Bonding on the Low Ropes Course

Groups strengthen communication and problem-solving skills in the Low Ropes Course program at USF Riverfront Park.



By Jenna Withrow

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 8, 2011) – When most picture the University of South Florida’s Ropes Course, a four-story ropes tower comes to mind.


But tucked within the trees of USF Riverfront Park is the other half of the Ropes Course – the Low Ropes Course. Featuring 12 permanent elements and more than 300 activities, the Low Ropes Course helps groups build communication and problem solving skills.


Depending on the size of the team, participants are divided into groups of 12 to 15 people. Each group is assigned an Association for Challenge Course Technology certified facilitator to lead them through the exercises. The facilitators are current USF undergraduate and graduate students.


The 160-minute Low Ropes Course session begins with warm up exercises. Using various objects like ropes, balls and cards, teams learn more about each individual and find common bonds. The groups then move on to the more challenging courses. Permanent challenges include the Whale Watch in which teams must work together to balance on a board and the Port Hole, during which participants work to lift one another through a tire swing.


Thrill seekers can find the course at the USF Riverfront Park, which is run by the USF Outdoor Recreation department. The course is open seven days a week and is available for morning and afternoon sessions. For USF groups, a three hour Low Ropes Course session costs $7.50 per person. For a six hour Low and High Ropes Course session, USF groups pay $15 per person.


Participants should wear comfortable clothing, sun screen and close-toed shoes. Facilitators also recommend bringing a water bottle and snack.


For information on signing up for a session, contact Cathy Stedman at 814-974-9395.


To find out more about exercise and healthy living at USF, read the USF News Special Report.