As the instructor of a first semester masters class in "Structured Group Interventions", I rely on the UGA ropes course staff to provide an incredible bonding experience during the very first week for each year's cohort. (And they do!) My students from the College Student Affairs Administration program spend two years together taking all the same courses. To be successful, they must learn to challenge and support each other, while developing trusting relationships. A full day on the ropes course provides a setting in which they are able to accomplish more than they ever thought possible individually and as a group. Using the ropes course is the perfect way to begin my class.
~ Dr. Richard Mullendore, Professor
I have always felt that having the physical experiences of trust, communication, setting outcomes, walking through your own fears, going for an outcome and encouraging teammates to do the same and doing this in both an indoor and outdoor context, is an excellent way to build a team and connect people to each other. I enjoy the looks on the faces of my students as they contemplate, quiet themselves and move through the course with confidence and hesitation. Both are wonderful to watch... especially the transformation... subtle or great!
~ Vikki Clawson, Instructor for the Institute for Leadership Advancement in the Terry College of Business
The student leaders at Athens Technical College thoroughly enjoyed the activities led by the challenge course staff during our leadership retreat. The staff were energetic, the activities appropriate for our diversity of students, and the connections between leadership development and the activities was evident. Our students gave high praise to this part of our day in their evaluations and enjoyed being able to get to know each other, break down their own comfort walls, and get energized for the day ahead.
~ Dr. Yancey Gulley, Director of Student Activities for Athens Technical College
The Recreational Challenge Course at Ramsey was a great discovery for our department. Here at UGA Human Resources, we are always looking for campus resources to enhance the Training and Development experience. After meeting Susan Powell, we were immediately drawn to the possibilities of adding the Challenge Course to our leadership program curriculum. That was a great decision. Even though the Challenge Course at first glance may seem like just a fun activity, it is incredibly deeper than that. This program is a high-touch experiential learning environment. And what our participants learned just to mention a few is teamwork, trust, better ways to communicate, leadership skills and problem solving. You cannot get that in a classroom. Participating in the Challenge Course provided an immediate opportunity for development that we see firsthand. I do not ever underestimate the value of having fun while learning and have not seen a better program on campus presented in this way.
Susan Powell and her staff are enthusiastic, professional and highly skilled. The customer service provided from the first point of contact, through the event, and after the event is over is outstanding. Our participants gained solid skills, new ideas, and a fresh perspective all while enjoying time together away from the office.
~ Vickie Coker, Senior Professional Development Leader, UGA HR Department
Employment Opportunity: Staff (student, faculty, staff, and non-student) to become trained Challenge Course Facilitators! (see job description here)
Contact Susan Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What is the Challenge Course Program?
The Low Challenge Course Program consists of a series of ground-based initiatives and elements which primarily foster teamwork and individual leadership and followship skills. Field games and initiatives encourage group interaction and communication, so teams can explore their potential for becoming highly efficient and effective groups. Low course elements consisting of a series of ropes, cables, and logs, provide groups and individuals the opportunity to participate in a series of challenging and fun activities involving mental, physical, and emotional risk-taking in a supportive team environment. Programs are tailor-made to the needs and goals of the group.
The High Challenge Course Program is an experiential adventure program which offers a series of ropes, cables, and logs high-above-the-ground, and is geared more toward individual challenges. Trained facilitators will guide participants through the high ropes elements. Groups wishing to "go high" must first participate in a low course program.
All activities, whether low or high, are based on a "Challenge by Choice" philosophy. That means you always control the limits of your involvement. We provide a supportive and safe environment where individuals and groups reach beyond their expectations and try new adventures. The choice, however, is always yours regarding the role you play in all activities. We encourage any and all participants of every physical condition and over the age of eleven (11) to participate. No special skills are required to participate in either the low or high Challenge Course Program.Typical outcomes from participating in a challenge course program:
Where is the Challenge Course Program facilitated?
The Outdoor Challenge Course is located at the Lake Herrick Recreational Sports Complex, in the Oconee Forest Park, which is a 60-acre natural area administered by the Warnell School of Forest Resources. The park is a 100-year-old forest, and home to the largest scarlet oak tree in Georgia.
The Indoor Challenge Course is located in the Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities, in Gym East.
Low and high Challenge Course Programs are offered at both facilities.
In addition to on-campus programming, our Challenge Course staff can also conduct low course field games and initiatives at outside venue locations including conference centers, hotels, training centers, schools or city parks.
How do I schedule?
Half-day, full-day, and multi-day programs are available. To make a group reservation, click on the SUBMIT an on-line request here link. A deposit of 1/3 of the total payment is due upon making the reservation. The balance must be paid 1 week prior to your event. Groups that cancel less than 7 days in advance will forfeit their rental fees. In the case of a University Charge, the forfeited fee will be charged to the group's account.
How much does it cost a UGA group?
Half Day: (4 hours) UGA Student Group: $14.00 per person UGA Faculty/Staff $16.00 per person Full Day: (8 hours) UGA Student Group: $28.00 per person UGA Faculty/Staff $32.00 per person Minimum group size: 10
The Challenge Course Program is also available to corporate and nonprofit groups on a different fee structure. Fees vary depending on the program length and type, and the size and goals of the group.