A day on The Browne Center Challenge Course is a fun and unique educational experience. Participation in games, problem-solving activities, and low and high elements provide an opportunity to work collaboratively outside of a group’s normal environment. The Challenge Course often serves as a powerful tool to tackle issues facing your group. Novel and compelling activities can empower students to practice group communication skills while working to solve the ‘Teeter’ (a low element) or improve trust while climbing the ‘Catwalk’ (a high element). Skilled facilitation allows for new insights and skill development to be transferred back to school.
Low elements are usually group-oriented challenges that are located on or near ground level. These elements do not require any special safety system other than diligent spotting by group members. In many ways, low elements are the heart of the challenge course experience, and provide an introduction to the power of the team work with an emphasis on full participation, trusting others, and creative thinking.
Browne Center staff create an inclusive environment using the cornerstone philosophies of Challenge by Choice and Full Value Contract. We encourage each participant to choose his or her own level of challenge – physically and emotionally.
High elements are usually installed 20 to 40 feet above ground, requiring a belay system for safety. They allow participants to go beyond their preconceived limitations of trust and personal ability by relying on their peers and school/Browne Center staff in the belaying process. When climbing on a high element, individually or in a pair, physical strength is not the most significant asset; the most important factor is group support. High elements, in general, are considered the most memorable part of the challenge course experience because of the anxiety and exhilaration participants feel during the activity.
The Browne Center works with all groups to provide an inclusive environment; encouraging each participant to choose his or her own level of challenge – physically and emotionally. Our courses are constructed and staff trained to encourage involvement of participants with all levels of physical and developmental abilities.
"My accomplishment was being able to trust one another and know that your teammate will support you and be there for you. We accomplished support, trust and not bringing anyone down. The activities forced us to do it because your teammates’ life depends on your actions. So we had to trust each other!" - Middle school student