Since moving to a new location this summer, the Challenge Course
at CSU has become one of the best ways for groups to bond together
outside of their normal classroom or workplace, said Mike Doyle,
coordinator of the Challenge Course.
“The old course needed an upgrade,” Doyle said. “The new course
is state of the art. It allows more participants to be more
involved, including people with disabilities.”
Located on Centre Avenue south of campus, the Challenge Course
at CSU, formerly known as the Ropes Course, can build team
confidence and can challenge participants mentally, physically and
“It encourages people to take risks and to challenge
themselves,” said Pam Dixon, interim coordinator for the Challenge
For a usage fee, groups ranging from elementary students to
corporate executives are welcome, and no experience is necessary.
Dixon said the course prepares participants before they set out on
the high elements by playing trust games and letting climbers get
to know each other.
“It’s not so much a recreation thing as it is a group
development activity,” she said. “That’s our ultimate purpose for
Costing an estimated $300,000 to build, money that came from the
Campus Recreation budget, the new Challenge Course offers plenty of
new elements for groups, including the team-climbing tower and the
trapeze jump, Doyle said.
“The high elements were the most fun. I’d do it again with
another group, especially for the high elements. Trusting a
complete stranger was tough at first, but it was really fun,” said
Matt Aschermann, a sophomore construction management major who
participated with his Team Problem Solving & Leadership
James Folkestad, an associate professor in construction
management, teaches the class. He firmly believes in the idea of
using the Challenge Course to build leadership and trust among his
“It’s a great example on how to get to know each other outside
the classroom,” Folkestad said. “It’s a very unique way to start
off the semester.”
Folkestad not only encourages his students to get in on the
acrobatics, but he also participates with them as well.
“My favorite element is the trapeze jump,” Folkestad said. “I’m
not a fan of heights, but when you accomplish (the jump), you know
For more information on the Challenge Course, contact the
Outdoor Adventure Program office located in the basement of the
Lory Student Center.