Find Posts By Topic

Camp Long WSUE Challenge Course Grand Opening this Saturday

amp Long and the Washington State University Extension-4H invite the public to the grand opening of the Camp Long Challenge Course from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 6. This project was supported in part by a $100,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund award. 

A Hub and Spoke High Challenge Course called “The Enchantments” (park elements at Camp Long are traditionally named after topographical phenomena in Washington state) has been added to the Low Challenge course. Construction was completed in October 2012; since then staff have undergone training for facilitation, tested systems and purchased equipment to start offering programs this spring.

“The challenge course at camp long has already impacted youth through its youth leadership program,” said Camp Long Advisory Council member David Kipano. “This program funded through the Department of Neighborhoods provides internships to train over 30 youth to be facilitators on the course and in their community.”

The installation and programming of the challenge course is a collaboration by Camp Long Advisory Council, an affiliate of the Associated Recreation Council, WSU Extension-4H, and Seattle Parks and Recreation with the support of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Large Project funding award and a King County Parks Youth Sports Facility Grant.

The ribbon cutting takes place at 3 p.m. at the East Shelter and there will be refreshments at 3:30.

Open House Activities:

  • “The Enchantments”: Opportunities to try out the Hub and Spoke Course will be $20 per person, limited to 24 people. Register at the front desk the day of the opening.
Session 1 1 – 2:30 p.m. 8 people
Session 2 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. 8 people
Session 3 3:30 – 5 p.m. 8 people
  • Low Course Elements: “Orca Breach,” “Pacific Crest,” “Salmon Crossing” and other elements will be available to try as groups gather. Check in at the East Shelter.

About High Challenge: The “Hub and Spoke” challenge consists of high platforms, interconnected activities, routes on slim beams, wobbly steps and swings and ropes to clutch onto or walk upon. High course elements have traditionally been used as a tool to challenge individuals physically and mentally and to strengthen relationships and build team cohesion. The High Challenge Course is designed to develop self-esteem, confidence, positive risk-taking and self awareness, and to help people confront fears and exceed self-imposed limitations.

Scott VanderWey, WSU 4-H Adventure Education Director, said the activities will help increase teens’ self-confidence and positive risk taking. “Having a high ropes course provides the opportunity for students to have a peak experience which can manifest itself into more positive behavior,” he said. The research-based approach known as Social Emotional Learning has proven to increase student motivation, student attendance, mastery of subject material, and a more positive school climate.

4H Challenge Benefits:

4H Challenge Courses provide a structured, consistent, and ongoing curriculum which allows cohorts of youth or community members to progress through a series of tiered learning activities that enhances other programs such as youth leadership, family wellness, community organization and development, health education, peer and adult mentoring, drug prevention, adjudicated rehabilitation and job development skills.  

4-H Challenge programs change the way participants interact with their group, build healthy relationships and develop the critical life skills necessary for a successful life.  The underlying psychological and educational assumption behind challenge courses is that if a person is supported to move out of his/her comfort zone, and has a successful experience, then powerful conditions exist for positive change. Groups who engage in a long-term relationship with 4-H Challenge can expect to see a measurable increase in participant commitment to the group and a decrease in negative and non-participatory behavior. The positive benefits are of special importance for youth to become successful and productive adults. 

Camp Long is located at 5200 35th Ave. SW. For more information, please call 206-684-7434.