UVM Ropes Course

Take your group to new heights

When people imagine a teambuilding day on a ropes course, they often picture people in harnesses up in trees. A full ropes course progression of activities includes icebreakers, problem-solving initiatives, low elements and finishes with high elements. These programs can range from a 4-hour to 7.5-hour day or even a multi-day experience.  Each program is unique to your group and your specific goals.

We work to create an environment that fosters healthy decision making and encourages growth. To that end, we encourage individuals to make choices throughout the day that will help them to step out of their comfort zone and into their stretch zone as this is where growth occurs. For each person this will be different. We value the individual by allowing them to make choices that are best for them and honoring those decisions. For some that will mean climbing to new heights, for others that may mean learning to belay, speaking out in their group, or walking across a cable on a low element. 

Progression and process underline all that we do at the UVM ARC. High elements are seen as part of a series of group activities that, when used properly, can enhance an overall teambuilding experience. Once participants are comfortable with each other, we find that those who may not normally take a risk in front of others may be more willing to step out of their comfort zone. In addition, our high elements are belayed from the ground and allow for one or two participants to be on the elements at a time. Depending on how long your group is at the course participants can learn belay skills and physically be supported by/put their trust in their teammates. Please note that programs do not have to include high elements. 

What can we typically accomplish in a half-day (up to 4.5 hours)?

  • 9:00 Meet and introduce the program in the fields by the parking lot
  • 9:10 Large Group Warm-up Games and De-Inhibitizers
  • 9:50 Split up Group; Walk to ARC from fields
  • 10:00 Small Group Trust and Problem-Solving Initiatives
  • 10:45 Low Element 
  • 11:30 Lunch
  • 12:00 High Element(s) (or more low elements)
  • 1:20 Small Group Closures

A half-day program is a great tool to accompany a traditional staff training, group retreat, orientation event, or school year kick-off. A half-day does not allow a lot of time to explore group processes, but it is a great way

  • Break the ice with new groups
  • Get to know each other more quickly and uniquely
  • Create the foundation for working together in a group
  • Set the tone for mutual support, encouragement, and trust

What can we typically accomplish in a full-day (up to 7.5 hours)? 

  • 9:00 Meet and introduce the program in the fields by the parking lot
  • 9:10 Large Group Warm-up Games and De-Inhibitizers
  • 9:50 Split up Group; Walk to ARC from fields
  • 10:00 Small Group Trust and Problem-Solving Initiatives
  • 10:45 Low Elements
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 12:30 Belay School and High Element Briefing
  • 1:00 High Elements 
  • 3:15 Large Group Closure
  • 3:30 Group Departure

In addition to the half-day objectives, a full day program allows for us to dive more deeply into group processing and explore issues that relate directly to your team. Participants can examine their roles within the group and provide helpful feedback to each other that can enhance their communication back in their typical environment. The longer day provides the opportunity to bring the large group back together to close. This can be particularly valuable to allow the participants to share key insights from the day and translate those to action steps for their office, school, or organization.

What can we typically accomplish in a multi-day program?

Coming out to the course on more than one day provides more opportunity to engage group process and for individuals to examine their role in the group. This longer time frame allows for more flexibility in what types of activities we can present to the group, and more time to discuss the activities focus more on connections back to their lives.  Participants will have the opportunity to examine group norms, analyze conflict, and ultimately see what leads to positive group performance and will take more ownership in the direction of their program. Multi-day programs are also great for groups, such as schools, wanting to get a full day progression but having time constraints on each day. Hybrid programs are also available: we come to you for a few short programs, then you come to us! The possibilities are endless. 



“The ropes course is an amazing experience. The location is wonderful. The staff is very skilled. I took fifth grade students. The instructors met their needs, challenged them to take risks, and work together. I HIGHLY recommend UVM ARC!”

– Nicole Walsh, 5th Grade Teacher, Founders Memorial School, Essex, VT


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