A Challenge (by Choice) Course

Here at Tawonga, we create opportunities for campers to push themselves in a safe and supportive environment. Our ethic of “challenge by choice” epitomizes the way in which we hold these varied opportunities. 


Camp supports all kids in embracing physical and emotional challenges that may help them grow and encourages campers to make their own choices regarding how and when they challenge themselves within the Camp environment. 


In circumstances where “challenge by choice” opportunities arise, campers are reminded that they can take their efforts to the edge of what they are comfortable with, knowing they never have to go any further than this edge. An important aspect of this part of Camp is that children and teens can experience a sense of safety, support and validation while exploring their own boundaries. 


At Camp Tawonga’s  challenge course (ropes course), campers can explore a “challenge by choice” mindset. Throughout the day, campers are led by trained facilitators through low (elements on the ropes course which do not require harnesses and helmets) and high elements. 


In the morning, campers learn about the ethic of “challenge by choice,” physical safety precautions, and work together as a bunk to build trust and collaborate in the challenges faced on low elements. 


In the afternoon, campers are introduced to several of the high elements and get to choose which elements to climb and how far they would like to go. Facilitators might challenge them to take one more step out of their comfort zone but ultimately the choice is theirs to make.


With the cheers and reassuring words from counselors and bunkmates below, many campers find they can push themselves beyond what they initially thought they were capable of doing. Campers feel a sense of accomplishment and empowerment no matter how far they go and some even reach the top of the element! 


The “challenge by choice” motto enables campers to explore their limits with the support of bunkmates, counselors and knowledgable course facilitators.


Check out some of our past posts to learn more about the ethic of challenge by choice in other Camp activities such as “getting gnarly” and backpacking trips.


Below, check out some photos of campers doing an amazing job challenging themselves on the challenge course and during many other Camp activities!