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Project C.O.P.E.

Project C.O.P.E. stands for “Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience”. It comprises group initiative games, low, and high-course activities. Some of the activities involve a group challenge, while others test individual skills and agility; only a few require athletic strength. Participants climb, swing, balance, jump, rappel, and think of solutions to a variety of activities. Each event is designed to encourage participants to do their best using.

Watch the Adventures in COPE Video:

The objectives of Project COPE can involve a few or all of the eight major goals:


Your team chooses and sets goals for your COPE experience. A successful COPE experience will build a strong bond among members of a team. COPE is not just games. Processing (guided discussion) of the experience of each element, what was learned, what could be done better, and what goals were achieved are perhaps more important than the activity. Games and low elements are usually more constructive, however the high elements are not to be discounted. COPE is not an obstacle course or a physical skill eliminator. There are parts of COPE for everyone. 

Going Through C.O.P.E.

Important points to know:

  • All course participants must be at least 13 years of age.
  • Initiative games opportunities are available for Scouts/Units of all ages (including Cub Scouts).
  • The program is available to Scout Units, Venturing Teams, Explorer Posts, and adults.
  • Teams of all adults are encouraged, such as unit or district committees.
  • Non-scout and corporate groups are also welcome.
  • All participants must have a medical form and required clothing.
  • Policy states one facilitator per six youth with a max of 24 youth per day
  • Consent Form and Medical Information must be completed before participation


Low Course

The Low Course elements promote teamwork, problem solving, trust, communication, decision- making, and leadership skills. For each scenario, the instructor will provide general instructions encouraging participants to work together to come up with a solution.

High Course

The High Course at McGimsey Scout Park is approximately 30 feet above the ground. Safety is foremost in all COPE activities – emotional as well as physical safety. As participants encounter the various challenges on the course, they may experience a variety of fears, such as acrophobia, claustrophobia, the fear of getting hurt, or of embarrassment. We promote an atmosphere in which participants feel safe enough to challenge their self-imposed limitations. Thus, participants learn to respect and encounter fear in ways that allow personal growth, trust and to build self-esteem.

Facilitators teach safety before performing each activity. Below head high, all team members will learn spotting techniques and use them to spot their teammate/climber against falls. On high course activities, the facilitator will teach belaying (a rock-climbing safety technique) to protect participants against falls. All systems have back-ups. Trained professionals regularly inspect the course and the hardware, and the facilitator checks each element before daily use. All COPE staff facilitators receive training in the physical and emotional dynamics of the activities they lead, and in the safety and emergency procedures of the course. SAFETY IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR ALL ASPECTS OF C.O.P.E.

For more information, contact C.O.P.E Council Advisor by email at

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