A Great Team building Program at Camp Friedlander

COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) is a challenge course or ropes course 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.


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 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 participatory 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 simple, effective safety system protects participants at all times.


Adjacent to the COPE course stands 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’, 50’, and free rappel stations. An experience on the tower can either be part of a COPE experience or a stand alone event.


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 the COPE program:

  • 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 COPE course is set to make sure everyone has a chance to participate.
  • 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 and display adequate maturity.
  • 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 “Consent and Hold Harmless Agreement” form, which must be submitted upon arrival.
  • Each participant must arrive with appropriate clothing and gear as listed in the “Personal Equipment Checklist.”
  • Reservations for COPE and climbing programs must be made at least 30 days prior to the requested date in order for our staff to be secured.
  • Payment must be made upon making a reservation unless otherwise arranged.


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 an 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 36, 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.

COPE is available to non-Scout groups – corporate groups, community groups, fire departments, law enforcement groups and school groups can often benefit from an experience on our COPE course.

In order to operate a COPE program, a certified COPE Director or Level II Instructor must oversee the program. COPE Level I Instructors are also required, the number required depends 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 Michael Stamat II, Camp Experience Director at the Dan Beard Council at (513) 518-3217 to check availability – programs may be scheduled during the week and are available most weekends from March through May and mid-August through November.