COPE stands for Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience. It
comprises group initiative games,
low course (12 feet and under), and
high course activities (about 30 feet
high). Some of the activities
involve a group challenge while others test individual skills and
agility. Participants climb, jump, balance, swing, and find many
solutions to a variety of activities. Group activities are ideal for
emphasizing the patrol method and developing leadership skills. The
activities are not designed to be competitive or to be a race
against time. More important goals such as leadership, trust,
teamwork, self-esteem, problem solving, communication, and decision
making are emphasized.
Adventure programs of any kind have a greater purpose than just
having fun. They are designed to present a quality educational
experience for every individual within a group. There are seven
major goals/objectives that are commonly associated with the
adventure program known as Project COPE. These goals/objectives are
listed below with a brief description:
Leadership is sometimes appointed, elected, or just naturally given
and assumed. Leadership can be exhibited by loud commands, softly
spoken suggestions, shared participation, or no actions at all. A
COPE Course provides numerous opportunities for leadership to be
displayed and challenged. Learning the skills of leadership is one
of the anticipated outcomes of Project COPE.
Problem Solving is done by the group and individual participants at
each element. The group or individual then has the opportunity to
test its solutions and evaluate the results.
Communication is important to any group attempting to accomplish a
difficult task. A tremendous amount of communication is exhibited in
many ways on a COPE Course.
Self-Esteem is developed by successfully accomplishing a task as set
forth by the instructor. This happens both on an individual and team
Trust in the instructors, the safety of the course, each other, and
themselves must be developed to successfully solve difficult tasks.
Trust will be challenged many times while during a COPE experience.
Decision Making requires the group to develop a solution, think
through the probable results, and evaluate the results in terms of
the resources available and required. Several possible solutions can
be evaluated until the decision is made as to which is the best
Teamwork is the key to everything on a COPE Course. By using
teamwork the group achieves a successful (and sometime unsuccessful)
conclusion to a variety of problems. During the period in which a
group is on the course, it will become abundantly clear that no
individual can "do it" alone, it requires a complete group effort.