COPE : Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience
There are so many factors to considering whether a program is worth your ROI. A list of things to consider as you make that decision.
Is your mission a statement of who you represent and does your team have the buy in to the mission and vision to support it daily? People are your greatest investment; can you afford not to support and train them?
Who you choose, to support your people does make a difference. With Be Well Services, you get a consummate professional with 30 years’ experience in group facilitation, behavior modification and organizational development. I myself aspire to see the teams succeed! I get super excited when I go to work. I’d love to see your teams be excited to go to work as well! They don't call me the guru of fun, for nothing.
To reach the goals you seek, the COPE course or low ropes is the proposed tool. Below I have included some definitions, goals and purpose as well as history of the Low Ropes/ or Low COPE tool. If you choose to expand and include High elements we will proceed to explore local options.
A ropes course is a challenging outdoor personal development and team building activity which usually consists of high and/or low elements. Low elements take place on the ground or above the ground 12-24inches. High elements are usually constructed in trees or made of utility poles and require a belay for safety.
Be Well Services supports Scouts, BSA.
The Play Day That Pays Dividends!
Ropes course advocates claim that they meet a number of educational, developmental, and recreational goals. High ropes course and climbing programs generally focus on personal achievements and ask participants to confront their personal fears and anxieties. Challenges may be physical and/or emotional. In certain cases, high element programs involve the development and mastery of technical skills to manage rope belay systems used to secure other climbers as they move through the course. In such cases, outcomes often include exploring the fundamentals of trust, craftsmanship, and coaching. Programs using low ropes course elements or group initiatives are most often designed to explore group interaction, problem-solving, and leadership. Some of the commonly claimed outcomes include enhancement of cooperation, decision making, self confidence, positive risk-taking, social cohesion, trust, self esteem, leadership, goal setting, and teamwork. In addition to these commonly cited benefits, a study published in 2000 in the Journal of Leisure Research found that ropes courses also demonstrate higher-level outcomes, including increases in effectiveness and efficiency, building relationships, developing understanding, setting goals, brainstorming ideas and task accomplishment.
The British Royal Marines have an extremely difficult ropes course dubbed the 'Tarzan Assault Course'. To pass the Commando Course, recruits must complete this and other arduous tests consecutively under a strict time limit.
Low ropes courses consist of a series of real and imaginary obstacles designed to challenge groups and individuals to work together to accomplish a task. The classification of low ropes courses can be further broken into several types of activities:
A high course can be a pre-fabricated, professionally installed course, built of utility poles, cables, and bolts, or it can be a course that is hand-built in a wooded area, where ropes and wire are attached to different trees.
Ropes courses can be described as static, dynamic, vertical, and M-Belay. With a static course, participants are attached to an upper wire, belay cable, with lanyards (ropes and carabiners) for safety. If the participant dangles, they will be caught by the wire. Advantages of a static course include needing fewer facilitators, being able to get more participants up on the course at one time, and allowing participants to do multiple elements without having to be lowered and climb back up after each. On a dynamic course, participants are connected to a rope, which someone on the ground will be holding onto and belaying the participant on the course. Participants on a dynamic course remain on a belay the entire time: climbing up to the element, doing the activity, and being lowered to the ground after. A vertical course is very similar to dynamic, except that the element is the climb up. Vertical courses can be: vertical obstacle courses with hanging logs, ladders, and tires or alpine towers with their unique hour-glass shape of activities. The M-Belay is the most complicated of the two, and involves two separate belays. Otherwise, it is very similar to a dynamic course.
Usually participants must sign a waiver before being allowed to participate on the course, because of the high risk of injury. Some participants may have a hard time completing the course due to its height and the physical challenge. Courses usually range from 25 feet through 50 feet tall, though some elements can reach upwards of 150 feet plus (as in the redwoods and some jungle courses). In order to climb up onto the course participants usually must climb, such as by using a cargo net or Jacob's Ladder, which could be made of rope, or an artificial climbing wall.
There are more such articles. In the study of learning theory, it has been noted that people learn differently. Experiential learning surpases those who see, hear, write.
Still not sure? Sit with your hands in your lap and think about how it feels to clap. Now explain the feeling to someone. What if someone has never had the experience. The information would not suffice for an accurate description. Now! Just come on out and let's play! I'll show you what we've been talking about.