We introduced three new activities this summer that really went over well with the campers.
Archery Games is a little like paintball in that two teams compete to eliminate one another. The difference is that players are using bows and arrows as their “weapons.” Before you get too nervous, notice in the picture (right) that the arrows have a soft rubber bulb on the business end, so that the “victim” is not injured in any way. The games are played on a large field with multiple inflatable bunkers that are used as cover during tactical advance and against incoming arrows. As an added safety precaution, we require players to wear eye protection. There are many variations of the games that can be played, but the bottom line is that the kids really enjoyed this new activity.
The Giant Swing is one of two new additions to our High Ropes Challenge Course. In this activity, riders are harnessed to a swing, then a “pull-team” consisting of fellow campers pulls the rider as high as 43’ into the air. Once the rider pulls the “rip cord,” he/she is dropped into an approximately 100’ swing through the air. It’s quite a rush and was a big hit with the campers. For some perspective on what it’s like to be 40-plus feet in the air, take note of the person standing on the ground. That’s him near the rider’s right foot. Yikes!
The Leap of Faith is the other addition to our High Ropes Challenge Course and it’s even more challenging than the Giant Swing. The goal of this event is very simple… climb a 33’ utility pole, stand on the top and jump off. Say what?!? Yep, that’s all you’ve got to do. The purpose of activities such as these, of course, is to (1) get participants out of their comfort zone, (2) teach them to work as a team and to trust their teammates, and (3) face and overcome their fears. And believe me, this challenge does just that. While the climb is challenging, it does not compare to taking that final step to the top of the pole and jumping off. There is nothing you can tell yourself that makes those final two acts seem right. But once you’ve done it… WOW, what an accomplishment! The joy (and for some, relief!) on the faces of those who have been successful is priceless. But to be fair, you don’t have to jump off to be successful. In fact we measure success as any attempt, completed or not, that takes you beyond what your mind is telling you that you are able to do. For those who have a fear of heights, it might be merely climbing up the pole and climbing back down. If you have faced your fear, you have been successful. So come on out and take the challenge. Oh, but watch that last step… it’s a doozy!