Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Object Navigational Course

Tonight, we took the Scouts up to the canyon to put them through what I call an "Object Navigation Course." That term should be trademarked by tomorrow morning, if I can get my team of overseas lawyers to bust a move!

The object of the exercise is to use overhead cable to transport a suspended object (a 70lb rock) from beginning to end - about 250 feet of forest terrain. The catch is that the 250 feet is not continuous, straight, or flat. It's broken into sections; makes sharp bends; and slants both up and down. This causes the participants to have to figure out how to do frequent "suspended load transfers," and at times use secondary rigging to keep the load from sliding down the line.

The nature of this kind of activity lends itself to creative problem solving, teamwork, logic, emotional self-regulation, an evolving leadership dynamic, and a whole host of other skill and character building opportunities.

The setting was specifically chosen to be late in the evening, with cold weather, and in a natural setting to add a further layer of "discomfort" to help expand the participant's operational comfort zones.

This is the "gear" the Scouts were allowed to use for rigging, etc. ......

The 70lb rock w/ pre-drilled anchors.......

The crew......

Here they go....

Initially, I offered a considerable amount of instruction, and did the majority of rigging myself. Shortly thereafter, the boys took over, with myself and Jason offering occasional direction.....

Its tough to be taken seriously as a hard man when you've got orange hair, but Caleb pulls it off somehow....


One of the first major load transfers....

Keep in mind, the rock had to remain suspended from the rope, and couldn't touch the ground or be manually lifted. Everything had to be done by rigging....

The green line in the picture goes up into the tree canopy. I didn't get a picture of it, but they had to use a rope swing to get the rock from one section of cable to the next, about 25-20 feet away.....



This load transfer took quite a bit of prefrontal cortical thinking.....


The downward slope beings......




Caleb kept a tight reign on the tag line so that the rock wouldn't bust lose and smash into somebody's head....


Finite!!!!! We celebrated with donuts!!!

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