Outdoor Achievement Center
The Outdoor Achievement Center (O.A.C.) courses are complete with elements that challenge individuals' outdoor personal development along with team building experiences. The O.A.C. consists of low and high elements that help individuals and groups to meet a wide variety of personal, teamwork, educational, and recreational goals. The low and high ropes courses consist of 13 different elements that serve the purpose of challenging participants to realize brand new experiences. While the name "ropes" course points that there are ropes involved with each activity, however, the entire course is full of many different elements that do not include ropes that are used to challenge teams and individuals.
Virginia Wesleyan's Outdoor Achievement Center is made up of 11 different low elements. The low elements are ground based and consist of different imaginary and real obstacles with the purpose of challenging groups and individuals to work together as a team to complete specific tasks. The low ropes course is a series of initiatives or physical structures focused on problem-solving and designed with team-building in mind. Many elements are spotted (using team members as guides) and require the group members to cooperate in order to solve the problem, accomplish the group initiative, or to provide safety to each other. Low ropes courses are constructed of wood, cable, and metal hardware, and can be built on trees, utility poles, and/or metal structures.
The high course has participants as high as 25 feet in the air! Participants will realize new levels of teamwork, trust, communication, acceptance, problems solving, and support for teammates. Like the low elements, a high ropes course is a series of initiatives or obstacles designed around physical and mental challenges resulting in increased individual self-development. The O.A.C.'s high ropes course activities can range from stand-alone elements to large high course complexes. They are designed primarily with dynamic (self-motivated, active, and energetic) functions in mind to challenge participants to achieve unthought-of goals. High ropes courses require certified facilitators to belay (trained facilitators using harnesses to ensure safety, similar to what is used for rock climbing walls) each participant to ensure safety. Most ropes courses are constructed of wood, cable, ropes, and metal structures. Virginia Wesleyan University's O.A.C. high ropes course, is the cream of the crop when it comes to allowing participants to realize greater levels of accomplishment than ever before.
What is a ropes course?
Ropes courses are used for activities that challenge individuals and groups physically and mentally in various new and exciting ways. Ropes courses are usually include a low course, where accomplishments are ground based or only a few feet from the ground, and a high course, which is located 20- 30 feet in the air built with cables and held by trees or by utility poles. There are many miss conceptions that ropes courses use only ropes for activities. Ropes courses use ropes for some activities but also include different platforms, logs, cables, walls, and imaginary obstacles to challenge participants. For safety purposes, the high ropes course requires participants to be harnessed and belayed with helmets. Virginia Wesleyan University offers each of these courses in the Outdoor Achievement Center.
What is an Alpine Tower?
Like ropes courses, alpine towers are used to challenge individuals and teams mentally and physically except for the challenges can take place nearly 5 stories high! Alpine towers are structures made of utility poles with obstacles such as ropes, ropes ladders, swinging logs, and swinging ladders to challenge participants. Objectives of teamwork, cooperation, trust, communication, adventure, and compassion are all highlighted aspects of alpine towers. Alpine towers have many similar aspects to that of the high ropes course, but challenges take place on this unique 50 foot structure!
What types of groups can benefit from the Outdoor Achievement Center?
- Business/ Corporate Training Programs
- Retreat and Conference Participants
- Youth and Adult Recreation Programs
- Outdoor Adventure Programs
What ages can participate?
The Outdoor Achievement Center can accommodate participants ages 8-80!
How many participants can participate at the same time?
The alpine tower and low ropes course can work with groups up to 12. 3 groups or 36 participants max can participate during a single visit! The high ropes course can have 1 group at a time up to 12 participants. The normal ratio is 12:1, participants to group facilitator.
Is it Safe? What safety precautions are followed?
Ropes courses are extremely safe. Professional facilitators are trained and experienced to ensure that all participants are kept out of harm's way. All parts of the Outdoor Achievement Center are inspected after each use, as well as receive annual inspections by an independent inspector. All participants complete a health history form which is reviewed to assure their safety. Lastly, all staff are certified and receive annual training.
How long do to the experiences last?
Participants can enjoy their time at the high and low courses by scheduling a half day or full day.
A Half Day can last up to 4 hours, and a Full Day can last up to 6-7 hours.
How often are programs offered?
The Outdoor Achievement Center is open year around.
When should I schedule a group for the Outdoor Achievement Center?
A group should be scheduled at least one week before your requested time and date.
What type of clothing should be worn during activities on the ropes course and alpine tower?
Footwear- Closed toed shoes are required for all participants. Shoes should be low heeled and comfortable. Running shoes or sneakers that are able to get wet or dirty are advised.
Clothing- appropriate clothing for activities during your experience should be loose, comfortable, casual, durable, long pants or sweats are preferred. You may wear shorts, but you increase your chances of getting scraped.
Accessories such as; Jewelry, watches, and non-prescription sunglasses: are not allowed on the course so please do not wear or bring these.
Glasses and contact lens wearers: please take any precautions you would normally during participation in outdoor activities. If you wear glasses consider using a restraining strap so they do not fall off.
Tobacco products, gum and candy: are not allowed on the ropes course.
What forms are required in order to participate?
All participants will be required to submit the Medical History and Consent Form.