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The use of ropes/challenge course and initiative games has gained tremendous popularity in the last 10-15 years, evolving from simple, low ropes elements to the very safe and sophisticated high-impact challenge courses of today. The ropes/challenge course would provide an invaluable set of tools not only for personal growth and change, but also for professional development, leadership and teambuilding. Treatment centers, corporations, hospitals, schools, churches, correction facilities, camps and other organizations across the country have added ropes/challenge courses to enhance their services to youth and adults.
A ropes or challenge course is a variety of portable and permanent elements. The purpose of these elements is to provide a learning environment for building trust, communication, competence, leadership, problem solving, collaboration and other such skills. The activities are fun and exciting, but the effectiveness lies in the "process of the activity." The point of the element is the initiative (problem) to be solved and the way the individual and/or group choose to solve the problem. Each participant is responsible to be an active member of the group, to give support both physically and emotionally, and to ensure the safety of all members of the group.
The effectiveness of any element lies with the ability to clearly present the goal of the activity and effectively debrief how the group functioned in the initiative attempt. The facilitator brings the group together after the activity and the group discusses the process. In other words, the elements are tools that the facilitator uses to bring the individual/group to teachable moments. The elements are an intense situation that quickly breaks down inhibitions and creates an accelerated and positive learning environment. The debrief brings the issues to relevance.
The ropes course can be used in a variety of settings with a variety of learners of all ages and abilities. It is very effective as an academic component as well as part of a leadership and collaboration training for workshop groups. In fact, ropes courses are used extensively in the private sector for training executives.
The TWU Challenge Course has a variety of low and high elements. The high elements require the participant to be harnessed and belayed throughout the experience. The low elements may be above the ground but can be used safely with manual spotting rather than a dynamic belay system. These initiatives are most helpful for teams and have the potential for great team building experiences.
If you would like to bring a group to the TWU Ropes Challenge Course or to check the prices, please e-mail us.
Low Ropes PhotosLow Ropes Photos (2010-2011 Academic Year) [pdf]
page last updated 8/30/2016 12:34 PM