Tag Archives: ropes courses


What a great time at the Christian Camp & Conference Association’s 2015 Wisconsin Sectional, hosted by Honey Rock. I had the opportunity to share a bit about challenge course risk management to a number of camping professionals.

As I creep toward 50 years of age, I still can’t believe I do what I do for a career. Besides enjoying the job for myself, I get to impart lessons learned over nearly 20 years in camping ministry. Way cool!

Even more cool? I get to experience this journey alongside some of the most awesome & unique individuals, all with passions to serve God & impact lives in eternal ways utilizing the wonders of creation.

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As one who spends the majority of his time outdoors, in weather conditions that range from summer heat indexes that exceed 100°F to winter windchills below -30°F, the gear I choose is vital. A shell jacket is a critical piece of my outdoor kit, and I think I've tried all the major brands in my 18+ years as a challenge course professional.

The winner? I keep coming back to my Outdoor Research Furio Jacket. This all-purpose shell has all the bells & whistles I need to do my job. The jacket features Gore-Tex 3 layer Pro Shell in the shoulders and other critical areas, and Gore-Tex PacLite in the rest of the body to cut down weight. Keeps you dry by itself, and layers well for when the mercury drops.

My favorite feature? The water resistant “TorsoFlo” zippered vents under the arms that extend all the way to the hem. Unmatched ventilation when you need it, plus unzipping up from the hem a bit allows access to your harness gear loops for carabiners, radio, etc. without losing the length & coverage in the front & back.

Worth every penny, this shell has a MSRP of $375, but you can usually pick up last year's model/ discontinued colors for half that.


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Incident – Artegon Marketplace (Orlando, FL)

MallI hate this!

Woke up this Christmas morning to the news that a man fell to his death on a ropes course located inside a mall in Florida. Seeing as how some form of legal action is inevitable, not to mention the investigation to determine cause is ongoing, my opinions stay in my head for now… along with all the swirling thoughts, emotions, expletives, etc.

All I will say…

(1) There are a TON of courses located across the country that people AREN’T falling off of. Courses like this particular one have been in operation for years, with throughput on some nearing 1000 participants daily! This was an exceedingly rare and unfortunate incident. Investigations will be conducted, determinations made, and hopefully will never be repeated.

(2) The impact is wide. As a ropes course professional, I can visualize the incident in much more detail than the “mom’s basement” commenters that are already spouting off their uninformed opinions on the various news sites. I feel deeply, not only for the family and friends of the victim, but also for the instructors running the course at the time, those responsible for the general operation of the course, the crew that designed & built the course, etc.

Prayers for the family of Robert Belvoir, the staff at Artegon Sky Trail, and all others changed by this tragedy.

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