Playing in the Trees

Students hanging out in the trees

Students hanging out in the trees

Mid-October finds me longing for trees decked out in Autumn splendor. Here in Northern California, as the nights get cooler and the day time temps hover in the upper 70s, the leaves have a couple more weeks to go before we see significant color changes.

For now, as I post for Sunday Trees hosted by Becca at “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea,”  I will have to settle for some photos of leisure and play time in the trees.

Last weekend, I had arranged for one of my recreation classes to participate in the campus Peak Adventures Ropes course. Facing their fears, they embraced their opportunity to climb up trees over 40 feet in the air to a platform, rope or pole from which to execute the challenge.

In spite of them being harnessed in and belayed by professional staff, students reported the lasting affects of the adrenaline rush of walking across a wobbly rope while looking down on fellow well-wishers.

Student scales a tree showing perspective

And…she jumps!

Student takes the "leap of faith" 40 feet in the air at the Peak Adventures Challenge Ropes Course in Sacramento.

I can’t wait to read their reaction papers!

I am also including these for the Weekly Photo Challenge Scale! Please feel free to participate in these photo challenges!

What did you do this weekend?

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Are Challenges Beneath You?

Experiential Education allows students to attempt challenges and face their fears.

Experiential Education allows students to attempt challenges and face their fears.

Teaching at a university certainly gives me interesting perspectives. Recently, as part of one of my classes in the recreation and parks major, we got to spend the day team-building and climbing. On our university campus, Peak Adventures Challenge Center offers a high-ropes course, open to students, staff and the public.

Students are required to take part in this day-long challenge as part of a writing assignment on motivation and adventure. In the above photo, I captured three students climbing on three different apparatuses.

One student wrote in her paper:

Students close-up of 40-feet high tightrope shows determination and motivation.

“Climbing up the pole was the hardest part of the journey. What makes this challenge so special to me is I can relate the tightrope challenge to my life. I would have never attempted this on my own, so why go now? Well, it was part of my grade. You would think that would be motivation enough, but no. My motivation was about my future and my career. How can I move forward and advance if I refuse to try new things?”

She got an A on this paper.

Speaking of perspectives, here is what she looked like on the tightrope from underneath looking up. The platform with the sign is 12 feet above my head.

Student crosses the highwire at the Peak Adventures Challenge Course

Just a mere 40-feet in the air. No. Big. Deal.

Because my knee injury still prevents me from putting weight on the knee during a climb, I spent the afternoon UNDER the ropes taking photos.

Hugh's weekly photo challengeThese photos are submitted for Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Under. Feel free to join any time!