Friday, March 26, 2010

Update from 2011 Cohort's Mini-course Meeting

This week during our mini-course we, the junior River Stewards, discussed our senior project and other plans for our senior year.

Kayak Trip
After hearing about the current senior River Stewards' epic kayak trip last summer from the headwaters, we discussed the possibility of doing a similar length trip before school starts next fall. We are leaning towards doing a five day recreational trip starting Thursday August 19th, after new stewards orientation. Those of us who will be in Dayton over the summer will work further on planning the trip and organizing materials.

Senior Project
The rest of our meeting involved discussing options for our senior project. We would ultimately like to design leadership curriculum involving a low ropes/challenge course. We think that such a project would be beneficial to the University and the community by fostering outdoor leadership education and providing a way for the community to connect with the river.

It was decided that a good first step towards assessing the feasibility and implementation of such a project would be to visit a site which already has a ropes/challenge course similar to the one we wish to deign. Summit Vision in Columbus was discussed as a possible location to visit because it is very close. A possible time to visit would be the Monday before orientation (Aug 16th). The website is below along with a description of the Walnut Bluffs, the facility that looked the most interesting to us. It is about 1hr 45 mins away. Contact will be made in the coming months to try to set up a tour and to foster a beneficial relationship with Summit Vision.

"The Walnut Bluffs property is owned by The Columbus Recreation & Parks department and is located at 8111 Schott Road in Westerville, Ohio--right next to the Hoover Reservoir. Walnut Bluffs is a beautiful, wooded area with waterfront access. Summit Vision has approximately 40 fixed initiatives on site along with two 23 element ropes courses and a climbing tower/high element area that can accommodate up to 110 participants at a time. Each ropes course can accommodate up to 30 participants at a time. Summit Vision has the capacity to handle up to 8 initiatives groups at a time on a daily basis."

Another suggestion: My mother used to work for Elam Environmental Center (which is affiliated with Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland). They have a challenge course with at least 10 elements that looks about the same size as the one we are looking to design. They do leadership programs there for students. It's only about an hour away and I think it would be a chance to see a course that was built in-house and is run by a center that deals primarily in outdoor education. I will try and find out more information about it and give an update.

-Liz Marsh

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