OEC Challenge Course Meets, Exceeds Industry Standards


(Rob Stull is the Outreach Coordinator for the Outdoor Education Center.)

Maintaining the Outdoor Education Center’s High Ropes Challenge Course is an ongoing process. The facility staff at the OEC takes pride in maintaining and exceeding the industry’s safety standards. The OEC is a member of two different associations that serve as resources for meeting these standards—The Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and The Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA).

In general, these two organizations share the same mission: to develop and maintain challenge course safety standards and to be a resource for those agencies who operate challenge courses. In addition to these two organizations, Keystone Adventure Company, our external course inspector, assures the safety of our course and equipment by providing us with a thorough, hands-on yearly inspection. As part of this inspection, an audit is conducted on our operating procedures, safety documentation and usage log books.

Based on the 2010 report, the inspector states, “It was clear that a lot of time and effort had been put into the repairs, maintenance, and appearance of the course”. This was a result of the hard work from the OEC’s Site Coordinator Kevin Hughes and his Assistant Shane Hovatter.

These two individuals spend a great deal of time making sure our challenge course is safe for participants and staff alike. They do this through monthly in-house inspections where detailed examinations are conducted on all equipment and course elements.

Kevin has completed the Challenge Course Supervisors Training offered by Inner Quest in nearby Purcellville, Va., while Shane brings over 10 years of experience working within the adventure field. The knowledge and expertise of both Shane and Kevin allow the OEC to continue offering fun, challenging, and safe programs for all of the OEC’s participants.

For more information on the ACCT and PRCA, visit their websites at: http://www.acctinfo.org and http://www.prcainfo.org. You can also learn more about our inspection company by visiting http://www.keystoneadventure.com.

If you would like to book an exciting challenge course program for your group, please contact Katie Nolan at knolan@floc.org or call 304.725.0409.

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