correct answer, the song would get passed to the other team for a steal. The tour guide kept track of the score on a piece of paper taped to the window.
I used this game religiously. In fact, on every bus tour I conducted, after the last pick up, but before the first coffee stop, I played this game. It was a great ice breaker. Best of all, it actually fulfilled the company’s requirement for a sing-along! As I mentioned previously, I am a terrible singer. Terrible. I am ashamed to take part in even a group version of “Happy Birthday”. I make dogs howl painfully when I sing. The mandatory group sing-along would have been a huge problem for me if not for this game.
I really built the game up. I would divide the bus into teams and tell them there was a prize at stake. I was very dramatic about the whole thing. The first song on the list was “Que Sera.” The one side of the bus would shout out “Doris Day!” I would respond “Correct! “ Then I held the microphone in their general direction and they would start to croon,
“When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother
What will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here’s what she said to me
Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be”
Often the other team would join in as well. This game worked like magic! Total strangers before the coffee break singing like old friends at a bar. Wonderful game, really.
Oh. And what was the prize you ask? The winning team got to get off the bus first at our coffee break!