Project COPE (Challenging Personal Outdoor Experience) has been a favorite in Scouting at summer camps, and for troops and crews that want a little excitement when it comes to a day in the woods. However, a new form of COPE is now growing in popularity across the country.
What Is Tree To Tree?
For those who do not know what COPE is, here is a quick summary. Using leadership and trust, Scouts work through team building challenges on the ground. Following the completion of those challenges, they traverse elements high above the ground while on belay. Elements can be anything that provides a challenge when trying to get from point A to point B.
The new form of COPE goes by many names. Where I live in Oregon, the most popular one is known as Tree to Tree. The only twist Tree to Tree adds to the COPE formula is that instead of being on belay, participants clip themselves to overhead cables and carry zip line trolleys to traverse the zip line components found on each course. After receiving an orientation session on the safety gear and instruction on how to traverse the park, participants are free to self-guide themselves along the various courses.
“I did COPE at summer camp, but that was boring compared to this,” said John, a Venturer in Crew 530, which recently went on a day outing at Tree to Tree. “Now that you don’t have to be on belay when you’re on the high ropes, you can cover at lot more ground. In a few hours, I went through, like, 20 different elements.”
Older Scouts can experience adventure and fun, while also getting a little independence. However, teamwork is still a key part of Tree to Tree. The Scouts support each other throughout the course, but have the freedom to go through the elements at their own pace. The other big draw is variety. Most COPE courses only have a handful of elements such as rope courses. Tree to Tree, on the other hand, has a huge selection of elements including multiple ziplines.
“It’s more fun because everyone can be up in the air at the same time,” John added. “So no one is left stuck on the ground.”
Tree To Tree And The Summit
If you have a course in your area, Tree to Tree is great way to have some adventure close to home, and a great way to stay active as we prepare for the 2013 Jamboree. Now, while the Summit currently doesn’t have plans for a Tree to Tree-style rope course, the New River Gorge is getting a new Aerial Adventure Park not too far from where the Summit is located. Scouts will also be able to go through multiple zip lines at the action centers, with over 6 miles of zip lines planned at the Summit!