Does a ropes guy ever stop being a ropes guy?

I feel like the most negligent blog owner, with ove a year since my last post. Since then, I’ve run a successful summer at camp, welcomed a new class of interns, served thousands of participants through a busy fall…

… and stopped being a ropes guy!
After 20 years wearing a harness professionally, I was asked by camp leadership to assume the role of Director of Operations. 
Don’t get me wrong, it’s an honor to be chosen for this role, and it’s stretching me in new ways. After taking people out of their comfort zones for two decades, it’s gotta be good for me, too. Right?
One of my biggest challenges is keeping myself from volunteering for too many spots where they need extra help at the zip line! 🙂

A long time coming…

Hi all, apologies for not checking in for some time. It all started when the developer of the iOS blogging app “Blogsy” stopped supporting their product. Flexible, easy to use, Blogsy, you will be missed 😦
 
So, I’m trying out a couple other apps to get back in the blogging game, we’ll see how it goes…

Where has the summer gone?

It’s July already? This pic was taken a few weeks ago while conducting rescue training with my new summer staff. I just can’t believe this was only a month ago and we’re almost halfway through our youth camp season. Staff are doing great, settling into their own – hey, they look like ropes course instructors!

Here’s to a great second half of youth camp, and successful recruitment of our 2016-17 intern class… I can’t believe I’m already thinking about fall 🙂

Utah Zip Tour Fatality – Some Thoughts

I’ve not commented on incidents that have occurred over the past several months for the sole purpose of not having my blog seem focused on such negative aspects of our industry. I’ve been following developments concerning a fatality on May 20th on a zip tour at a resort in Utah.

As an ropes challenge course director, my brain immediately starts picking apart incidents like this – what happend, what got missed, what failed, who screwed up, etc.
In this particular case, a woman suffered severe injuries while riding the zip line, ultimately dying of those injuries. Subsequent reports indicate she apparently struck a tree top that had broken off and was laying on the line she was riding. A High Wind Warning had been issued that day for the area, with 30-40mph sustained winds & gusts to 60mph.

With a lawsuit almost certain in this case, I have to keep my incident analysis to myself, but my list of “whys”is pretty long.

Please folks, be safe!

Summer begins in 3,2,1…

What a whirlwind the last several months have been! We moved our office to camp’s Science Education Center, I got to hire a full-time assistant, my department is now responsible for camp’s aquatics programs… We made it through a busy and challenging spring school outdoor education season… and summer staff training begins in a couple days.

More posts to follow, I promise!
 

I’m back!

This is a long overdue post, but it has been a crazy fall season. This past week had me on the road – first stop was a trainer certification workshop thru the Professional Ropes Course Association, immediately followed by a few days at Scioto Hills Camp, where I presented challenge course-related workshops for the National Association of Regular Baptist Camps conference being held there. A great road trip, connecting with old friends, meeting new ones, and talking ropes. Doesn't get much better… but it is beaten by getting back home to my family. 🙂

 

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Zipline Repair

Always fun to take a break from administrative tasks for a little rope access. Had to replace a hydraulic valve on one of our ziplines.
 
 

 

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It Begins…

Tomorrow marks the start of our fall outdoor education program. Thousands of school students will visit our grounds over the next 8 weeks, riding the zipline, trying the climbing tower, problem-solving on our low ropes courses. Here's to a safe & enjoyable season!

 

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The day I didn’t want to be a Ropes Guy

This morning, while vacationing with my family in Tennessee, a 35yr old employee at Wahoo Zipline fell 50'.

What the *#@*#)! is happening to our industry in the United States? It seems every few weeks someone falls somewhere… employee headers off a platform, girl drops 100' from a Giant Swing she wasn't even clipped into, etc.

An industry that once boasted safety records “safer than selling insurance” is now a regular news item.

I'm tired of the ever-increasing body count.

[end of rant]

 

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Adventure Park Death

Another injury resulting in death this week on an aerial adventure park that opened 5 DAYS before the date of the incident. Opinions kept to myself as there will most probably be legal actions brought.

 

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