Rope Bridging at Summercamp 2012

rope bridgingMMA Summercamp 2012 became the opening use of the new Rope Bridging course on the LEAD Complex.  The course was constructed during the last year and got its opening use this week as campers tackled the complex rigging and use of the course.   GySgt Raul Garcia provided instruction to the campers on how the rope bridging is constructed using a single rope over a low depression to simulate a body of water or ravine.  Once instruction on how the bridge is constructed the campers were given instruction on how to tension the bridge once it is used since the rope will stretch and sag over time and requires constrant retensioning.  A team of 6 to 8 campers were used to retension the rope.

Rope Bridging for a Unit

rope bridgingAs a skill, rope bridging allows a group to safely cross an obstacle such as a river or deep ravine safely.  Once campers were shown how to construct and tension the rope bridge they were instructed on how to cross the bridge safely.  Campers had to lay on top of the rope, lower one leg for balance and then pull themself across the ravine.  Many campers found this to be a bit more difficult than they originally thought as balance on rope that is only 7/16s of an inch in diameter while pulling oneself along the rope was a challenge.  Campers quickly picked up on the skill required to maintain balance as platoons competed to see which could successfully get their entire unit across the bridge.

Future Plans for Rope Bridging

rope bridgingThis opening use of the new Rope Bridging course has provided valuable information on how to improve this event for future use.  Initial evaluation indicates that building up the takeoff point about 1 to 1 1/2 feet will help the participants to mount the rope once it is properly tensioned.  Additionally the ravine will be deepened slightly so that participants will not touch the ground at the midpoint.  Additionally a third set of poles may be added to allow more campers to challenge the course at one time and a longer period of instruction will be added next summer.  It is already apparent that campers found this event interesting, fun and a challenge.  Rope Bridging is at the Marine Military Academy to stay!  Check out the Rope Bridging Photos