The Therapeutic Value of a Challenge Course
“In 1971, Project Adventure began to integrate the challenge course into public school physical education classes. This movement was the beginning of a trend that has led to the current practice of using the challenge course as an educational, developmental, and therapeutic medium to enhance both personal and professional growth.
“During the 1980s, researchers in the field of therapeutic recreation began to report the individual benefits one could derive from participation in challenge course experiences. Research focused on identifying or demonstrating the benefits of participating in challenge courses primarily by psychiatric patients and at risk, adjudicated, and emotionally disturbed youth. The research and literature during the 1990s became more diverse, with efforts directed towards team building and group development, the physiological responses to participation in high ropes courses activities, accessibility, risk management, and a variety of professional topics important to challenge course providers.”
Source: “The Research and Literature on Challenge Courses: An Annotated Bibliography 2nd Edition. Compiled by Aram Attarian, Ph.D. North Carolina State University Department of Parks Recreation & Tourism Management, February 2005, page. 4