Ropes course ties bonds among Staples community

Students+learn+teamwork+skills+and+bond+with+each+other+by+working+together+on+the+rope+course.

Graphic by Lilly Weisz ’23.

Students learn teamwork skills and bond with each other by working together on the rope course.

mAn indoor and outdoor ropes course has been unveiled this year, exclusively for sophomores. Nothing like it has been seen at Staples before, so it has been a point of discussion among many.

The ropes course is a unit in sophomore Cooperative Games that focuses on strengthening teamwork. But for some, the challenge can be intimidating because of its danger element.  

“It provides an opportunity for a group to get challenged, and then there’s also an element of perceived risk,” physical education instructor Jeffery Doornweerd said. “What if something goes wrong, can I count on my teammates, can I trust them, are they going to support me, what if I make a mistake?” 

A lot of them have a really positive experience. There’s definitely some kids that have chosen not to do it, and we respect those decisions. ”

— Jeffery Doornweerd.

Students who wish to not participate are given an option to sit out, but from what Doornweerd has seen, most students enjoy it.

“A lot of them have a really positive experience,” Doornweerd said. “There’s definitely some kids that have chosen not to do it, and we respect those decisions.” 

Because the course is currently only available for sophomores to use, some upperclassmen feel left out.  

“I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get an opportunity to go on it,” Kristian Blanco ’23 said. “I used to have a lot of fun experiences as a kid when I used to do ropes courses like that and seeing it at school would excite me because I would take time out of the day for an activity that would be fun, as well as learning at the same time.”

The sophomores themselves have mixed opinions. Nicholas Blanco ’25 is indifferent towards the new activity.

 “I don’t have much interest in it because it’s not that exciting to me,” Blanco said.  “Some others are excited for it, but personally, me, I’m not excited for it.” 

Others find fun in the thrill and learning experience. 

“It was fun but scary, but really fun,” Mera Ghazal ’25 said. “On one of the elements you have to be attached to another person, and that allows for teamwork to occur because one couldn’t move onto the other level of the course because the other person was below them. It’s an amazing opportunity to have.”