On Monday of this week all of the interns helped facilitate on the High Ropes Course for Camp Opportunity! The age group for this session was 11-13 which was the youngest group that we had worked with this summer. Not only was it a younger group but it was also a very large group. At camp opportunity each camper has one counselor, so there were a lot of people who wanted to climb around on the different elements!
We had about 74 people rotating between the three sections. I worked in the first section on an element called “Horizontal Giants Ladder,” or “Partnering for Success.” During the summer I’ve practiced on the elements and helped facilitate groups and I know from experience that no matter what your size is you, with the help of a proper team, you can belay anyone. That doesn’t mean that I still didn’t get a little nervous when one of the tiniest eleven year olds stepped up to the plate to belay for one of the counselors. The counselor just looked at me in panic, and said, “She is going to go flying!!” The counselor wasn’t entirely wrong, when you are belaying for a person quite larger than you it is not uncommon for you to be lifted off the ground. That is why we operate with a 3 person belay team so that people can anchor themselves for you.
After explaining that to the counselor she climbed up there and when it was time to come down the girl did get lifted, but she stayed in control and kept going while I held onto the rope and the back of her harness. It was awesome for the camper to see she could handle that, and for the counselor to be able to trust who was on the ground.
Camp Opportunity celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year, and this was the first time that they used the ropes course, and I felt so lucky to be a part of that experience for them. Afterwards I had counselors and campers tell me how much fun they had and how cool it was. I’m hoping that they get to continue challenging themselves on that course for many summers to come.