REACH Challenge Course Programming
Admission & Referrals 518.429.2397
Year-round challenge course programming and group activities to help strengthen and build camaraderie is available to corporate and community groups, clients, and families. Directed by certified trained professionals, the indoor and outdoor courses (ropes course) offer low and high element challenges and group activities that help build trust, comfort, and cooperation among participants.
The REACH course is designed to model an internationally recognized program and involves a series of physically and emotionally challenging activities, which teach participants to work together and realize their own potential. Working together, group success is achieved through problem solving, communication, and goal setting.
REACH will help newly formed teams develop group cohesion and trust, and encourage complacent groups to "think outside the box."
REACH is available to any organization.
REACH provides an opportunity for community, youth, sport, religious, and college groups to recognize their own strengths. It enables teams to discover individual and group resources, fostering strength for greater community impact.
REACH offers businesses a progressive opportunity in human resource development. Management teams, executive groups, and marketing representatives can take on challenges that foster group cohesion, teamwork, and individual empowerment. The course can provide the impetus for improved customer relations, increased productivity, and better teamwork.
As an educational tool, REACH offers an experiential approach to teaching and learning. The course becomes the classroom and the students "learn by doing." The program focuses on leadership, peer pressure, group cohesion, and team building. REACH can be utilized by sports teams, student council, after-school, special education, and at-risk youth groups. Each REACH session is specifically sequenced for the goals and focus of that group.
Utilizing the initiatives and elements of the course, REACH offers a unique opportunity for treatment and self-discovery. The course becomes a metaphor for situations in the participant's life. The issues brought to treatment become tangible experiences which evoke emotions and behaviors. Through the support of the group and the guidance of the facilitator, an individual can begin to recognize his/her own resources, discover the ability to make choices, and begin to trust others and take risks.
Any size group welcome
On-site catering available
Portable packages for programming at your site
Evening and weekend programming
Programming tailored to specific ages and abilities
Each step of the journey is specifically designed to bring about positive change.
Breaking the Ice
Individual and group goals are established while safety is discussed. Simple "on the ground" activities such as creative tag games are played that help to decrease inhibitions and encourage interaction.
Interpersonal ties begin to develop and individual roles are established within the group. Games requiring problem solving and communications are presented, and the support from each team member is required to complete the task.
As tasks become more challenging, trust among all team members is essential to the team's success. During this stage, the team begins "off ground" activities that require individuals to put their safety in the hands of the team.
Reaching the Top
The team is functioning as a strong support mechanism and the "off ground" experiences become more challenging. This requires multiple individuals on high elements while the remainder of the team supports them from the ground.
Driving it Home
The group's ability to embark on and accomplish challenging tasks is reviewed and transferred to school, work, or treatment circumstances.
What if I am afraid of heights?
Participation in REACH is each person's choice. Individuals will never be forced to participate in any element with which they feel uncomfortable.
How can you assure my safety on high elements?
Climbers on the high elements wear a harness similar to those used by rock climbers. A "belay" rope is attached to the harness that runs the height of the element and descends through a pulley system to an individual belay or a group of people called the belay team. Both emotional and physical safety are the highest priorities.
Do I need to be in great physical condition?
REACH is available to most individuals regardless of physical condition. The program is designed with a group focus that enables all participants to be involved in some aspect of the experience. Each participant completes a health form, which is reviewed by REACH staff prior to participation.
What do I wear?
Because REACH is an opportunity to challenge oneself, we believe in accepting the challenge offered by the elements. Therefore, we ask groups to come prepared for Albany's wide variety of weather conditions. When weather does become a safety concern, the facilitator will notify the group to reschedule. In addition, we ask all participants to wear appropriate footwear, such as sneakers or hiking boots. Open-toe shoes are not allowed on the course due to the physical activities involved.
Safety-environmental, physical, personal, and emotional-is a primary concern of REACH. The state-of-the-art course is built to exceed safety requirements set by professionals.
All REACH staff are expertly trained facilitators. Each has a strong background in group facilitation.
All ropes, poles, cables, and hardware are of the highest quality and are inspected by our staff and external professionals on a regular basis.
Parsons’ REACH program is a Level One Member of the Association for Challenge Course Technology www.acctinfo.org, and is inspected by High 5 Adventure Learning Center www.high5adventure.org. For more information about the REACH program call 518.429.2397 or e-mail REACH@parsonscenter.org.
Proceeds from REACH programs provides Therapeutic Recreation services such as sports, expressive arts and wilderness experiences to the youth served by Parsons Child and Family Center.