History of Ropes Courses Originated as obstacle course . Purpose was to build strength and agility.
Military training Kurt Hahn began concept within Outward Bound as a means to build community
Alan Hale began concept in U.S. with advent of Outward Bound (1962) Risk was high minimal back-up & unsophisticated equipment. Karl Rohnke began Ropes Courses as a specific tool
to teach problem solving skills and address psychological dynamics issues (1971) The new evolution began in PE programs. Equipment became more sophisticated (poles, helmets, harnesses, cables, belaying).
Use broadened to education, recreation, therapy, and organized development. Ropes Courses were focused toward youth at risk and as adjunctive therapy. Why?
Now it is considered a primary mode of therapy Nature is not key, Challenge is. The 1980s brought about Project Adventure which sets Industry Standard in Ropes Course management.
Use has broadened to most camps & nature centers Used in Corporate Training (Team-building, communication skills, problem-solving skills, Risktaking strategies, and stress reduction (Bunting study).
Now, over 3,000 Ropes courses in U.S. Formation of Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) sets industry standards.
(Karl Rohnke is still part of it) AEE is the accrediting body. Problems More than a fun time.
Not just a rock climbing transfer. Inadequately trained staff (hard skills are focus, but soft skills are key). Poorly designed, constructed, and
maintained courses. Low Ropes Course Elements (or Initiatives)
Purpose of a Low Ropes Course For groups of people (8-12) Challenge is in problem solving
Risk is low Problem solving yields insights toward behavior & communication Outcomes are:
Insights on how individuals communicate within the group Insights on how the group works as a unit Insights on how individuals behave
within the group (called group dynamic) Suggestions, skills, & practice to improve The Wall (14 &
12) Ants-on-a-log Spider Web
Trust Fall Wild Woozey
Fidget Ladder Swinging Tires Nitro Crossing
The Wall (14 & 12) Mohawk Crossing or Triangular Tension
Traverse High Ropes Elements Purpose of a High
Ropes Course Individual (self) Oriented Challenge is in perceived risk Risk is high (perceived) Problem solving yields insights
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