Providing intentional opportunities for campers to play a leading role in building a supportive community is an integral component of most any camp experience, but especially here at Sky Lake. We make it a habit to continually dream of new ways to enhance this experience and estimate that we use approximately 47 pounds of scrap paper each year just jotting down ideas. (Okay, so we don’t really know for sure how much paper we actually use to document our hopes and dreams, but we know for sure that it’s A LOT!)
One of our long-standing dreams started to materialize in 2015 when we broke ground for a new low-ropes course. We began by inviting our friends over at Project Adventure to come visit, help provide focus for our dream, and scout out locations for the various elements we wanted to include. From that visit, we decided on three elements that Project Adventure would build in 2016 and a few elements that we were able to safely build ourselves in 2015.
The elements we currently offer are no more than a foot off the ground, but as Jenna Amberge (who counts Challenge Coordinator amongst her many duties as a year-round member of the Sky Lake team) puts it, “we look for that element of safety before a camper takes the first step step off the ground. It’s important for them to know they are fully supported.”
Safety holds a prominent position in all we do at camp and factored heavily into the placement of the course itself. Building it in a lightly used patch of woods off the Lakeside Trail near the East Shore means that we’re able to limit access to the elements while still allowing for easy access in the rare circumstance that emergency services are required. (So far, minor bug bites account for the majority of band-aids used from the dedicated first aid kit!) The placement of the course also meant that the crew from Project Adventure was able to spend less time getting their equipment to the site and dedicate more time to installing the Wild Woosey, the Team Triangle, and the Mohawk Walk. The time savings also partly factored into their being able to install a rare sixth segment to the Mohawk Walk challenge.
“Last year, campers were excited to use those first elements on the low-ropes course. Some were scared, but ended up loving the challenges and were able to come away with a positive feeling about how the experience helped them grow closer as a group,” says Jenna.
Anyone who has ever met her knows that Jenna is passionate about facilitating team building, so it will come as no surprise that she is really looking forward to campers getting to enjoy the newest additions—especially one of her all-time favorite challenges: the Mohawk Walk. “We take them to an area in the woods where we’ve created physical challenges for them to complete. [This natural setting] encourages them to think about how in using these elements, they have to work work with each other, have safe physical contact with other humans, and have to communicate—sometimes in very unique ways—in order to accomplish any challenge. You can’t do that looking at a screen or holding a phone! And they learn to rely on each other, which is what God wants for us to do.”
Our low-ropes course is also available for group bookings from May-September (weather permitting.) contact us