September 14, 2013

A Real (ACCT Certified) Ropes Course

Students were hanging on for dear life as they completed the first obstacle of the ropes course. Good thing they quickly settled down because there were eight more obstacles before the end.

Every fall, the school takes all high school students (and middle school students, just not at the same time) on a three day fall camp. The camp builds unity and community among the student body at the beginning of the year. With so many students coming and going, it’s great to get away from the books, hang out with students, and learn the new names.

This year we traveled to a ropes course. Amazing!

Getting there was a rush. Literally. With so much traffic on the way to the train station, we almost missed our train leaving Shenyang. Nothing like running 60 students through the train station hoping they would hold the train for us. They held it, and we held it together making just in the nick of time. Coming back you'd think we'd learn from past mistakes but we almost missed the train again. The second time was not because of traffic (we were a good two hours early) but instead we lost one train ticket and had to scramble to purchase a new one. (FYI, we found the missing ticket on the floor as we rushed to board.)

As for the ropes course, it was a real western style high ropes challenge course. Students first crossed a high wire with only a few rope holds, moved across a swinging bridge, stepped across swings, another rope bridge, balanced across a telephone pole, and finally a DNA bridge (think twisted, spiral bridge, by far the most difficult). Amazingly all but one student completed the whole course.

At other times, students played hillbilly golf, soccer, Frisbee, and found a pet hedgehog. We wanted to take the hedgehog home but didn't know if it'd be allowed on the train. If there's a limit of "less than 20 newborn poultries"1 on a train, surely we could have brought home one hedgehog. They're about the same size, right? We didn't test our theory.

Even if the hedgehog had to stay behind, we all carried memories of fall camp 2013 back to Shenyang. My hope for each student is that from this experience we can build a great 2013-2014 school year.

1 "China Train Baggage Allowance and Transportation." Travel China Guide. Retrieved from

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