Troop 868 in Action
(April 3~6, 2011)
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Since the last time we had been there, Wildwater had installed what they called a "canopy zip-line course."  This was a series of towers and trees with steel cables strung between them.  Participants are hoisted to the top of the first tower with an electric wench.  From that point, they zip-line from tower to tower.  Each tower is just a few feet shorter than the previous one, so gravity does the work and the slope is such that braking is easily accomplished by grabbing the cable with a gloved hand.  Like rafting, this a paid activity conducted under the supervision of trained "rangers" and takes about 3 hours to complete the course.  This is how we spent the afternoon and it was a great deal of fun.  Even a couple of folks in our group who had a fear of heights participated and had a good time.

Before being hoisted up to the first tower, everyone went through "Ground School" where they learned about safety and got to practice slide on a line that was only a few feet off the ground. Mr. Jacobs, Dylan, Nicholas, Mr. Hagerman, and Preston all paid close attention.
Mr. Hagerman's first ride was his hardest.  He was among those who had a fear of heights that he had to force himself to overcome.  Everything in Scouting is "challenge by choice." To keep it interesting, a couple of the platforms were connected by short sky bridges rather than zip-lines.  Participants were still tethered while crossing.  Preston navigates one such bridge.
Of course, most of the boys were fearless and made it look just as easy and as fun as it really was. We can pick out Kraig, Gabe, Chase, Spencer, Nicholas, and Toby gathered on this platform.
The rangers divided us into two different groups.  The first group started out on the "High Ropes Challenge" part of the course. The second group, which included all of the leaders and moved a bit slower, only got to do the zip-lining section, but that was fine.
The final zip was to a low platform on the other side of a small lake; and there were two lines so that participants could race. Gotta remember to pick those feet up, Mr. Hagerman!
Toby made it look easy. Spencer seemed to be having fun, too!

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