Challenge courses (also called ropes courses) grew out of a desire to implement a wilderness type experience in a fixed setting, as opposed to the expedition setting. “A course is defined as a series of activities, sometimes on or close to the ground (usually referred to as a low course) and sometimes built on utility poles or trees, or in the rafters of a building (a high course). The single identifying feature is that most often a group comes together to share the challenge course experience, and a curriculum is designed for the specific outcome desired by that group.
Think Outside has partnered with both Adventure West Virginia at the University of West Virginia, Morgantown and Garrett College AdventureSports Institute in the provision of the challenge course experiences.
We offer the following courses:
Problem-solving, Communication and Team Dynamics through Challenge course High Elements (Full Day)
This dynamic program takes place on the Odyssey Challenge Course, a series of different “team challenges” that take place high in the air. The “team challenges” require groups to work together to solve a particular problem—e.g. how can we all traverse these wires using the given 4x4 swinging poles for support. In order to successfully navigate the Odyssey Challenge Course, teams must communicate, work together and directly negotiate and engage in problem-solving. We often tailor this program using powerful metaphors; the visceral responses from working together high in the air create a rich base for learning and discussion. Our partners in providing these programs are WV University’s Adventure West Virginia who owns and manages the challenge course. It is located near Coopers Rock, WV, a short 40 min drive from McHenry.
Odyssey Course is about 360 feet long and has two levels with multiple ‘problems’ on each level. The lowest level is about 16 feet off the ground and the upper level is about 30 feet off the ground. All participants are always hooked into a static belay system for safety. The course can engage multiple groups of 8 persons simultaneously, with a total of seven groups –56 participants in the course at the same time.
The group embarks on the course after climbing an inclined cargo net into the lower level treehouse. At any treehouse, the group attaches into the overhead belay system (via static tethers) and enters the first level of linear course events. Challenges on the Odyssey course include: Matrix, Team Traverse, Complex X, Team Beam, Scary Ferry, Giant Swings, 4x4 forest, and more. The group can perform both levels or only one level of the course before descending.
Problem-solving, Communication and Team Dynamics through Challenge Course Low Elements (Full and Half Day Options)
This invigorating program takes place on naturally constructed “team challenges” located on or near the ground. Similar to the challenges on the Odyssey Course, these activities require groups to work together in order to accomplish a specific task. Sometimes we’ll “handicap” the group using blindfolds or other props to help illustrate particular points. Teams work on their communication, how they solve problems and their teamwork. Metaphors in combination with the physical experience of solving the problem come together to create wonderful discussions and learning moments. A lower perception of risk than high ropes, but with many of the same experiential benefits. Our partners in providing these programs are WV University’s Adventure West Virginia who owns and manages the challenge course. It is located near Coopers Rock, WV, a short 40 min drive from McHenry. We may also be able to offer this program locally in McHenry, depending on the challenge elements needed.
Low Challenge Elements that can be incorporated into your agenda include:
|Rocky Island||Whale Watch||Bottomless Burma|
We are also able to bring specific ‘initiatives’ or challenges to you. These are interactive exercises that can be done with very few props and can help to illustrate particular group processes.