Leap of faith more than just conquering fears

DDHS senior Cody Chelminiak demonstrates the leap of faith.

DDHS senior Cody Chelminiak demonstrates the leap of faith.

The District’s new high ropes challenge course has been teaching students more than just getting over a fear of heights or falling.

The challenge course about connecting lessons learned on the course to the challenges faced in everyday life.

One activity that proves this most is called the “leap of faith.”

In it, participants climb a 32-foot telephone pole and stands on the 8-inch wide top before leaping off to touch a dangling cowbell feet away. Participants are attached to belay ropes with two belay teams standing below.

This activity — like many on the challenge course — is designed to build trust with peers and overcome personal challenges.

“Students who have used the course really come together and support each other during this challenge,” DDHS physical education teacher and adventure education program director Ben Herland said. “It is great to see positive encouragement and students overcoming their fears.”

The greater purpose of the leap of faith is to understand intelligent risk taking. Students debrief after the activity and discuss what makes the leap an intelligent risk or a non-intelligent risk. They apply those factors to real life situations that deal with such issues as family, peers, drinking, drug abuse, and other high-risk situations.

There are multiple other stations on the challenge course, including zip lining, a climbing wall, rope ladder, high wire walk, giant swing and more. Students use them all to build confidence in themselves, develop teamwork skills and connect personal challenges on the course to personal challenges in life.


Open for others

The challenge course is also open for non-school users and groups, too.

For information on rent ing the course or the 10-station indoor rock-climbing wall, contact Adventure Program Director Ben Herland at bherland@ddschools.org.

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324 Beloit St. Delavan, WI 53115 www.ddschools.org
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