Groups tackle Challenge Course for team building

Groups tackle Challenge Course for team building »Play Video

Chemistry is an often sought after element for sports teams. Coaches will employ a wide variety of activities to help their athletes acquire that team chemistry.

One such utilized activity in the Eugene area is the Spencer Butte Challenge Course. It consists of 16 low obstacles and 10 high obstacles which range from 20 to 50 feet off the ground.

Recently a group of kids from the River House Outdoor Program gave the course their best shot.

"The idea is learning through experience and then helping the students process the experience they just had either as a group or as an individual," said Ray Cole, lead instructor for the River House Outdoor Program. "The emphasis is really on the experience and then reliving that experience through the debriefing process which takes place after the class, the activity or the individual element."

On this day, the group took on the Osprey's Perch and the Giant's Fun House. The idea of the Osprey's Perch is to climb 20-feet up a pole and then leap off the top of the pole in an attempt to grab an acrobats swing, hanging five feet away.

The Giant's fun house is all about climbing. The participants go up 50 feet using a series of rope ladders, dangling stapled wooden ladders and old tires.

"You get to learn team building skills and to conquer certain fears and know that you can climb to certain heights," said 11-year old Daniel Harms. "Sometimes just trying it again can be better than the last time."

The Spencer Butte Challenge Course isn't just for kids though. Adults can try it out as well. In fact, several University of Oregon athletic teams have participated in the course, including the soccer and lacrosse squads.

"As a team building project, I've seen it really form a lot of groups and really do a lot of positive things," said Cole.

"You get to learn to trust your friends and family who will help you through the challenge," said Harms.

It's a challenge for all ages that can really bring a group together.