at the GRIFFITH LEAGUE RANCH
WHAT IS THE “C.O.P.E.” PROGRAM?
C.O.P.E. is short for “Project COPE”, “Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience”.
It is a set of group initiative games and low and high course activities. Some of the activities involve a group challenge, while others test individual skills and agility; only a few require athletic strength. Participants climb,
swing, balance, jump, and think of solutions to a variety of activities. Most do much more than they thought they could! The objectives of COPE are to develop leadership, problem solving, self-esteem, communication, trust, decisionmaking, and teamwork with a heavy dose of FUN. Your team should select a few of these goals for your COPE experience. A successful COPE experience will build a strong bond among members of the team. COPE initiatives are based on noncompetitive “New Games” where everyone is a winner. Setting and achieving goals are the preferred measures of success rather than time or score. As much emphasis is placed upon the mental experience in COPE as is the physical. The outcome of most initiatives are discussed by the team to learn from the experience, to affirm positive interactions, and to evaluate the process toward goals. The COPE program provides an opportunity for every participant to achieve success as an individual and as a member of a team. All participants are expected to respect the experience of others and to have a positive mental attitude throughout the activities. No one is asked to do more than he or she is willing to undertake, but each is challenged to do as much as he or she can, setting and striving toward their own goals, and contributing to the team objectives. COPE is NOT just games. Processing (guided discussion) of the experience of each element, what was learned, what could be done better, and what goals were achieved are perhaps more important than the activity. Games and low elements are usually more constructive than high elements and are not discounted. COPE is NOT an obstacle course or a physical skill eliminator. There are parts of COPE for almost everyone. The program utilizes a series of skill developing techniques and challenges from three course levels: Initiatives Low Elements High Elements During two days, a team of eight members or more, plus at least two highly trained facilitators begin with communication skill development. From there, participants are guided through the program in a progression to more and more challenging exercises that utilize climbing skills, balance, and concentration. By completion of the high elements, the team members achieve a heightened sense of trust, self-confidence, personal achievement, a new appreciation from teammates, and the power of working together. All instruction is by Boy Scouts of America C.O.P.E. certified directors and facilitators.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Coed youth who are 14 years of age and adults may participate in C.O.P.E. The participant’s level of maturity and physical ability should always be taken into account in determining anyone’s involvement in COPE. For Scout units, all members must be currently registered. Your team should consist no less than eight and no more than sixteen members. For Explorer Posts and Venture Crews, the COPE activities are enticing to adults as well as the Scouts. Although adults are not prevented from participating with the youth on the team, leaders and COPE facilitators should closely evaluate what objectives are being sought by the experience and what relationship exists between the youths and adults. Is adult leadership and authority at risk if the adult’s fears or frailties are exposed? Can the adult participate in the group without assuming leadership or authority? In cases where adults do participate with their youth, the COPE facilitator may, in some activities, “handicap” the adult to limit his/her participation or encourage greater youth contribution. Teams of all adults are encouraged, such as unit or district committees.
Griffith League Ranch has had the privilege of providing the course to a wide variety of individuals. The oldest participant was 72 years old, the largest was 360 lbs. We have provided the experience to groups of mentally retarded, deaf, and blind participants as well as to many groups of adjudicated youth.
WHAT PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE?
One-Day Program — Low Elements
The Low COPE one-day program begins at 7:00 am and concludes at 5:00 pm. Low COPE program includes initiative games and the low element activities. Meals are not provided. Bring a sack lunch. Minimum group size is eight with a maximum of sixteen (Call for larger groups).
Cost is $40 per participant with a $240 minimum.
Weekend Program — Low and High Elements
The weekend program begins on Friday evening and concludes Sunday afternoon. This program includes all of the instruction and activities of the one-day Low and High Element programs. It also includes camping in a campsite on the Griffith League Ranch. Groups must provide their own camping equipment and food. Minimum group size is 8 with a maximum of 16.
Cost is $60 per participant with a $480 minimum.
COPE is facilitated by National Camp School Directors. These are CAC volunteers trained through the NCS. The reservations process requires that we identify a director for your course. Once, identified they will contact you and begin to work the details. To start this process, email Jim Miller. Include your name, phone number, number of adults, number of youth, type of unit, type of course and three possibe dates in order of preference.
WHAT IS AVAILABLE FOR C.O.P.E.?
The C.O.P.E. course is at the Griffith League Ranch. This is a newly renovated course originally constructed in 2002. Activities are selected by the COPE director to meet the needs of the group. A wide veriety of elements are available at GLSR. These include:
All Aboard – Prouty’s Landing – T.P. Shuffle - Trust Fall (Accessible) – Nitro Crossing – Spider Web – Triangular Traverse/Heebie Jeebie - Trolley – Wild Woozie – Islands – The Wall – Mohawk Walk – Port Hole – Swinging Log – Mobi Deck (Accessible)
Slack Line-2 Line Bridge – Cat Walk – Heebie Jeebie - Mush Line/Kitten Crawl - Multiline – Zip Line – Pamper Pole -Burma Bridge/3 Line Bridge – Bosun’s Chairs – 3 Caving Ladders for access to different high elements – Screamer
There are no facilities available for participants other than the course itself and portable toilets. Weekend groups should plan to camp at the Griffith League Ranch Friday and Saturday nights. Groups should bring personal tents. Some Scout wall tents may be available for rent if you do not have tents. Each participant should bring bedding (cot, mattress, blankets, sleeping bag, pillow, etc.), a ground cloth for their tent, and appropriate clothing. Flashlights, lanterns, stoves, cooking equipment, rain gear, insect repellants, and other camping equipment will be helpful.
Groups will need to make plans for sack lunches for the one-day courses and plan for 2 breakfasts, two lunches (to be eaten on the course), one dinner, and two cracker-barrels (late night snacks) for the weekend course. Groups should also plan for guests (C.O.P.E. Facilitators) for each meal. For youth groups (Scout or non-Scout), adult leadership is required. These adult leaders will prepare the meals.
If the group desires to have the COPE staff provide meals, logistics and costs will need to be worked directly with the course director.
Alcohol is strictly forbidden on Boy Scout properties.
ALL COPE participants must be in good health and submit a completed and signed BSA Medical Form parts A & B.
A hold harmless agreement must be submitted by each participant.
Participants in the one-day courses should arrive at the C.O.P.E. course at the Griffith League Ranch no later than 7:45 am the Saturday morning of the course. Participants in the weekend course should arrive at the C.O.P.E. course at the Griffith League Ranch no later than 6:00 pm the Friday evening of the course to have time to set up camp before the course begins at 8:00 pm. Maps to the Griffith League Ranch will be included in the information package that will be sent after the group reservation is accepted. The Griffith League Ranch is north of Bastrop, Texas. From Austin, take US-290 east to State Highway 95 and turn right or take US-71 east to State Highway 95 and turn left.
On State Highway 95, turn east on Farm Road 2336. Turn right on Oak Hill Cemetery Road. Continue on Oak Hill Cemetery Road 1.5 miles to the entrance to the Griffith League Ranch on the left at a bend in the road. Enter the gate and follow the road for 1 mile to the field on the right. Turn right through the gate and follow the road to the flagged area. Park and set up your campsite in the appropriate location.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE MY GROUP?
- COPE programs are scheduled by application through reservations tab on this website. Requests are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Requests are occasionally rejected due to the availability of directors. A deposit must be made at the council office within two weeks of the original request.
- Cancellations made 29 days or less than the scheduled date will result in the forfeit of the deposit.
- When your application is accepted and scheduled, you will receive a phone call from the COPE Director to discuss your team objectives and final plans.
Participants will also receive a completion certificate and bandanna. The pocket card can be used to identify themselves as C.O.P.E. participants to be able to purchase additional tee shirts and other C.O.P.E. memorabilia at the Scout shop.
For additional information contact Jim Miller