Office of Student Leadership Development

Ropes Course Activity Descriptions


Bosun Chairs/Swings

Bosun Chairs/Swings

This element puts a fun and physically challenging spin on teamwork and communication. It consists of 6 bosun chairs/swings approximately 10” off the ground. Teams must traverse the swings in a variety of ways, determined by the facilitators. This element focuses on teamwork, communication, and problem solving.






Swinging Log

Swinging Log

This element consists of a swinging log suspended between two trees anchored approximated 10” above the ground. It is a good element to incorporate the concepts of group support and teamwork. In terms of physical challenge, it is very difficult for one person to do alone but with the help of partners this element becomes much easier.



Horizontal and Vertical Spider Web

Horizontal and Vertical Spider Web

Made from a webbing of ropes, the spider web elements engage teams with the task of navigating through the web, facing various challenges along the way. This element emphasizes the need for strategic planning, commitment to a team goal, and communication.






Cable Walk

Cable Walk

This element requires participants to work together in balancing their way across several low-lying cable segments, facing various challenges along the way. In addition to testing your balance, this element emphasizes partnership, diligence, and communication.







Initiative Wall

Initiative Wall

This is perhaps the most well-known element of a low ropes course. Teams are challenged with the ultimate obstacle to their path, the wall. Groups must work together to get all members over the wall, facing various obstacles along the way. This element emphasizes teamwork, overcoming challenges, and positive reinforcement.






Commitment Bridge

Commitment Bridge

This element is comprised of two low-lying wires that form a "V." The members of the group form two-person partnerships which then face the challenge of moving along the widening wires, supporting each other as they proceed as far as possible. This element emphasizes trust, commitment, and friendly competition.






All-Aboard

All-Aboard

This fun, opening element asks that all members of the group board a platform of limited size at the same time. This element emphasizes teamwork, support, communication, and innovative thinking.






Port Hole

Port Hole

This element challenges a group to have each member of the group pass through a raised porthole. This element emphasizes teamwork, communication, and commitment to a team goal.







TP Shuffle

Team Beam

This element asks participants to balance upon a beam while they rearrange in a specified order. This element emphasizes communication and innovative thinking.






Nitro Crossing

Nitro Crossing

This element builds upon the cable walk by adding the aid of a swing rope. Groups must first face the challenge of retrieving the rope and then crossing the "hazard." This element emphasizes flexibility and innovative thinking.








Alligator Crossing

Alligator Crossing

This element offers the group two bars to use in traveling from platform to platform across the "alligator pit." This element emphasizes innovative thinking, teamwork, communication, and determination.







Whale Watch

whale watch

This element asks all members of the group to board a large platform and balance it. This element focuses on the benefits of working as a team, the need for communication, and adherence to the plan.