Something happens to people who are challenged to go beyond their fears to a place of trust. They walk a little taller. Laugh a little easier. They instinctively choose not to sweat the small stuff. The Ropes Course Odyssey combines engineered structures specifically designed to challenge participants with “back-to-life” training and workshops led by skilled facilitators. Want your team to experience an empowering breakthrough? Show ‘em the ROPES with our proven team building program.
We will help you identify the specific business goals and organizational values that the Ropes Course will deliver upon through our corporate team building process. This is done in a pre-program call between Odyssey Teams’ Lead Facilitator and key meeting stakeholders/organizers from your team.
At the Program:
Phase I – Introduction / Context.
Participants are given an understanding of the experiential program and how it can benefit their team. Additional topics focus on safety, the importance of support, how to enter the learning zone, and other key points that invite participation.
Phase II – Team Icebreakers / Mixers.
People are up and moving, as they wake up and include their body in the ‘game of learning’. With purpose (rather than ‘cheese’) this component enables people to start stepping out of the comfort zone in doable doses. This allows them to see some of their patterns and if any tune-ups may be worthwhile for an outstanding day.
Phase III – Experiential Assessments.
Communication/problem-solving team challenges that take place on (or near) the ground. We pull from over 20 different challenges as we design a day that will bring your values/outcomes to life.
Phase IV – Safety Protocol.
On our rope course team activity, participants are asked to be accountable for the many different safety aspects of the day. Thus, the group is instructed how to 1) put on the redundant full body harnesses on their teammates 2) belay (hold and maneuver the safety lines) their teammates 3) spot people if ropes are not required and 4) coach and verbally support their team.
Phase V – Time to climb!
It’s on to one or more of the following classics:
High V’s: With safety gear and systems in place, participants climb 20-35 feet off the ground with a partner. The pair then stands on two separate wire ropes and hold onto each other for balance. They then move farther apart (the ropes form a “V”) along the ropes. This causes the partners to rely on each other and to commit to the partnership. As the pair walks out along the ropes, they eventually fall and are immediately caught by the team’s support system. This event provides the experience of working closely in a partnership where communication and commitment are paramount.
Pole: Geared in a parachute harness and locked into two safety lines, team building participants climb a 25-foot pole and attempt to stand on the top of a small platform. The notions of choice and commitment are very present. Once standing, the person jumps for a trapeze. Whether the bar is caught or not, the person is instantly caught by the safety lines and slowly lowered safely to the ground. Participants may gain increased self-confidence and experience giving 100% effort as their team takes on the crucial coaching and supporting roles.
Flying Squirrel: The unexpected and elated faces of people when they go ‘weightless’ is priceless! This event is made possible by the effort and enthusiasm of the team as they pull and propel people to heights of their choice – with a super swing too. While typically done with individual ‘flyers,’ in some cases this can be done in tandem.
Phase Vl – Debrief and Close
Debrief: At the conclusion of each business simulation the team is given an opportunity to assess their team performance. Discussions involve the poignant insights they gained and how they relate to their work environment and personal development.
Sharing/Close: A final opportunity of the day to share and connect with key learnings and critical points (i.e.: leadership, communication, teaming, and shared successes) that were experienced during the program.
In 1987, Odyssey Founder, Bill John, and Lead Facilitator, Todd Demorest, were traveling across the USA facilitating a large scale roll-out for the nation’s largest telecom company that included 1.5 days of a ‘ropes course’ in their 5-day leadership off-site. The value and positive impact of those 1.5 days with thousands of people from diverse backgrounds were profound. In 1991, Odyssey began creating similar team bonding opportunities for their client partners and continue to do so today.
If fear is the mind killer, then the height is the great equalizer. We are not designed to be 20 feet above the ground, leaning off cliffs, perching on platforms, balancing on aircraft cables etc. and putting ourselves in (what seems to be) harm’s way. Thus, in these deliberately crafted scenarios, people are all basically beginners. They are beginners at supporting each other in ways needed to achieve the ‘impossible’. They are beginners as they feel butterflies in their stomach and/or mental and physical contractions in the midst of something new. In this place, they are coached to pause, center, choose a new thought or behavior that will get them to the other side; which usually includes ambition, confidence, team cohesion, unconditional support…and some ridiculous fun along the way.
Ropes courses (when properly facilitated) create an open dialogue with individuals and teams to see things (and each other) in a new light. All of this is anchored by a visceral emotion to the experience of which they just took part – something we like to call: The Ropes Course Odyssey.
Saratoga Springs, CA – Built in the majestic redwoods. Twenty minutes from San Jose, CA.
Paradise, CA – Built in a pine forest. Twenty minutes from Chico, CA, Odyssey’s global headquarters.
Westwood, CA – Combination of pine trees and poles on the UCLA campus.
Malibu Mountains, CA – Made of huge telephone poles, located at the beautiful Calamigos Ranch.
Other locations – Odyssey has access to other ropes courses around the country. Please inquire.
How much time does it take?
A ‘typical’ day is about 6-7 hours.
Half-day team building options are also available.
What size groups?
Minimum group size is 12 people.
Maximum group size depends upon the time allowed, the venue selected, and program design. We’ve done programs for group sizes well over 100 people many times.
What should we bring/wear?
Once your program is confirmed you’ll be sent a Welcome Packet that includes what to bring, wear, and directions. Please be prepared for being outside for an extended period of time in the weather/temps for the day of your event.
Do people ‘have to’ do everything?
While the day is designed for people to go outside their comfort zones (in a variety of ways on and off the ground), the day is also based on a foundation of choice. People get to choose their level of engagement and participation.
What is fitness level required?
We’ve had many participants with significant health challenges (blind, amputees, etc.) have marvelous experiences on our courses. However, it is ideal if you can be on your feet for a couple hours at a time and climb a flight of stairs.
What age groups?
We’ve had participants from 7 years old to 85 years young. Junior high school age and above usually works well for attention span, ability to focus on safety and support etc.
Where are your courses located?
See the previous link.