AEGON Challenge Course & Climbing Center
Through support of the AEGON Transamerica Foundation, Hawkeye Area Council was able to construct the AEGON Challenge Course and Climbing Center in 2002.
AEGON Challenge Course
C.O.P.E. is an acronym for Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience. It is comprised of a series of outdoor challenges, beginning with basic group initiative games and progressing to more complicated low-course and high-course activities. Some of these events involve a group effort, whereas others challenge the individual. Participants climb, swing, balance, jump, and rappel as well as think through solutions to a variety of challenges. Most participants find that they can do much more than they initially thought that they could. Participation at each event is entirely voluntary. The course consists of two parts, Low C.O.P.E. and High C.O.P.E.
A Project C.O.P.E. course provides an opportunity for each participant to achieve success as an individual and as a member of a team. The activities are not designed to be competitive or to be races against time. Team members cooperate to achieve goals upon which they have agreed. The course is designed to foster personal growth among both youth and adult groups. Eight major goals are associated with Project C.O.P.E. activities, communication, planning, teamwork, trust, leadership development, decision making, problem solving, and self-esteem.
This portion contains activities that can only be completed through teamwork. The low course activities are designed around an imaginary scenario and may include certain handicaps or setbacks that help teach the importance of acceptance, patience, and dedication in challenging situations. The course also promotes teams and individuals to look at problems from many perspectives. Low C.O.P.E. helps build leadership, trust and self-confidence.
Once the low course is completed, team members graduate to the challenging and exciting High C.O.P.E. The high course is designed to enhance the individual, especially in the areas of self-confidence and self-actualization. The activities of the high course take place on specially designed and built structures, and include the Burma Bridge, Balance Beam, Two Wire Traverse, Multi Line, Skywalk, HeeBee GeeBee, Vertical Playground, Cargo Net, Centipede, Giant's Ladder, Rappelling Wall, Confidence Pole and our 300' zip Line.
The 50 foot tall climbing center ‘Altitude with Attitude’ was opened in June 2002 and provides the premier climbing experience within Eastern Iowa. Over 10 different climbing experiences are combined into the Climbing Center providing enough challenges for all experience and age levels from the beginning climber to the advanced rock master.
Safety is always first priority on all of the AEGON Challenge Courses and Climbing Center activities. Strict standards are in place so that the experience will be both safe and successful. The facilities are inspected at least twice annually by trained inspectors, once by a regional inspection team and once by a council inspection team. It is also regularly inspected by an Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) certified company that builds high courses. All ropes and equipment are inspected regularly and meet Boy Scout and ACCT standards.
Course personnel are trained through a week-long training at a Boy Scout National Camping School. Whenever the courses are in operation, currently certified Hawkeye Area Council personnel must be on site.