Soderquist Center ropes course gets facelift

The Soderquist Center is rebuilding a portion of BaseCamp, the ropes course just on the edge of campus.

BaseCamp has at least 12 initiatives, or courses, six of which are used regularly. This year, Mohawk Walk, a low ropes course, is getting a facelift.

Several of the trees were dead, so the Soderquist Center is taking the initiative down and rebuilding it to be larger, said Lindy Roberts, a first-year fellow and project coordinator at the Center. There will be new branches of the path and different segments. They plan to keep groups occupied on that initiative longer, she explained.

Mohawk Walk, like other low rope initiatives, was made of aircraft cable suspended two to three feet off the ground, said Drew Thomason, a second-year fellow and project coordinator at the Center.

The Soderquist Center uses BaseCamp as a tool in leadership development, something many groups, from large corporations to groups at John Brown University, take part in. The average group is a team from a midlevel company or a school, Thomason said.

For now, the construction is on hold because the Center is waiting for more cable to finish the initiative.

“We hope to be done in a few weeks,” Roberts said.

The University hosts the Soderquist Center on campus, and in return receives some “shared services,” Thomason said.

For example, the Center reserves 100 slots a year for a University-sponsored trip to BaseCamp. Resident assistants and other residence life programs typically use most of the slots, but other groups, such as ASPIRE and some sports teams, have gone as well.

They often use these experiences to “build teamwork between the students,” Roberts said.

Although most of these slots are filled, there is still another way for adventurous students to get on the high ropes courses. To go as a University group and use any remaining slots, students should contact Steve Beers, vice president of student development, to apply under the shared services agreement, Thomason explained.

Another way is to go directly to the Soderquist Center and negotiate a price, group size, and date.

The regular baseline price is $475 for four hours on the low ropes for up to 30 people and $650 for four hours on the high ropes for up to 30 people.

Thomason explained that they try to have at least 10 people in a group, which also makes it more affordable for the group.

While these are the baseline prices, he said, the Soderquist Center will work with a group of students to reach a good price.