Challenge Course FAQs
Challenge Course Programming at WVU is open to everyone! Although the programming exists primarily to further the educational mission of WVU, all groups are welcome to participate! The programming offered through the challenge course is always educationally and developmentally focused and team oriented. As a result, any group that can identify educational and/or developmental goals for their time on the challenge course is a perfect fit! The minimum size for a group coming to the Challenge Course is 10 participants. If your group is less than 10, you can still participate but will be required to pay for all 10 spots. There is no maximum size for groups coming to the course. We will work with you to create an learning experience that meets your goals. This often involves creating smaller groups for some activities.
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The length of programming varies depending on several factors:
- Goals of your group- Increasingly complex goals require more programming time, and/or multiple programs
- Type of activities- High elements take more time because increased skills to learn and additional safety factors to consider. Groups wanting to include high elements in their programming should assume that it will take a full half day to complete with an average sized group. (a half day is typically around 4 hours and an average group size is 20-30 participants)
- Size of your Group- Groups larger than 30 participants require additional time and flexibility. We have worked with groups up to 80+ participants on low elements in the time frame of a half day. If that group wished to do both high and low elements, a full day at the minimum would be required.
Ultimately, the length of programming is arrived at after looking at these factors and of course, outside time constraints. We will work with you to arrange the most effective programming!
Relax! This isn’t boot camp! The philosophy behind the inclusion of risk in education has nothing to do with forcing participants into uncomfortable situations. A great educator once said, “Nothing has ever been learned without a risk being involved.” Notice he didn’t say anything about learning requiring a terrifying experience.
The way we approach learning involves empowering participants to step outside of their comfort zone in order to stretch themselves and allow new learning to permeate. Since everyone has a different comfort zone, the best person to make choices about healthy levels of risk taking is YOU!
The bottom line is, challenge course experiences are designed for everyone, no previous experience required and no dare-devil affinity for heights necessary!
Groups often ask, “What if some of our participants don’t want to do the high elements?” To which we point out, “You don’t have to go up on a high element to participate in it!”
Many of us go through our days and weeks in a routine. Routines are useful in that they can help us maximize our time and reduce confusion and uncertainties. One unfortunate side effect of our routines are that they can stifle creativity, excitement, and learning. Routines can have the effect of holding us back from learning and accomplishing new things.
Challenge Course programming is designed to help you step out of your comfort zones! The group oriented problem solving based experiences create opportunities to push up against your limits (and the limits of your group) in the areas of interpersonal and intrapersonal interactions. It is in the stretching of these limits that growth happens. As participants go back to their daily routine or begin new endeavors, the learning and experiences encountered on the course serve as a catalyst for changed behaviors and broadened perspectives.
Challenge Course programming has a very strong safety record. A 20 year safety study conducted on challenge course programming confirmed that the overall accidental injury rate in the field is very low. That study identified an injury rate of 4.33 per million hours of program exposure. While that may not mean much to you, it may be helpful if compared to some sports you may be more familiar with. For example, Downhill skiing had an accident rate of 724 injuries per million hours of program exposure and soccer had 4500 injuries per million hours of program exposure. As you can see, participating in challenge course programming caries a very reasonable risk level.
Challenge Course programming is open to WVU students, faculty, and staff as well as the larger community. Past groups have included:
- Academic Courses
- Leadership Groups
- Undergrad and Graduate Programs
- Student Clubs/Organizations
- Special Programs
- Universal Programs
- Public/Private Schools
Our goal is to create high quality effective programming. Our needs assessment process is the tool that we use to tailor each experience to meet the needs of your group and provide a potentially ground breaking program.
Canopy Tour FAQs
Canopy Tour Programming at WVU is open to everyone! The canopy tour experience is always educationally focused and incorporates an environmental education curriculum. There are a few guidelines that you should be aware of if you plan to participate!
The price of participation for the canopy is as follows:
Current WVU students: $30
Current WVU faculty/staff: $30
General Public: $55
*Prices above do not include tax*
The length of the program is approximately 2.5-3 hours. This includes everything from a brief introduction and gear up with harness/helmet, the tour and return hike and shedding of equipment. You can expect to spend over an hour in the trees! Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to be ready to start on time.
The Canopy Tour is located in the University Research Forest (off of the Coopers Rock Exit on Rt. 68). It takes approximately 30 minutes to get to the canopy tour from downtown Morgantown. Participants may need to leave extra travel time to allow for heavier traffic. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time. Once registered, participants will receive specific driving directions and instructions on where to meet the canopy tour guides. You can also get directions to the Outdoor Education Center HERE.
While participants should be willing to experience heights, it is important to note that this activity isn’t designed only for the elite, adrenaline junkie. The design of the course allows participants to ease into the experience while building their confidence and skills. Because of this, many participants who are typically afraid of heights enjoy the canopy tour. The tour ends with a 45’ Rappel from our last platform to the ground. Often participants who are uncomfortable with heights find this to be the most challenging aspect of the experience.
It is also worth noting that the canopy tour is as much about learning and experiencing the forest from a unique perspective as it is about the thrill of riding a zipline. The canopy tour is designed around this balance, and as such it should appeal to those with less of an appetite for “extreme”.
The Canopy Tour is a fun, educational and unique experience available to the WVU community. Canopy Tours have been growing rapidly throughout the US over the past several years. Their popularity has much to do with the fun and exciting nature of the tour combined with the relatively low physical requirements of participation. Additionally, the Adventure WV canopy tour gives participants a unique look at the forest in which it is located. Participants will learn about the WVU Research Forest, Forest Management and Wildlife.
Canopy Tour programming has a very strong safety record. It is closely related to the challenge course industry and adheres to the same standards. A 20 year safety study conducted on challenge course programming confirmed that the overall accidental injury rate in the field is very low. That study identified an injury rate of 4.33 per million hours of program exposure. While that may not mean much to you, it may be helpful if compared to some sports you may be more familiar with. For example, Downhill skiing had an accident rate of 724 injuries per million hours of program exposure and soccer had 4500 injuries per million hours of program exposure. As you can see, participating in these activities caries a very reasonable level of risk.
Participants should wear comfortable, athletic clothing while participating in the challenge course (no dresses or skirts). It is important to dress for the weather as the tour will operate rain or shine! This may include rain jackets, warm layers and warm footwear. Please note that due to the elevation and exposure, temperatures tend to be 5º to 10º cooler than low lying areas such as Morgantown. Securly fashioned, closed toed footwear is required for participation in the course.
The WVU Canopy Tour is an outdoor classroom which operates in a wide variety of safe weather. Dangerous weather during the scheduled program allows for rescheduling or cancelation without accruing a fee. Dangerous weather includes electrical storms, extreme temps, high winds, etc. This will be determined by the facilitator.
For the most up to date and accurate weather follow the Coopers Rock Weather Station on Weather Underground.
- If you need to make changes to your reservation, please contact the WVU Canopy Tour office as soon as possible at (304) 293-5221.
- Cancellations made less than 5 business days prior to the program date are subject to a cancellation fee. This fee will reflect up to 25% of the program agreement fee and is determined by the Program Manager. Normal business days are Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM.
- Cancellations made by the Organization and/or the Program Contact within 48 hours of the established program date are subject to pay the entire portion of the program agreement. This fee is determined by the Program Manager.
- Cancellations due to weather or other extenuating circumstances (as determined by the Program Manager) may reschedule.