Cycle 35 Mr. Curry's Homeroom
The cadets of Mr. Curry's homeroom took part in various confidence building exercises collectively known around Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School as "The Ropes Course." (Learn more about the history of ropes courses below).
The weather was a perfect host for the challenge of the course. As time unfolded, the nervousness and apprehension cadets experienced early on gave way to feelings of accomplishment and glee...yep glee!
Ropes with Homerooms of
Mr. Sumter and Ms. McNear
Mr. Sumter and Ms. McNear
Cadets from the homerooms of Mr. Sumter and Ms. McNear traversed the Ropes Course today. They negotiated their way through group challenges and supported each other in the individual challenges. These cadets were determined to be successful!
Mr. Hargis' Homeroom was intent on leaving no man behind...so to speak
Teamwork and support of the group is typically required in order to be successful on the various apparatuses
Ms. Weaver and Mr. Jamison's homeroom pooled their efforts and attacked the course.
Ms. Leopard's homeroom could hardly wait to back up their bravado on the ropes course!
At the bottom of the video you see the icons for play, sound, and angle. The 4 arrows enlarge the video.
A ropes course consists of a variety of challenging outdoor activities that may include low and/or high elements designed to promote personal and team development. Low elements take place on or slightly above the ground. High elements are constructed in trees or utility poles and require a belay for safety.
It is unclear when or where the first ropes course was created. However, it is known that obstacle courses were used in ancient Greece to train soldiers. George Herbert is recognized among modern practitioners as the innovator who added belay and risk management systems to create what he referred to as the “Natural Method.” A naval officer, he used many of the obstacles found on the decks of sailing ships to
create elements that are still in use today. In fact, ropes and challenge courses throughout French Canada and Europe are known as “Herbertism” courses.
Marble, Colorado is the site of the first Outward Bound course recognized as the first in the USA. There is evidence that our military was using similar commando style courses prior to World War II, and possibly ropes style courses at New England camps as early as the 1920’s. But since the 1960’s, ropes course sophistication has evolved considerably. Hemp ropes have been replaced with wire rope, many belays replaced by friction devices, and climbing harnesses to manage what were before unmanageable risks.
Modern ropes courses must be built to strict industry accepted standards. All elements and equipment must be inspected yearly to reduce the risks to end users and to the natural environments in which they exist. We are very proud of the Ropes Course at The Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School and look forward to making a cadet's time with us both fun and memorable.
We refer to our low ropes elements as our “we” development. They consist of real and imaginary obstacles designed to challenge groups and individuals to work together to accomplish tasks. We address socialization skills, inhibitions, and differences. We solve problems, communicate, and develop trusts amongst the group. We also challenge them physically through tests of strength, stamina, agility, balance, and flexibility. Cadets may also experience a variety of emotional issues such as a fear of falling, a fear of failure, and loss of control. Cadets work through these fears in a safe, controlled, supportive, and supervised environment.
Our high elements are for “me” development. It is on the high ropes elements that the participant will experience the thrill and adrenaline rush of being high up in the air. It presents an opportunity to challenge fears with the perception of danger. So often, participants are determined not to attempt the obstacle out of a fear of height, ladders, falling, etc. only to be coerced/ persuaded by their fellow compadres and/or their facilitator to at least “give it your best shot.” It is most gratifying to see the expressions on the faces of those who have tempted fate to accomplish things previously thought undoable, to know that nothing is beyond their means if they have faith and follow prescribed instruction, and believe in themselves and their abilities. Accomplishments gained on the Ropes Course often translate into greater accomplishment in the classroom for many of our cadets.