LEAD Complex Receives Upgrades for Summer Camp
Maj Harold Compton
With Summer Camp quickly approaching a flurry of activity is underway on the MMA LEAD Complex. The LEAD Complex provides the bulk of summer camper activity throughout the four week program and each year an attempt is made to add a new event. This year is no different as two new events will be completed in time for summer camp and several events will receive upgrades.
LEAD Complex New Events
During the summer of 2011 a series of telephone poles were installed to provide a training station for rope bridging. This was utilized by the US Army Cadet Leadership Camp in June and found to be very popular event however some modifications to the event were needed. The Rope Bridge event is a series of telephone poles approximately 50 feet apart spanning a depression in the ground to simulate a ravine or body of water. During the course of this school year the event was improved by the addition of 1 1/2 feet of dirt to the surrounding area to provide for a deeper simulated ditch to span and installation of ground anchors to secure the poles from leaning over time. Rope bridging is planned to be included in the summer camp program this coming summer . Camper will be instructed on proper techniques for securing ropes, tensioning of the rope and the technique for crossing over the bridge. This event will significantly add to the LEAD Complex, not only by providing a new event but also by ensuring that summer campers fill every minute with worthwhile and valuable outdoor activities.
The next new event will be the addition of a tire swing crossing to the Low Ropes Course. This event will be located on the southeast corner of the LEAD Complex near the current High Ropes Course. The event will be series of 4 or 5 tires suspended from a cable spanning a distance of 24 feet. Campers will climb onto a low stand to reach the first tire and will then move from one tire to the next without touching the ground until they reach a low stand on the far side of the event. This event replaces an older inclined rope that has not been used in several years and had been retired from use on the LEAD Complex. The Tire Swing is considered a Low Challenge event as the participants are never more than 1 to 2 feet off the ground.
LEAD Complex Upgrades
On Wednesday, 17 April Maj Compton and GySgt Garcia took on the task of replacing the zipline cable. This required a 30′ lift being rented to complete the work. The old cable was dropped from its anchors and a new cable strung between the tower anchor and the telephone pole 350′ away. The cable was then hoisted to the top of the tower using a pulley system and tensioned correctly before final anchoring. Testing of the cable was fun for the Rock Climbing team that afternoon and they found out quickly that the newer cable resulted in a faster run down the zipline!
The Rock Climbing team began the work of installing climbing holds on the new west wall of the tower and have completed the first 8’of holds and have drilled all the holes for the remaining climbing holds. The remainder of the wall will continue having holds added to it each day until the entire wall is completed. The hardest task is to keep the Rock Climbers working and not trying the climb the new wall! The new wall will add an additional 3 climbing stations to 3 already in use on the LEAD Complex. In all approximately 500 climbing holds will eventually be added to the new wall.
LEAD Complex Upcoming Events
Be sure to check back next week for news on this weekends upcoming event. On Saturday, 21 April we will be hosting the Back 40 Games during our annual Spring Fling. Parents will be visiting the Academy for the weekend and those brave enough will be allowed to try out rappelling, zipline and our climbing wall! We will be sure to post many photos of the games.