A new challenge

An inside scoop of the Tarleton Challenge Course

Tarleton State University is fostering friendships, leadership, and team bonding through the outdoor pursuits program with the challenge course. The Challenge Course led by recreational sports staff is designed to increase teamwork, promote team bonding, and take you outside of your comfort zone by getting personal with your team members and even your instructors. 

The challenge course is broken into different days, and for many, the first day may seem chaotic, as it is a whirlwind of gaining trust and the decision to put one’s own life in another’s hands. It is separated by both high and low elements. The low elements make you become personal with the members of your group, so if you did not book with your friends prepare to break into a sweat.

On the first day, the groups started with a daily normal ball game to memorize each other’s names and their favorite thing in the world. The rules were fairly simple: throw the ball to the same person every time while saying their name. The goal is to beat a certain time and to figure out a method that would work best for the team. The purpose of the game was to increase communication and team-building skills to help familiarize ourselves with each other. 

After that, teams got to play and figure out their skills towards the wood.  The game consisted of the teams being close while also directing a pair of wood out of a “pond” filled with “alligators.” The goal was to acquire 10 pieces of “food” in the form of bandanas while avoiding the alligators. If we stepped on one, we had to blindfold a member, and as punishment, go back a few steps while singing a song of their choice.

The second week of the challenge course consisted of heights.  The groups had to climb an 8 foot pole and jump onto a trapeze then allow their team to safely guide them to the ground without hitting the pole. The purpose was to trust your teammates and to ultimately challenge yourself to be brave. The second challenge was known as the “stairway to heaven.” In this experience, the teams had to do a rope course.

The Tarleton Challenge Course was a trial of learning how to trust a group of people that you never met. It was an experience in which many people have gained self-confidence and fearlessness in situations that can take you beyond many things.  

For more information on the Tarleton Challenge Course, it can be found at tarleton.edu/campusrec. To book an outdoor pursuits experience or the Challenge Course, you can also email [email protected] for more information.