Christian Brothers Academy seventh graders took their classroom to the Syracuse University campus recently as they participated in a team building field trip to the brand new outdoor challenge course.

CBA was the first non-SU group to partake in the activities on the ‘Cuse Challenge Course, which is located on South Campus and opened in September.

“We always do a fall field trip which focuses on community building, teamwork, communication, friendship and personal growth,” said Kathleen Hanson, Assistant Principal for the Junior High. “As soon as we heard about the challenge course at SU, we wanted to try it out. The students really had a good time.”

Three towers are featured on the course and groups can enter through the “giant hammock” cargo nets. Upon entering the towers, participants journey to either the first or second level of the challenge course, and complete the various tasks associated with each level.

Two additional highlights to the course elements are the dual zip line and triple leap of faith. The dual zip line enables two participants the opportunity to zip off the tower, either as a single event, or as a means of exiting the course after completing the elements. The triple leap of faith allows up to three people at a time to climb to the top of the 25-foot pole and leap toward a target, which is a testament for someone to step outside their comfort zone and confront their fears.

The seventh graders experienced a variety of teambuilding and self-discovery initiatives on the course. The staff accomplished this by facilitating activities where students had to work together to achieve a common goal.

“Experiential learning trains students to work together more effectively,” added Hanson. “Experiential learning also increases test scores and improves students behavior.”

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Bella Timmons, Samantha Brown, Analiese Deroberts, Mari Saya, Elana Finn and Alec Heitmann prepare for the ropes challenge course.

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Chris Bushnell, Alex Munger, Dean Vlassis, Olivia Burke, Alyssa Nicita, Jared Mitchell, Hunter Burton and Jake Poindexter get ready for the high ropes course challenge.