Recently in Industry Notices Category

Recently, on a few public forums and listservs, The Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA) has made some statements regarding the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval of their standards. While it is true that the PRCA standards were recently approved by ANSI, it is not true that it will make the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) standards obsolete or change anything about the challenge course market as we currently know it.

The fact that PRCA has had their standards approved by ANSI first has no bearing on what you need to do with your course. The ACCT standards will soon follow; the ANSI approval process of the 9th edition of internationally recognized ACCT standards nears completion. If you have a relationship with any ACCT vendor for the maintenance, inspection and training of your course, rest assured they will continue to adhere to the most widely used and internationally accepted standard for the challenge course industry.

It is important to know that ANSI does not restrict any industry to a single standard; it believes that the marketplace will decide which standards are most influential. It is always expected that standards will compete, allowing the marketplace to determine which standards best meet its needs. We need only to look at the current market acceptance of these two organizations' standards as any indication of which standard will prevail. ACCT has shared with its membership a Q&A with their ANSI consultant, Attorney Dan Bart, detailing how the ANSI process works, which emphasizes this concept. (Attached ACCT-ANSI FAQ.pdf )

It should also be noted that in the handful of states that have embarked on regulating the challenge course industry, including California, Colorado, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Virginia, most have named ACCT standards by name in statute or regulation, and therefore courses must comply with those ACCT standards.
We believe that the PRCA's communication is very misleading and alarmist. Please trust that we have your best interests in mind. We choose to stand behind the ACCT standards not only because they continue to be the most widely recognized standard for the challenge course industry, but that they are the better standard for the industry. Time will prove this to be true.

Jim Grout
Executive Director
High 5 Adventure Learning Center

In 2011, bi-partisan legislation was enacted that addressed the glaring gap in current educational policy in terms of the readiness of students with skills required to succeed in the rigorous global economy. They refer to these skills as the Four C's: Critical thinking; Communication; Collaboration and Creativity.

To any adventure educator or Edge of Leadership partner school, it sounds familiar, huh?
As Laurine Parker, a teacher from Keene High School stated recently at the High 5 Symposium in Brattleboro, VT, "The Edge of Leadership program aligns perfectly with the expected outcomes of the 21st Century Learning Skills." (click here to see how)

Laurine was speaking in a group of about 50 educators and students from CT, VT, MA and NH who had come together to share their experiences with the Edge of Leadership program which was developed by High 5 over 8 years ago. Edge of Leadership grew out of The Leadership Project, a program originally developed by the founders of High 5 with funding from the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention several years ago. The Leadership Project, a community-wide youth led leadership initiative, was named one of the top 10 exemplary programs in the country.

Edge of Leadership begins with a life-changing 3 day retreat in Brattleboro at the High 5 Adventure Learning Center. Two sessions are being offered this summer. Each session is open to five teams of 2-3 students and a teacher (grades 9-11). Because of the demand for the limited slots, interested schools are invited to apply. Over the 3 days, teams participate in adventure activities including High 5's challenge course, participate in communication and problem solving initiatives, learn skills for leading dialogue sessions in their school and community and begin to develop a plan to address a social or environmental issue that is important to them. Teams also develop life long friends and connections to the students and staff from their other schools attending the retreat.

"Within three hours I went from feeling like I had no meaningful relationships at school to feeling so closely connected it was crazy!" Alexia, high school freshman reflecting on the first morning of the Edge of Leadership.

To learn more about Edge of Leadership and how to be considered for participation, go to or contact Ryan McCormick at 877-511-4445.

This year two EOL sessions are being held: July 29-31st and August 5-7. Lodging and meals are included in tuition. Some financial assistance maybe available.

We're reaching out to our friends in the state of Massachusetts to let you know of a few developments from the MA Department of Public Safety (DPS).

While the DPS has not exercised the right to perform their inspections in the nearly 5 years since the legislation was passed, we have recently been informed via the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) that state inspectors from the Massachusetts DPS has visited and performed inspections at two or more high schools in the past month. These inspections included a review of all paperwork, a cursory look at equipment and a visual inspection of the challenge course. All 6 state inspectors were present at both inspections.

What does this mean for you? If you operate a belayed challenge course or climbing

Heads up! Looks like PEP grants will be announced tomorrow.

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