COPE Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take?

  • The Low Course is designed for team development. A minimum of four (4) hours is needed before you will see much change in a group, but we have found that around six (6) hours gives the best results.
  • The High Course is more complex. You can expect about 30 to 45 minutes per person for your group.
  • Most COPE programs are designed to take place over the course of a day. Multi-day programs can be arranged. Each group that uses the course has a custom program designed to address their specific needs. At least one facilitator is assigned to each group in addition to a National Camp School certified Director. The Director will contact or meet with a group representative before the group arrives at the course to discuss the group needs, wishes, concerns, and questions.

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Who can participate in Project COPE?

  • The COPE Course is a tool for improving group morale, communication, and teamwork. It is ideal for school, professional, and executive groups, as well as clubs, businesses, and government agencies.
  • Participants must be at least 13 years old (high ropes course) by January 1 of the year of participation. High COPE has increased risk because of the height and requires more maturity by each participant in order to be successful.  Teamwork and focus on the safety equipment is essential.  Based on their maturity and physical coordination, 11- and 12-year old youths may take part in initiative games and some low-course events at the discretion of the COPE director or low course director.
  • Safety is the HIGHEST priority of the program. However, we make every effort to accommodate people with disabilities. Please provide detailed information about any members of your group who may require special accommodation. 
  • Each participant/parent must sign and turn in a Hold Harmless Agreement form to the COPE Director in charge of the event. 

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How Much Does It Cost?

  • COPE programs are customized to the groups needs. Therefore the cost of the activities will vary depending on the program desired. There is no fee to Occoneechee Council Scouts for the use of the facility; the fees cover the program and facilitators.
  • E-mail council COPE Director for a quote for your group. In our opinion this will be the best use of training dollars you can make.

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What do I need?

  • Basically all you need is yourself. All equipment is provided by the COPE Program. Each participant should be in good physical condition. We suggest that you wear comfortable "long" pants, a t-shirt, and a good pair of athletic shoes. Scout groups have the discretion to require Class B uniforms if desired. All participants should use common sense and dress for the weather forecast. Be aware that excessively loose clothing is a safety issue and shoe laces must be tied at all times.
  • In addition, all participants will be asked to empty their pockets of jewelry and accessories and to tie back long hair before beginning the COPE. This ensures that personal belongings stay secure, do not interfere with the group’s activities, or cause a safety hazard.
  • We advise participants to bring a water bottle and to stay hydrated. Fresh water is available on the course.

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What is the difference between low-course and high-course activities?

  • The easiest way to explain the difference is in terms of safety equipment. Low-course activities are those that range in height from ground level to 12.5 feet in the air. These elements typically do not require the use of a safety line of any type, but do require the assistance of the group to "spot" the participants on the element.
  • High-course activities typically require the use of a safety harness and either a dynamic or static safety belay. Dynamic belay is a method of securing a COPE participant at the end of a length of rope manned by a qualified belayer who ensures the individual safely moves from activity to activity. The static belay method used at Durant consists of safety ropes and carabiners that run from the COPE participant’s harness to a safety wire. The individual “clips in” to different safety wires using the carabiners as he or she moves through the high course activities.
  • In addition, low-course activities tend to focus on group communications and teamwork, while high-course activities focus more on individual challenge.

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When does COPE operate at Durant?

  • The COPE course is operational year round at Camp Durant. As with any outdoor activity, we are subject to the whims of the weather. COPE staff is responsible for monitoring weather conditions and adjusting the program accordingly. Safety is our highest priority.
  • The most common weather related issues are dehydration and temperature-related emergencies such as hypothermia, or heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Additionally, rain by itself is not an absolute reason to discontinue a course because most activities can still be conducted in wet conditions (although they may be more difficult) if proper safety procedures are followed. The COPE Director will be the final arbiter on cancelling/delaying the day’s activities.

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  • Have you ever watched a youth, or an adult, accomplish a task or overcome a fear that has kept that person back from having fun? That’s what you’ll see in COPE.  The participants are challenged to discomfort, uncertainty, and fear and overcome those mental obstacles to reach their personal or team goals. And have fun in the process!

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COPE in Action

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