ropes1It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Los Hermanos balancing on a wire over three stories in the air!  On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, eleven Hermanos accepted the Fort Miley ropes course challenge.  The ropes course is a progression of challenges built in the trees using cables, ladders and ropes to increase confidence, trust, support, communication, cooperation and leadership skills through physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

As the day began, students took part in stretching exercises to prepare them for the physical activity the course entails.  Following the intense stretching activities, students took on their first challenge, The Island.  Students had to get the group from one platform (1’X1’) to another that was twenty-five feet away using only four wooden boards and without touching the ground. With what students felt was impossible, was certainly achieved with teamwork and persistence.

Next, the students rotated through challenges that had them feeling anxious, worried, and excited all at the same time!  First off, students took on the “Multi-Vine” where students climbed a thirty foot tree and walked across a steal cable over thirty feet long.  Students held on to only a suspended rope, letting go only once they grasped the next rope and continued on to end where they enjoyed a fun ride on a zip line!  The second challenge was the “Balance Beam” where students climbed a tree over twenty feet high and walked across a wooden log twenty feet in length.  This challenge had students fueled with confidence as several even did pushups as they walked across.

“This ropes course made me go out of my comfort zone, but honestly…I kind of liked it.” -Brian Miranda

The third challenge was “The Perch” where students climbed a wooden tree over 30 feet high.  As they reach the top they jumped off towards a blue buoy hanging 5-10 feet away.  The final challenge was “Double Trouble” which required two students on opposite ends of a wire 20 feet high to cross and end on opposite sides.  As this may have been the most challenging course, students had the support, encouragement, and trust to complete the challenge.

ropes2As the Ropes Course came to an end, students had smiles from ear to ear knowing they completed challenges that at times seemed impossible.  Through the course students built trust, gained confidence, and increased their leadership skills. Hector Meza stated, “This course was very challenging but I was able to do it, I’m the man, I feel like I can accomplish anything now”


Article and Photos by Alberto Santellan