Campus Rec Low Ropes Course
The Low Ropes Course at Sonoma State University is one of many challenge courses in Sonoma County. A challenge course is designed to facilitate group and individual growth through a series of initiatives and elements. The idea for the SSU Low Ropes Challenge Course was first developed through a collaborative effort between the Kinesiology Department, ENSP Department, and Adventure Programs. A grant from Instructionally Related Activity Fees made this concept a reality in the summer of 2009. We offer an opportunity for groups to kick-start their relationships and set them up for success.
We design each course to meet the needs of each individual group. The activities on our course promote key skills like communication, problem solving, team building, and trust. Our goal is to bring group members closer together and prepare them to succeed both on the ropes course and back in classroom and work environments. Our programming and operations are guided by the following core values: fun and positivity, safety, personal challenge and growth, education, sustainability, community and ethical conduct.
Low Ropes FAQs
The Low Ropes Course is appropriate for a broad range of participants, including:
University academic classes, organizations, and departments
Sonoma State staff groups
Middle School and High School students
The minimum group size is 6 persons. The maximum group size is 30 persons. Larger groups work together for the first half of the course, and then are divided into groups of 12 to 15 for low elements. We welcome persons with all abilities, so please inquire about the availability of accommodations for special needs. Also, we operate using "Challenge by Choice" as our guiding principle. Participants are not forced to do something they are not comfortable doing, but are encouraged to challenge themselves.
For both on and off campus groups, please visit our rates page. There you will find our rates subject to duration and participant number.
For SSU affiliated groups, please pay special attention to our IRA funding!
Safety is emphasized from the start of the day to the conclusion of your program. Your safety is a priority for everyone on the course. Facilitators and participants both have a role in making the day successful and safe. All of our facilitators are trained in Risk Management and are CPR certified.
Every group is different, but generally, we believe that the more time spent at the Low Ropes Course, the greater the rewards are for each participant in terms of growth and group development. Most groups range from 2-4 hours, and that typically provides sufficient time to enjoy many of our activities and low elements. The minimum course time is 2 hours, and the maximum can be 8 hours with a 30 minute break. The 8 hour course includes the Climbing Wall.
To sign up for a Low Ropes Course Program, please fill out this reservation form. Once we confirm that the suggested time is available and that we have staff available, then we will send you a confirmation email. A week prior to the course, your lead facilitator will email you to discuss the needs and goals unique to your group. This is your opportunity to customize the curriculum. Our facilitators are trained to work with you and are given the knowledge needed to plan and lead a successful course.
Note: Your group will only be confirmed when and if we have staff for the date and time requested.
A great attitude! Also, closed toe shoes, a reusable water bottle, liability waivers for every member participating, and appropriate dress for the weather; we will be outside!
It would be a good idea to eat before you come to our course or bring a snack. Ropes Course activities are energy intensive and it helps to have a full tank! All groups have a short 5-10 minute break for some quality snacking time. If a group is at our course for 4+ hours, we can schedule a lunch.
We conduct our programs rain or shine! Don’t be scared…if you are dressed for it, playing in the rain is great fun. If you suspect it will rain on the day of your program, please wear a waterproof jacket (with the appropriate layers underneath if it is cold), waterproof pants if you have them, and those sturdy closed toed shoes you were already planning on wearing! In the event that it is too rainy even for us, we will work to promptly reschedule your group.
At the ropes course, we focus on developing problem solving skills, leadership skills, effective communication, trust, and teamwork. We also incorporate sustainability topics while facilitating groups. Through experiential education, we strive to help groups come together and build a community. We use the 7 steps of adventure, which include: acquaintance games, icebreakers, communication activities, problem solving activities, trust, low elements and high elements.
Our Ropes Course is located between the Rec Center and Darwin Hall. You will find our facilitators preparing for your course in the Outdoor Resource Center, directly to the left upon entering the Rec Center.