The challenge course is a valuable tool for group development. The challenge course functions as a living laboratory for participants to learn to work in right relationship with self and others. Benefits include the development of trust, communication skills, increased self-efficacy, an awareness of self and others, and leadership capacities. The goal of participating in a challenge courses is for participants and groups to transfer learning on the course to their everyday lives.
A challenge course is a series of low elements (requiring spotting, less than 12’ off the ground) and high elements (requiring a safety system, greater than 12’ off of the ground). An element is a structure that functions as an obstacle constructed of wood, metal cables, and rope. These elements are arranged into a sequence of activities.
Before a group arrives, the LUC challenge course staff works with the group coordinator to assess the desired learning outcomes. These outcomes are then used to sequence low and high elements into a progression that increases in challenge and complexity. Throughout the day, participants are lead on guided reflections to make meaning of the experience.
Examples of Learning Outcomes
- Participants will develop communication skills
- Participants will experience a greater level of trust within their group
- Participants will experience healthy emotional and physical challenge
- Participants will develop leadership skills
- Participants will implement decision making skills
- Participants will experience greater group affinity