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Abandoning Adventure: The loss of a beloved class option

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April 25, 2016

10:57 PM

Do you love zip lines, low and high ropes courses, and being outdoors? Then Adventure Games would be a perfect class for you — except that it will no longer be offered starting in the fall of 2017. This one credit course, typically offered twice a week for an hour, has an excellent reputation as an engaging, unorthodox way of learning.

The class begins with an array of group activities and teamwork-building games that allow students to get to know each other. Eventually, the professor transitions to low ropes course elements involving simpler skills such as balance. The class culminates in a unit on high ropes course elements, which is more complex and involves belaying and climbing. Additionally, students get the opportunities to zip line across Lake Matoaka and rappel down the side of the parking garage.

Rebecca Gore ‘16, former Adventure Games student and current Adventure Games teaching assistant, gives insight into the skills that are taught in Adventure Games, remarking, “You’re working hands on to solve games and issues with people you’ve never met before so it’s very much a bonding experience.”

This termination is a pity because, although academics are important, a liberal arts college should cater to the individual as a whole.

The reason for the cancellation of Adventure Games is unclear, except that the administration seems to have a different vision. This termination is a pity because, although academics are important, a liberal arts college should cater to the individual as a whole. Opportunities for physical exercise certainly exist with intramural, club and varsity sports here at the College of William and Mary, but Adventure Games was a wonderful intersection between academic and physical domains because students received credit for the course.

Gore touches on this idea, saying, “I love being outside and having a class that challenges me other ways than just mentally. Not just writing an essay and taking a test but pushing me to do things I never thought I could do.”

The zip line, low ropes course and high ropes course hidden in the woods near Lake Matoaka are unique features to the College’s campus that many other colleges and universities do not have. Without Adventure Games, it is unclear how those spaces will be utilized and whether the equipment will simply remain unused.

The reputation of the class was excellent, with great experiences and recommendations coming from its former students. It’s unfortunate that such a widely enjoyed class is being cancelled, and it will be interesting to see if Adventure Games is replaced by something similar in the years to come.

 Email Carley Schanck at [email protected]

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  • Carley Schanck