Low Ropes – Team Building Initiatives
Team building is a crucial foundation to any organization’s ability to fulfill their goals. Our Low Ropes course is built to help groups navigation the difficult journey to effective teamwork, conflict resolution, and leadership development
Low Ropes is a series of obstacles that a group navigates together. The purpose is to expose groups to challenges that encourage them to work together, listen to one another, and think critically. Each session has a different outcome determined by the individuals within the group. This is why the same group can go through ropes year after year.
All of our trained facilitators follow the industry practice of “Challenge By Choice”. This means that if a participant does not want to participate in the challenge that we have set, then they are allowed the freedom to choose another challenge. This can be difficult for leaders of youth who want the youth to just do as they are told. The reason this is important is because leadership and teamwork cannot be forced. Participants will grow as much as they are willing to challenge themselves.
What Will Ropes Be Like?
Time Frame: 8am-12pm or 1-5pm
Length: All sessions last between 3 & 4 hrs long
Group Covenant– The group sets goals and expectations of each other.
Name Games– Even if groups know each other, these are small challenges that also help participants and facilitator learn names.
Example: “Tell us your name and show us an action that also starts with that letter. Example Jumping Josh. The next person will say and do everyone before them’s name and actions. Once they get those correct they will add their name and action to the list.”
Initiatives– Initiatives are small challenges that are used to assess a group’s ability.
Example: “The object of this challenge is to get the ball from this starting line to the finish line without it touching the ground. Each member of the group much touch the ball. You cannot touch the ball again until every other person in the group has touched the ball. At no point in time can any member of the group be holding or balancing the ball for more than a second at a time.” Group accomplished task “Now to add an additional challenge we will see how quick we can do it this time.”
Elements- Elements are the large built obstacles such as trust fall and the wall. The facilitator will determine which elements the group will face. How a group listens, leads, and works together during the name games and initiatives will tell a low about their overall potential. Each element has a variety of ways it can become more challenging. A facilitator can add “Everyone wearing blue are now mute.” or “The board can touch the ground three times before you have to start over.”
Debrief- This is where the facilitator leads the group in discussion about what has happened thus far in the day. There is no set list of questions. The idea is for the group to take a questions, answer it honestly, staying within the covenant, and keep the conversation flowing. Hopefully the facilitator does not have to ask many questions.
Example Questions: “What was one thing you found difficult in that activity?” “What a moment you felt like you all were working together as a group” “Why is trust an important part of teamwork?” “How will this activity help your group at home?” Questions help pull out moments that happened during the activities focusing on listening, identifying different types of leadership, problem solving, linking the activity to deeper meaning, and self actualization.
Our High Ropes Course is a great way to bond, physically challenge a group, and share in a unique team building opportunity. High Ropes is an high adventure course set about twenty feet off the group. Participants are lead by trained facilitators as they navigate a series of challenges. All participants wear and helmet and harness.
High Ropes are fun, exciting, and bond a group faster than just hanging out. Participants have the chance to scale a rock wall, flip upside down on a giant swing, try their hand at grabbing a trapeze, zip through the woods, and face eight obstacles while suspended twenty feet off the ground.
Climbing Tower- Take the challenge to see if you have what it takes to make it to the top!
Giant Swing- When you are ready, pull the chord and you will soar back and forth.
Pamper Pole- Take the climb to the top, and when you are ready, take a leap of faith and hold on!
Obstacle Course- Will it be the buckets, postman’s walk, or if you dare pirates crossing?
Zipline- Take a run, and end up soaring through the trees.
Can I use my own climbing equipment on the High Ropes Course? Due to liability issues, Lakeshore only uses its own equipment. We also only use facilitators we have trained.
What’s the difference between doing Initiatives at Lakeshore’s course or having a facilitator come to us? There is a $75 travel fee for a facilitator to come to your site for initiatives. We have a wealth of initiatives in our program, some of which can only be done on our course. But all of our initiatives have great team building potential. The greatest pro to doing initiatives on our course is it places a group in new surroundings, helping to pull participants out of their comfort zones and open them up to new experiences.
What happens if it rains? We are willing to do lead Challenge Course activities rain or shine, hot or cold, as long as there is no lightning or extreme wind conditions. From there, it is up to the group. We can do some Team Building Initiatives (Low Ropes) indoors. We are willing to reschedule if the group decides that the weather is too much of a distraction for a worthwhile experience.
Can adults participate with youth groups on the Challenge Course? Yes, certainly, but we do have some advice for you. Our Challenge Course events are designed to pull participants out of what is comfortable to them, so that they will learn new lessons about themselves and overcoming challenges. For youth, this usually comes when we give them more decision making freedom than they are used to. With this, they struggle with how to complete activities and how to deal with uncomfortable situations like fear, disagreement, and frustration. There are lessons for youth participants whether they deal with these situations well or not. We find frequently, though, that when adults are on the course, they and the youth slide into the comfortable relationship of the adult giving instruction and the youth following. When that begins, the youth are slower to think on their own and quicker to look to others for the answers. We find that with a group of adults and youth, the adults end up being the leaders. That may be fine, depending on what your goals are for your group. But, if you would like for your youth to take a stronger leadership role, we usually encourage adults who still want to participate to participate physically but not make decisions or instruct the youth how they should approach each initiative.
How can my group participate in Lakeshore’s Challenge Course? Lakeshore’s Challenge Course is only available with a reservation. We have to recruit and pay facilitators, so the more notice, the better. To check dates and make a reservation for the Challenge Course, call Allison at 731-584-6102. If you have any other questions, give us a call or email Allison Doyle for more information. We look forward to giving your group a new challenge.