BlogPaying It Forward In A New Direction — Up

Posted on December 12, 2011 by

What Is Patrol Z?Though Scouting isn’t all about tying knots, for Shawn Killian, a correctly tied knot can mean the difference between fun and accident.

Killian, 24, is the Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) chairman for the South Texas Council. What does his job entail? An addiction for action, thirst for adventure and talent for teaching teamwork. Oh, and lots of trust, too.

COPE is a program developed by the Boy Scouts of America as a high-adventure activity for older youth that builds on the values of teamwork, communication, trust, leadership, decision making, problem solving and self esteem. Sounds like a typical leadership class, right? Did we mention that it takes place on a custom-built ropes course involving zip lines, climbing and rappelling towers and much more? The course builds on the seven values by applying it in real-time scenarios on the course. In other words, daily activities include flying, jumping and of course, screaming.

COPE Course

COPE is a program developed by the Boy Scouts of America as a high adventure activity for older youth that builds on the values of teamwork, communication, trust, leadership, decision making, problem solving and self esteem. (Photo by Scouting.org)

According to Killian, COPE has helped him develop a better sense of moral values and ethical standards. He also feels that COPE is one of the mediums the BSA is using to instill its timeless morals in new and relevant ways.

“To stay relevant in America today, Scouting has gotten more hardcore,” said Killian. “They don’t offer the same programs that they did 100 years ago. New programs like COPE spread Scouting’s epic message in modern ways, and I know that I can attest to its success.”

And though Killian’s journey as a youth in Scouting is over, he’s making every effort to pay it forward.

“Every time I bring a new group out to the course, I hope that each of them will take the values that they learn, live them and share them. It’s those small values that will change the world,” Killian ended.

 Have you tied a COPE Course before? If so, tell us where in the comments below!