Let’s flash back to an evening last summer when my Guides did a high ropes course. As you can see from the picture, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.
We went to a place about 10 miles away that we’ve used before, both for unit meetings and on a county camp that took place nearby. We invited the Rangers and the other Guide unit in our district to join us, both because we like them and because we needed a minimum number of girls to be able to do it!
It’s not Go Ape, but it’s pretty similar. Everyone gets harnessed up, we do a short practice course low down, then we go round a high course. If there’s time, there are 3 high courses in total. If there’s even more time, the girls can do a “leap of faith”, where they climb to the top of a telegraph pole, attach themselves to a rope, jump off and freefall for a few metres before the rope pulls them up. I greatly admire the girls who do it. I generally try to be brave and have a “go for it” attitude, but I don’t think I’d manage to leap.
The main things I remembered from last time were:
- It takes longer than you think for everyone to get going, so you can’t start too early
- If you don’t use bug spray you’ll be eaten alive
I went round near the back of the group with some of our younger Guides. We didn’t have time to do all the courses, but they enjoyed what they did. I enjoyed seeing them encouraging each other, and especially seeing one of our very newest and shyest Guides opening up a bit.
It’d be lovely to get round the whole thing one day. I suspect that day will only come if I do it in a group of adults!
Speaking to the older girls afterwards, it was good to hear that those who had done it before managed to do it more easily/quickly/confidently a few years later. Equally, at our meeting the week before I’d asked another older Guide if she’d be coming again and she said no, she’d tried it last time and decided that high ropes were not for her. Which I think is fair enough – it’s an example of how guiding helps us to learn about ourselves, know our own minds and what we do and don’t like, and have the confidence to assert that.