Re Posting and Sharing!

A huge thanks to Chris at

I am so impressed at the work he is doing while have a fair bit of fun.

He made a great little demo video of the helmets I made for the last blog.

I am looking forward to hearing what ideas he has for incorporating reused gear in his work!

Thanks again!

Rope IX

I am happy to have met some of you at this years Association of Challenge Course Technology. I had a good time learning and seeing what others in the industry are doing.

I am proud to have accomplished some good networking with my idea for reusing gear. I was even able to gain some new ones. I have been excited about this post from the start of this project. Without further ado....

By using two retired helmets and some expired rope you can add a lot to old activities and create whole new ones. Take two helmets place them crown to crown. Center them as well as you can while wrapping a bit of rope around where the two meet. The rope is added to the helmets to grain a greater surface area for glueing. After measuring the rope cut it and glue it in a ring in the center of the top.

A bit about glue. I really like CA (cyanoacrylate) glue. This is basically super glue. I nearly always use it with an acceleration spray. This really helps when there is only one set of hands. Set the first helm…

Rope III

How are your knots?

Keep up the practice.

Having several retired (meaning no longer used for holding humans off the ground) lengths of rope around is a great way to add props and activities to your program.

Some common ways to use rope in activities.

There are many time that a clear and defined area to play in helps the group. This may contain a group of kids or limit the area that a team operate in. Lay the rope out in the desired space and its like an instant wall. The fishermen's knot is extremely well suited for tying two ends together. Need to adjust? The fishermen's knot slides! Use one rope to tie the knot around the other. Repeat the process so the two knots will toward each other when the loose ends are pulled.

Turn Style
This is a great game to get a group to talk through brainstorming and implementing ideas. It usually follows the classic storming, forming, norming (performing) pattern. The rope is used as a large jump rope. The object is to get the team …

Rope II

Knowing knots is a great way to get a solid foundation. I recommend using your favorite way to learn. Whether it is watching someone on YouTube, or getting someone to talk you through some steps. You will want short piece of rope. About 6 feet. 72 inches, or 1.5 meters will be good. Practice till you can tie each knot with your eyes closed, with gloves on.

Some basic knots.

I like to teach in families of knots so that the learning builds on itself.

Over hand.

Double overhand or barrel knot

Fishermen's or double barrel knot

Figure eight

Figure eight follow through


Double Bowline

{Images from google}

These families all have different uses. Learning them all well, will build skills you will use in all phases of a team building day. Just a short list of uses would be climbing, joining ends together and some are crucial to finishing some group building initiatives.

You can find rope all around you even if you are new to this strange world. Rope used in securing humans at height…


If you work in the team building, challenge course, or group facilitation industries you have, had, or will have a pile of rope.

Whether you are building, beginning, in full swing, or part-time. There is rope everywhere and somewhere.

We belay with it. Accessing heights and challenging fears. Warm up with Nascar circles or Everyone up We play with it. Learning with activities like the simple Tug-o-war, to Turn style, Spaghetti soup and many more.  It makes boundaries and pathways in any shape or form. Pass the knot helps us talk and debrief. 
Rope can be the whole element. It can also be just a part of it. Sometimes it can even be used to make a whole new prop.

Rope will be a strong assistant for you for as long as you have people to teach.

Over the next few weeks I'll give out some activities and uses for rope that will help grow your programs and progressions.

Let's call it Rope Month.


Then change t…

Never too Late

I often struggle with getting rid of things.

Old clothes. Books, music, and movies. Parts and pieces.
Used up gear.

Part of this is not wanting to contribute to the ever-growing and already bloated waste stream.

Part of it is just a difficulty letting go. "What if I can use this?"

The stuff that is headed to the trash, for what ever reason,  gives me a surge of ideas. Some good. Others just a long shot at not being wasteful.

There are things that can be reused. Made into something. Different then what they were used as before their course was set and run out but still good and helpful.

There are also ideas that can be revisited. Renewed. Reimagened. Even rediscovered.

This is an effort to repurpose, recreate, reimagine, and rediscover. I want to help put "re" in the forefront of things, thoughts and processes in the challenge course and outdoor facilitation worlds.


Then change the purpose of th…