Nov 102003
Authors: Alex Miller

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

being here.”

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

you’ve succeeded.”

For more information on the Challenge Course, contact the

Outdoor Adventure Program office located in the basement of the

Lory Student Center.





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