Prince William Campus Showcases Challenge Course

Posted: November 24, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 24, 2009 at 8:52 am

By Rashad Mulla

A Mason staff member on the rope swing. Photo by Lori A. Wilson

A Mason staff member on the rope swing. Photo by Lori A. Wilson

Mason’s Prince William Campus hosted an open house last week to give students their first look at “The Edge,” a new outdoor learning challenge course.

The course, which spans the 1.2-mile Piedmont Trail on campus property, features three large challenges and more than 15 smaller ones. Two of the larger challenges were open for viewing during the open house.

Each of the course’s three main challenges is designed to occupy up to 60 participants at a time. The course is designed to improve teamwork, communication skills and leadership, according to Susan Johnson, manager of The Edge.

Mason students work together to climb a ladder. Photo by Lori A. Wilson

Mason students work together to climb a ladder. Photo by Lori A. Wilson

“We follow a sequence, just like in a classroom,” Johnson says. “First, there are introductory elements of the course. Then, you learn more about the topic, and at the end, you gain greater knowledge.”

During the fall season, which began in October, The Edge has served more than 1,500 clients, according to Johnson. More than 300 of those were Mason faculty, staff and students.

Though the course is closed for the winter, Johnson says she is already accepting reservations for the spring season. The grand opening will be held in March, at which time all elements of the course will be open.

Contact Sue Czarnetzky by phone at 703-993-4313 or by e-mail at teamwork@gmu.edu.

For more information, visit the course web site.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu