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A group from Boreman Hall enjoying the warm afternoon sunshine on the Odyssey course. Challenge Courses are often utilized in residence life of colleges and universities
One of the constant tasks required by the challenge course is inspection and maintenance. Guy wires need tightened, bolts need checked, hand holds need replaced or tightened, the autozips need more air pressure etc. It can seem like a pretty needy course, however, on the whole it requires less work than my rusty old jeep…
Nathan tightens one of the guy wires on the Matrix low element
This sunday the participants of the Adventure WV Odyssey program had the opportunity to reconnect and return to the challenge course. It was far different from the first time around when the students barely knew each other and were timid pre-freshmen. The day was full of laughter, challenges and beautiful weather.
The students participate in the “nitro crossing” The idea is to use the rope to move participants from their own circle to a new one without touching the ground.
After a good lunch the students revisited the Odyssey course and were introduced to a whole new set of challenges that they had not yet encountered.
Did you know you can take a 3 credit hour class which teaches you the basics of challenge course facilitation, and the challenge course industry? The class is called RPTR 293Q
Here are some pictures from the class
Students experience the Odyssey Course before learning how to facilitate it.
Arriving at the top of the cargo net
“It still has that new challenge course smell”
~Adventure WV instructor
The challenge course has officially been used! August 13th-17th was the beginning of what will hopefully be a legacy of great education and development opportunities for the students of WVU. After months of preparation, planning, training and hard work, the challenge course saw its first group of users. The Adventure WV freshman orientation program utilized the challenge course as a tool to teach the University 101 curriculum to a group of incoming freshmen from Fieldcrest hall. We are off to a great start!
For additional pictures, visit http://adventurewv.wvu.edu/gallery/adv_wv07/Odyssey/index.htm
Part of our Challenge course Training entailed learning how to rescue a stranded participant from the Odyssey Course. The ability to lower a participant at any stage of the course increases the safety of the participants as well as the varitey of groups that the course can accomodate.
Here are some quicky glimpses of our Challenge Course Training that is going on right now! More to come!
Based on Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning, a key aspect of a challenge course experience is to process an activity after completion. To assist in this, we have created “seating circles”.
Looking much like a campfire ring without the campfire, the circles provide a place for the group to sit down within sight of the obstacle they have just conqured and reflect on their experience.
This reflection process takes many different forms. At times the whole group is engaged in the process, sometimes in partner pairs or small groups. The end goal is to analyze the learning and transfer it to the larger context of life/school/work/family etc.
You may be wondering…Whats next? The construction phase is complete and the Alpine Towers Crew has gone home. While some things are drawing to a close, in reality, we are just beginning! Here is our projected timeline for the challenge course.
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