Written by Mike Swofford
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 12:56
A Great Teambuilding Program at Camp Friedlander
Project COPE is an activity operated for adults and youth comprised of group initiatives, team building, problem solving, and physical challenge. Although COPE uses some of the skills, techniques and tools of rock climbing, it is not a climbing course. Rather, it uses climbing situations as one of several means to achieve its goals, including the development of trust, communication, self-esteem, leadership, problem-solving, decision-making and teamwork.
Benefits to Your Team
Team members are challenged to become more aware of themselves and others, and to discover their strengths and limitations. For groups that already know each other well, COPE builds on this knowledge to improve communication and leadership skills. For newer groups – even complete strangers – COPE is a great mechanism for rapidly developing a strong sense of team membership. Beyond all these lofty objectives, COPE is fun!
The COPE Program
The activities and challenges offered as part of the COPE program can be tailored to meet your group’s needs. You can choose the type of activities that best fit your current group dynamics and your intended outcomes:
- Teambuilding and initiative games – The trail to forming an effective team starts with getting to know your group members. What makes them tick? How do they work with others? How do they react to challenges, frustrations, and successes? A series of fun and extremely participator games will quickly help team members learn more about each other as they prepare for the future challenges on the course.
- Low COPE – A series of physical obstacles are placed through the woods of Camp Friedlander. Your team’s mission, should they choose to accept it, is to work as a team to overcome these challenges. None of the obstacles can be completed by one person alone, so each team member must evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the others in order to succeed.
- High COPE – After accomplishing the Low COPE course, it’s time to utilize the new trust and team dynamic on the high ropes course. This consists of 15 elements that require participants to negotiate cables, swings and nets high above the ground. An elaborate, redundant safety system protects participants at all times.
The Climbing and Rappelling Tower
Adjacent to the COPE course stand our 60’ climbing and rappelling tower. Designed for novices and veterans alike, it has a two-lane, 50’ climbing wall, and multiple portals for rappelling. Participants can rappel from our 30’, 40’, 50’, and free rappel stations. An experience on the tower can either be part of COPE experience or a stand alone event.
Safety and Operations
Project COPE is a program of the Dan Beard Council, Boy Scout of America, and is run by trained volunteers and staff. Our instructors and staff members are locally trained, and the course is overseen by a nationally-trained director. The entire COPE program, facilities, policies, and operations are inspected and certified annually.
Two overriding concerns guide the staff at all times. First, we strive to assure a safe experience for all participants. Just as importantly, we also work to be sure that no one is made to feel awkward or uncomfortable during a COPE experience. COPE is Challenge by Choice - at no time will participants be pushed to do something they choose not to do.
To ensure that we offer the highest quality experience possible, a few requirements must be met by your group to participate in Project COPE:
- Groups may have a minimum of eight individuals – any less and the experience would not be beneficial.
- A maximum group size of 36 for the Low COPE course is set to make sure everyone has a chance to participate.
- A maximum group size of 18 for the High COPE course is set to meet staffing and equipment ratios.
- Although both youth and adults can benefit from the COPE experience, we discourage mixed adult and youth groups. The difference in age levels and maturity can adversely affect the team dynamics. However, it may be possible to run separate adult and youth groups simultaneously.
- Youth participants must be at least 13-years-old.
- If your group has any youth members, there must be a minimum of two adult leaders, with at least one adult leader to every ten youth participating.
- The group leader must complete and submit the “Facility Use and Hold-Harmless Agreement” prior to the group’s arrival.
- A certificate of insurance from the organization must be submitted prior to arrival. This is not required for Dan Beard Council Scouting units.
- Each participant must complete the “Participant Agreement” form, which can be submitted upon arrival.
- Each participant must arrive with appropriate clothing and gear as listed in the “Personal Equipment Checklist.”
- Reservations for the COPE program must be made at least 30 days prior to requested date in order for our staff to be secured and the facilities to be prepared.
- Payment must be made upon making a reservation unless otherwise arranged.
Facility Rental and Weekend Programs
Your group is encouraged to stay at Camp Friedlander overnight or for the weekend to complete the immersion in the outdoor experience. Several options exist, including tent camping, cabin rental, and dormitory-style housing to accommodate large groups. Meal service and additional programming such as shooting sports, boating, hiking, and meeting rooms are also available. We work with each group individually to meet their housing needs and intended outcomes.
Weekend package programs are also available to make for a hassle-free retreat, conference, or outing. The many programs available at the Dan Beard Scout Reservation can be combined to offer a unforgettable and diverse experience. Please ask us about the options available for your group!
The group program requires a minimum of eight individuals to operate properly. It is difficult to handle a group larger than 12, but they can be accommodated with pre-planning. Although both youth and adults can benefit from COPE, usually mixed adult and youth groups are not run through the course at the same time.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 August 2013 10:47
COPE is available to non-Scout groups - corporate groups, community groups, fire departments, law enforcement groups and school groups can often benefit from COPE.
In order to operate a COPE program, a certified COPE Director must oversee the program. COPE instructors are also required, their number depending on the size of the group. These staff can be provided for your group by the COPE and Climbing Committee of the Dan Beard Council.
To reserve a COPE program for your group, contact the Dan Beard Council at (513) 577-7692 to check availability - programs are available most weekends between mid-August and June.