The recently constructed challenge course on Chewonki Neck, funded in part by donors who gave in response to last spring’s Climb Higher Challenge (THANK YOU), is generating lots of excitement—and not just among students. Chewonki staff are now getting in on the fun. For four days last week, they explored the course and its teaching potential during training…read more from Liz Moore, who works for High Five, a Vermont company that specializes in designing and building courses intended for educational use, and created ours. Last week found Challenge Course Coordinator, Shelly Gibson, and seven other staff members, found themselves climbing, balancing, and thoroughly enjoying themselves for their first training with High Five on the Chewonki Challenge Course. The staff represented a smorgasbord of Chewonki programs: Lisa Packard, Olivia Lukacic, and Johnson Whippie from the Outdoor Classroom; Henry Heyburn from Boys Camp; Mateus Da Costa from Maine Coast Semester; Aaron LaFlamme from Wilderness Trips; and Emily Bell-Hoerth from the Elementary School. “High Five is very thoughtful and purposeful in the way that they design and build courses,” Shelly explained, “and the hope was to get program staff out there to explore how to connect Chewonki programs more deeply to the course, in a progression that makes sense for each program.” The group focused not only on technical skills but also on more refined techniques for involving students in meaningful activities that relate to what they’re learning overall at Chewonki. Shelly is now looking forward to leading basic training for seasonal staff in the spring. She’s up for the challenge!