A ceremony took place last week to officially transfer ownership of the Challenges for Success Ropes program from the Windsor Essex Community Health Centre to the Gestwood Camp.
“The ropes program has been in existence for 12 years,” said Ropes Facilitator for WECHC Leda Conlon. “Over that time we’ve had over 20,000 students and 10,000 adults through the program.”
A Ropes Course is a challenging outdoor personal development and team building activity originally thought to have been developed to be used as military training grounds as far back as the ancient Greeks. The programs are offered world-wide and usually make use of a variety of materials such as rope, utility poles and steel structures. Typically, courses are found in a variety of locations, including wooded areas, open fields. The current ropes course at Gesstwood was built-in 2009.
“Due to fiscal responsibility the WECHC is no longer able to operate the program,” said Conlon. “We really wanted to see the program continue and luckily for us Gesstwood stepped forward and offered to operate the program.”
According to Conlon, initially Ropes was started through the self-esteem program working with teenagers through the New Beginnings program at the Teen Health Centre.
When we worked with a group of kids, we really saw how powerful the experiential learning component of the program affected these kids. “
“We call it an opportunity to learn through doing. After researching the idea we we’re able to apply for funding to build the course.” said Conlon.
“This is an opportunity for both youth and people of all ages to look at all the aspects of teamwork: effective communication, effective leadership style and a firm foundation of trust and problem solving.”
“Gesstwood is very pleased to have this facility on our sight,” said Jim Askin, the chairman of the board of directors for Gesstwood Camp.
“We couldn’t be happier to be in a position to carry on with this very important program.”
Gesstwood Camp is located on 60 acres of wooded landscape 20 km. southeast of Windsor. Any parties interested in learning more about experiential learning or booking a trip to the Ropes Course are asked to call Gesstwood Camp at 519-890-1034.