The Pine Lake Challenge Course & Adventure Programming serves as a catalyst to fostering positive growth for groups of individuals or teammates from schools, private agencies and community organizations through creative experiential and adventure-based learning opportunities facilitated by trained and seasoned professionals.
The Pine Lake Challenge Course, located in Bristol, is nestled in a small wooded area of a public park within this urban community. The course consists of more than 45 different elements or stations constructed with a series of ropes, cables, and obstacles in a grove of trees and an abutting playing field. The Pine Lake Challenge Course is a professional facility built by Project Adventure, Inc. The Challenge Course and its facilities span over forty acres.
The Challenge Course elements are designed to create certain challenges for a group and for individuals with the support of a group. The elements and stations can be adapted for comparable adventure based experiences for individuals with physical disabilities. Some elements are designed to test teamwork, communication skills, creativity and the degree of cooperation within the group.
Other challenges are intended to challenge an individual’s sense of balance, agility, trust, perseverance, and leadership. In addition, adventure programs which involve games, initiatives, and portable elements may be delivered to a group at an off-site location. All activities are facilitated by professionally trained staff who utilize special skills and techniques to make the experience safe, meaningful, and exciting.
The challenges that each participant takes on are always by choice. Participants are encouraged to make periodic self-assessments to evaluate their progress toward their chosen goals. Instructors and peers offer feedback and support to encourage the participants to sustain their growth process and work up to their potential. For those who accept the challenge, adventure-based programs provide an exciting and worthwhile experience for all participants, whether they are 9 years old or 69.
There are five basic program areas or strands for incorporating adventure-based experiences:
- Community Development
- Therapeutic or Counseling
- Professional Development & Executive or Corporate Reach
- Physical Education/Recreation
The underlying philosophy remains consistent within each program strand; however, each program is individually tailored to emphasize a specific focus.
The Pine Lake Challenge Course was created as a result of community development efforts of the Bristol Community Leadership Team involving schools, youth service bureaus, youth recreational organizations, and public and private non-profit agencies. Construction was made possible through funding received from the Connecticut State Department of Education and donations from businesses and private citizens for the primary purpose of providing cooperative interdistrict educational programs to improve students’ academic performance and to allow for quality multicultural experiences.