Students Follow Nature’s Way to Trust, Triumph

Pairs of students climb pole ladders with a goal of walking across the log at the top (and crossing each other “mid-span”). Students on the ground control the belay (safety) ropes for the climbers.

Also at CLIMBucknell, students use aluminum beams and tree stumps to cross an imaginary “lava field” without leaving a team member behind or falling into “the lava” …

... and transcend a more “vertical” challenge: a multi-story high-climbing tower.

The therapeutic value of quiet, mindfulness, meditation and focus are found on a hike at Rider Park.

On the Penn College campus, HSR330 students learn to trust and communicate through alternate means as they work in pairs, wordlessly guiding a blindfolded partner through a course covering different obstacles.

Nature as therapy was the lesson learned recently by students enrolled in Outdoor Recreation as a Therapeutic Tool (HSR 330). The students also learned firsthand how to facilitate individual and team-based outdoor activities. One day, the group visited Bucknell University’s CLIMBucknell Challenge Course, an outdoor educational facility in Cowan. “Under the guidance of the Bucknell facilitators, the Penn College students learned how to solve mental and physical challenges as a team,” said D. Robert Cooley, associate professor of anthropology/environmental science (who also provided the photos). “After the problem-solving games concluded, we moved to the ropes course where we all were able to push past our individual comfort zones on some breathtakingly high ropes elements, an enormous climbing wall, and finally, an impossibly long zip line. A great day was had by all!” Other outdoor educational venues folded into the students’ coursework during the summer “minimester” included Rider Park north of Williamsport and a beautiful location a little closer to “home” – the Penn College campus.

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