Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From a Rope, to a Ropes Course

This is really cool... scary... interesting... ? You decide, but it is a picture I recently found in our archives of what looks like a counselor demonstrating a High Ropes Challenge Element.

Look at this:
Correct me if I am wrong, but it appears to be a rope tied between two trees that one is supposed to somehow cross. I see nothing that encourages safety. This was then... Today we have an ailing, yet much better high ropes course, that is despite its shortcomings still very safe!

But, like the decision back then, to go from what you see in the picture to the safe course we still have today, we are now hoping to get better again! A new high ropes course is one of the big, exciting projects we hope to accomplish through your generosity, because it is a fantastic tool that accomplishes so many educational, developmental, and you'd be surprised, but also spiritual goals and learning opportunities.

Below is a short explanation of what exactly a High Ropes Challenge Course is and does, but before that I believe it is helpful to know that we have literally thousands of kids and adults (mostly kids) experiencing the benefits of our course. But, there is so much more that could be done and in a much better more effective way with a new, updated course.

On an individual level, here is what one kids said about the experience:
At first I really did not want to even climb the ladder. I was too scared, but then you (teacher) encouraged me and my friends and teachers encouraged me, so I did. I didn't finish the whole thing, but I did more than I thought I could and I challenged myself, and it made me feel good about myself.*

The High Ropes, also known as the Challenge Course, is an amazing tool and experience for people of all ages. This tool produces amazing discoveries, growth, and teachable moments in people's lives and in groups of people looking to build community and mutual respect. A short list of benefits to a high ropes course include things like:

·         Cooperation
·         Decision making
·         Self confidence
·         Positive Risk Taking
·         Social cohesion
·         Trust
·         Self esteem
·         Leadership
·         Goal setting
·         Teamwork


*Story based on one instructor's memory of an experience he had with a student.

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