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Wabash students have taken to the ropes at the College's Leadership and Challenge Course.

The course, located at The Patch, the College's woods located about five miles southwest of Crawfordsville, was constructed in 1996 under the supervision of Associate Dean of Students Greg Griffin and is being used for a variety of programs to build leadership and team skills in Wabash students.

The skills students gain from their time on either the low- or high-ropes courses depends on the goals of that particular group, according to Student Activities Coordinator Karleen Bornbach, who helped develop the course and leads student workshops there. She explains that The Patch is used for the Wabash College Success program for incoming freshmen and for a program funded through the Lilly Initiative.

"A standard goal on the low ropes is learning how to work as a group--learning teambuilding and improving communication skills" Bornbach explains. The high ropes course finds students climbing rope ladders, crossing tightropes, and rapelling across a "zip line" strung high above the forest floor.

"That course encourages individual challenge and risk-taking--pushing yourself to the limit," Bornbach says. "It's a fun course, but the students can apply what they learn to the classroom and their personal and professional lives."

Bornbach is impressed by the results she's seen at the course thus far.

"You see a definite change in students once they've been out there," Bornbach says.