School of Management Sponsors A ROPES Challenge

Ropes. Ropes Challenge. Ropes Course. These are fairly common terms in today’s society, but there are some of us who may feel left hanging because we
really don’t know what ROPES is all about. ROPES training actually began more than 50 years ago. And surprisingly enough, ROPES isn’t an acronym. ROPES was
so named because the original challenge courses used ropes. Kurt Hahn developed the “challenge course” for German sailors during WWII when he noticed that
a higher percentage of “older” sailors were surviving than the younger sailors when a ship went down. He surmised that it had to do with experience and
confidence. He then initiated the “challenge/team work course.” In 1960 Kurt moved to Colorado and continued the challenge course. All of the high
challenge exercises were strung with, you guessed it, rope. And the rest, as they say, is history. Most modern day courses use metal cables instead of rope
for cost and safety. Florida Tech’s School of Management (SOM) sponsors a ROPES challenge course each fall for incoming SOM freshmen and transfer students.
The course is structured in the following way: The Low Course The Low Course is a carefully orchestrated set of physical and mental activities and
challenges for groups of 10 to 15 people. The activities focus on leadership, trust, communication, problem solving, teamwork, cooperation, decision
making, motivation and conflict resolution. These activities compel the group to work together to overcome the challenge and therefore build unity. The
High Course After the group has completed the sequence of Low initiatives, they are ready to experience the High Course. This course focuses on the
individual’s emotional and physical insecurities, helps them set and complete personal goals and fosters perseverance, risk taking and motivation. The
group acts as an emotional support for the individual who is climbing the element, putting to use the skills developed on the Low Course. The Debrief After
each Low or High initiative, the facilitator leads a debrief discussion which focuses on a teamwork topic relative to that event. Through open discussions,
the activities are then related to real life situations. These discussions are not lectures on teamwork, but provide a welcoming and positive forum for the
participants to analyze the activity and relate relevant situations. The School of Management’s next ROPES course is Saturday, September 13, 2003, from
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the BCC Palm Bay campus. The course is a requirement for all incoming SOM freshmen and transfer students (no fee).

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