Challenge Education

“Lead. Grow. Change.”

Challenge Education is one of the important ways that Hartwick accomplishes its mission of helping students become self-confident, responsible individuals prepared to live a purposeful life. It helps people to “Lead, Grow, and Change.”

The Mission of Challenge Education
Challenge Education develops and motivates student leaders, who, through their engagement, gain professional development, Outdoor Education Minor course credit, and experience in the adventure world, organize to support one another and together cultivate a mindful community of intentional facilitators. Through adventure based experiential learning these student leaders, engage Hartwick and community groups in programming designed to develop a transferable skill set that accesses personal courage, critical thinking and personal/intrapersonal awareness.

What is a program like?
Our programs offer a unique learning environment using group problem solving activities as well as the challenge course. These novel activities are presented within an atmosphere of group support and encouragement. A sequence of increasing physical and mental challenges tends to engage people quickly and directly. Insights occur and new behaviors are discovered, with the help of frequent discussions. Programs are designed specifically to suit the needs and goals of a particular group.
The challenge course resides mainly in the forest at Hartwick’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus, where most programs are run. It consists of 9 “low elements” (in which the group is asked to cross cables, use swing ropes, climb through obstacles or balance on platforms); and 9 “high elements” (in which individuals are asked to climb trees or poles while secured by ropes, and try tasks such as crossing cables or beams, climbing giant ladders or leaping for a target). There is an indoor bouldering wall in the Vaudevillian so programs can continue throughout the winter months.  Challenge By Choice is our motto–it means that everyone has the right to choose their own level of challenge in each activity.

“I overcame my fear because I said I would – this is important as an educator.”

–an Education Student

Hartwick’s Office of Challenge Education bases its programs on the philosophies, activities and policies of High 5 Adventure Org. and Project Adventure Inc.