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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Frequently Asked Questions

Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/adventure/faq/

Are Challenge Courses safe?

Our courses are designed, built, maintained and run by ropes course experts. We use state-of-the art safety equipment at all of our ropes course sites. Our course is annually inspected by an Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) vendor.

Furthermore:

Project Adventure's (www.pa.org) 20-Year Safety Study found an injury rate of 4.33 injuries per million hours of ropes course program exposure. Compare that to 4,500 injuries per million hours of soccer programs. What has a similar injury rate to ropes course programming? The finance, insurance, and real estate fields, with an injury rate of 4.5 per million hours.

What should I expect to do in an Adventure Education Program?

Every program is customized to your needs. But traditionally a typical one-day program includes participation in activities such as icebreakers, trust falls and low elements in the morning. These activities help individuals build trust and become a more effective team. During the afternoon, participants will learn how to belay (hold) one another using climbing equipment, and will then work in teams, belaying each other on several high elements.

How long does an Adventure Education Program take, that includes initiatives, low and high elements?

We can customize programs to fit your needs. We recommend that if your group would like to climb on the high ropes course, that you schedule a minimum of 4 hours. For a group of 10 to climb one element it averages around 45 minutes in length.

What is the difference between low and high ropes course challenges?

During Low Ropes Course challenges, the focus is on the team. These activities draw on the knowledge and ideas of every group member and require the participation and cooperation of the entire team for success. The High Ropes Course challenges provide further opportunities for teamwork with an additional emphasis on individual challenges. The high elements provide opportunities for participants to expand their comfort zones, sometimes dramatically, and to overcome fears that can block personal development and achievement. We also provide belay school instruction to the team on the high elements, which results in the team members controlling the belay system and provides support for the climbers. This is critical to success on the high elements.

What is the age range of participants?

We can customize a program for children through adults.

How much does an Adventure Education Program cost?

$50 per hour, per facilitator.

(For example, if you schedule 4 hours with 30 students, the program rate would be $50 per hour x 3 facilitators x 4 hours = $600)

What do I need to do to book a program? Is there a deposit required?

We suggest that you book your event with the AEP (aep@mnsu.edu) a minimum of 3 weeks before. There is no deposit required. A final invoice based on exact costs will be sent following delivery of services. We ask that the balance due is to be paid within 30 days of invoice date.

What if I need to cancel?

Please do your best to contact the lead facilitator for your program to let them know of your schedule changes or your need to cancel 2 weeks before your event. The staff we hire for your event are on a contract basis, meaning that the facilitators rely on this day in their own work calendars. Giving these facilitators 2 weeks to replace this work day is appropriate.

What if the weather is bad on the day of our event?

Decisions to cancel programs will be made by the lead facilitator assigned to a group on a case-by-case basis.

Should I bring anything?

Yes, there are a few things we ask you to bring with you to the course.

A more detailed Description can be found in the [PDF] Informational Letter To Participants (24 KiB).

  1. Bring your Liability waiver forms completed and signed, to allow for more time on the course and less filling out paperwork while you are there. Also your medical information form if you need to give any private specific information to the staff before the day begins.
  2. It is also very important to bring WATER! There is no running water or electricity at the course, so you need to bring enough for the entire day.
  3. Sun protection (such as sun block and a hat) is highly encouraged, as well as insect repellant, if you wish to use it.
  4. If you are participating all day, you will need to bring your own lunch, or make prior arrangements.
  5. Extra clothes and layers.
  6. Bring a camera! This is a day you won't want to forget!

What should I wear?

You should dress comfortably for the weather. You will be outside the entire day, so wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty. There is climbing involved on the high elements, so we recommend wearing loose fitting pants or shorts. Open-toed shoes and sandals are not allowed on our course.

Do you provide Lunch and Snacks during the program?

We do not offer Lunch or Snacks. Traditionally if the program goes over a lunch hour, the participants bring their own lunch and a time is scheduled into the overall day.

Do I have to be in good shape?

We use a 'challenge by choice' approach so that each participant measures success by his or her own aspirations. There are levels of physical demand to the high and low ropes course, but in no way does one have to be an "athlete" to participate.

What if I am afraid of heights?

If someone is afraid of heights, simply climbing a foot or two up a pole of the course can be a major accomplishment and source of pride. If a participant chooses not to attempt an event, we respect this decision and offer other ways in which the person can participate including providing support through belaying, coaching or spotting and continued team problem solving.