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Climbing past comfort zones

Challenge Course allows dads, families to use their teamwork, communication skills while climbing

Arturo+Gavilanes%2C+Challenge+Course+and+climbing+wall+coordinator+discusses+the+different+course+options+for+Dad%E2%80%99s+Weekend.
Arturo Gavilanes, Challenge Course and climbing wall coordinator discusses the different course options for Dad’s Weekend.

Arturo Gavilanes, Challenge Course and climbing wall coordinator discusses the different course options for Dad’s Weekend.

AYDAN MINER | The Daily Evregreen

AYDAN MINER | The Daily Evregreen

Arturo Gavilanes, Challenge Course and climbing wall coordinator discusses the different course options for Dad’s Weekend.

NINA WILLIS, Evergreen reporter

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Students and their dads can push themselves out of their comfort zone by participating in climbing-related activities this Dad’s Weekend at the Challenge Course.

They can explore the parent-child dynamic, said Arturo Gavilanes, coordinator of the challenge course and climbing wall.

“I’m super stoked to see [this event] go its own direction,” Gavilanes said. “I remember one program that I facilitated, this girl had a cast on her arm and she wasn’t sure she could do it, but her dad took her out there. At the end of the day, she had a lot of fun.”

Like the previous year, the Challenge Course will begin with a name game and get-to-know activity, he said. The challenge course promotes exploring the relationship between people going from their comfort zone into their learning and growth zone.

Typically, they will begin with the “Giant’s Ladder” which, like the name implies, is a giant ladder, Gavilanes said. The higher participants climb, the farther apart the rungs get, forcing participants to work together to reach the top.

Whereas in most other challenge courses, they will have three people working together, the Dad’s Weekend course will have just two, the student and their dad or family member, Gavilanes said.

“I can talk to somebody all day about how important teamwork is, but at the end of the day, it’s just a conversation,” he said. “Up here [on the Giant’s Ladder], teamwork is natural. Eventually, you could only get about as high as you can reach, so you need to work with somebody else.”

The Outdoor Recreation Center will have two separate, two-hour-long sessions for the Challenge Course, he said. The challenge activities done within the two hours depend on the number of participants signed up.

If very few sign up, they might do the “Cougar Perch.” This is a set of three poles in the ground where participants will climb up the side of one of the poles and try to hit the hanging buoy at the top, Gavilanes said. However, this particular activity doesn’t involve as much teamwork.

“The Outdoor Recreation Center prides itself on experiential education,” Gavilanes said. “The Challenge Program really lends itself to that overall.”

The ORC might also do the “Track and Trail” course as well, he said. It has two levels, the bottom one about 14 feet above the ground. Participants will be harnessed in with ORC staff on the levels to help guide them, Gavilanes said.

The “Track and Trail” course acts as a confidence booster for most people, he said. If someone were to fall, they would only drop 4 inches, and then they can get back up and continue the course.

“The only disclaimer I always have to give out,” Gavilanes said, “is you have to be careful on the tires because they do tend to be tiring.”

The first Dad’s Weekend Challenge Course will take place 10 a.m. Saturday at the Student Recreation Center Challenge Course. The second will start at 12:30 p.m. Registration for the event ended Nov. 2.

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Climbing past comfort zones