PHILOSOPHY OF THE ROPES COURSE AND THE LEADERSHIP REACTION COURSE
At all times the importance of physical safety is emphasized. Part of introducing each activity includes safety guidelines for participants. Group members use behaviors that are safe for themselves and for the group, and to speak up if they are not comfortable with something, or if another person is doing something.
Although stress is fundamental to adventure activities, Facilitators are to use strategies that encourage and provide support to participants without pressuring them. “Group support encourages a participant’s willingness to challenge themselves, to take risks, and to realize personally that “success” is an individual reward that is celebrated by the group whether or not the event is “executed” fully or well. Because everyone has a different level of comfort regarding emotional and physical challenges participants may choose their level of participation and goals.
"Challenge by Choice”©* is discussed with each participant and encourages each person to set their own challenges and goals. Goal setting helps to ensure that while individuals push themselves beyond their Comfort Zone, they are safely being challenged in their Growth Zone avoiding the Panic Zone.
When tailoring a program to meet the leadership objectives of the group, Facilitators use personal goal setting to generate expectations for group success. Facilitators let participants think for themselves and solve their own problems. Participants are allowed to make–and learn–from mistakes, never compromising safety.
Full Value Contracts©*
The Full Value Contract is the foundation of encouraging the success of any group, whether it is in education, business, or recreation. A Full Value Contract is a set of values, norms, ground rules, or rules of conduct for the day that is established (or the group establishes) and agrees to use for their time together at the ropes course. It helps all group members to feel a sense of ownership in the process of solving any challenge.
Represents the need for group and personal safety and to watch out for “the little guy/gal,” It reminds a group to watch out for each other over the course of the program. This person is self–controlled and ever–vigilant to monitor both behaviors and safety violations of others in the group.
This represents a commitment made to the group. Each person has made a commitment to do their best for the program and to support other group members.
This represents the idea that a group will agree to not “discount” each other. This includes refraining from inappropriate language and respecting all members of the group.
Pointer Finger–Critical Thinking
This represents that each person is to be mentally “here” and will use sound judgment and imagination to solve problems and to ensure safety.
Pointer Finger–Goal Setting
This is a reminder to find direction by working toward goals and for the group to point out positive outcomes that the group notices.