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What Is a Low Ropes Course?

A ropes course can be called a challenge course, cooperation course, team course, obstacle course, and many other names.  Whatever the name may be, the principle of the course is the same.  A ropes course can consist of high and/or low elements, both of which we have at Horizons!  A low ropes course is a series of obstacles that provide challenges to a group of people to work together and achieve a common goal.  Some of the outcomes of participating in a low ropes course are:

  • improving team work, cooperation, and problem-solving skills
  • developing leadership skills
  • building relationships and trust with team members
  • enhancing communication skills
  • acquiring self -awareness and growth.

When participating in a low ropes course, the group is faced with smaller challenges that gradually get bigger as the group progresses.  An example of a low ropes course is the spider web.  The spider web looks exactly how it sounds, except in giant form!  The challenge is to get the group from one side of the spider web to the other side without touching any of the rope.  In order to accomplish this, the group must work together to develop a plan and assist one another through the varying holes.  After they have completed the task, the group comes together to debrief.

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Minnieland Academy Visits OLC (6/20/12)

Students from Minnieland Academy in Harrisonburg, VA joined us for a visit at the Outdoor Learning Center on June 20th. As a part of their field trip to OLC, they met and did a painting activity with the horses, went on a nature hike and scavenger hunt, and had s’mores by the campfire. Check out some pictures from their visit!

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OLC Comes to Life!

Check out how the Outdoor Learning Center at Horizons came to life when Norwood School visited us on May 10th and 11th!

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Lessons from the Low Ropes Course

OLC staff member, Conner Keirce, debriefs Norwood School students about what they learned from crawling through the “Spider Web” on the low ropes course at the OLC.

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New Time Lapse Video of the Lake

Check out our new time lapse video of an Outdoor Learning group from Bethesda, Maryland canoeing on Lake Philippa this past week.

 

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Reviews from George Mason Peer Advisor Group

We recently had a Peer Advisor Group from George Mason come to OLC. Here is some of the feedback they gave us about our program:

Describe your weekend in a few sentences

  • “We did a low ropes course on Saturday after doing several icebreakers. At night, we had an awesome campfire! On Sunday, we did the high ropes course in the morning.”
  • “It was relaxing and serene. I learned a lot about myself and others. It was fun.”
  • “Fun, challenging, great bonding experience.”

What was your favorite low-rope element and why?

  •  “We loved the Whale Watch! You need everyone’s participation for strategies, communication, trusting one another.”
  • “Rope swing—it was fun and we still bonded and worked together.”
  • “The web because everyone in the group played a special part.”

What was your favorite high-rope element and why?

  • “The zip line! It took trust and was exhilarating and put people outside their comfort zones.”
  • “Rope swing—exhilarating, helped me get over my fear of heights because I knew I was secure in the harness.”
  • “Zip line because I felt free and it tested my trust.”

How was the food?

  • “Yummy! The variety was very accommodating.”
  • “Delicious! Superb coffee and the kitchen ladies were really nice.”
  • “Wonderful! I loved the brownies and veggie options.”

Comments about the Staff?

  •  “All of them were encouraging and friendly.”
  • “Fun! They treated us like adults; at other ropes courses I have been treated like a little kid. They were helpful and explained everything well.”
  • “The staff was fun and easy to talk to :).”

Sum up your experience at Horizons in 5 words or less

  • “Wonderful and beautiful.”
  • “Fun, challenging, helpful, bonding experience.”
  • “Memorable and adventurous.”

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Facilitator Training 2012

The Outdoor Learning Center at Horizons is gearing up for a busy Spring season by conducting its yearly facilitator training.  The training served as a refresher for facilitators who will be able to provide high quality programming for Outdoor Learning Center customers seeking teambuilding and low ropes programs. The Outdoor Learning Center is located at Camp Horizons in the middle of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and borders the George Washington National forest. To learn more about the teambuilding, challenge course and adventure programs offered, you can e-mail contactolc@horizonsva.com or call us directly at 540-896-7600.

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