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The Challenge Program at Binghamton University

The Department of Campus Recreation provides a safe, respectful and healthy environment to enrich the overall educational experience of the Binghamton University community. Our programs, resources and services foster socially responsible interaction, personal growth, and the opportunity to develop leadership skills.

What is a challenge course?

A challenge course — also known as a ropes course — is a series of problem solving exercises that require the physical, mental and social prowess of a group to solve or achieve a solution to a problem presented by an element. Guided reflection after each challenge offers yet another opportunity for learning.

Challenge programming immerses participants in healthy risk taking behaviors, the examination of personal perceived limits, performance under pressure, giving and receiving support, and how collaboration can help individuals achieve more than they thought possible. All you need is a willingness to work with others, an enthusiastic attitude and a desire to take a chance.

Who can participate?

On-campus and external groups are welcome to take advantage of the challenge program. On-campus groups are asked to submit reservation requests at least four weeks in advance. External groups should begin the reservation process at least six weeks out in order to allow time to complete insurance requirements.

What if I don't have a group?

We do not have the ability to host regular climbing hours like a commercial adventure center. We do offer special events each semester. For more information, check our schedule for non - credit activities and workshops. 

Reap the rewards

Every program we provide is based on the needs of your group or organization. Our mission is to provide empowering experiences that offer transferable skills and sustainable processes that can enhance communication, motivate performance and improve working relationships.

You will be given the opportunity to focus on:

  • Problem-solving and creative thinking
  • Leadership skills and decision making
  • Self-awareness
  • Cooperation
  • Mentoring
  • Trust building
  • Group cohesion
  • Inclusiveness

What to expect

A day with the challenge program will be uniquely tailored to fit your group's needs. It can last between 3 to 8 hours as facilitators guide your group through experiential activities and then assist in reflection on the process to glean important outcomes for individual and group improvement. These activities can include games, problem solving exercises and group challenges on low and high elements. Expect to be active, involved and challenged!

Sessions typically take place at our challenge course, but we will also travel to you on campus or within the local area for retreat activities.

Safety first

All staff and facilitators have completed extensive training in challenge course risk management and the group building process. Staff members are also trained in first aid and CPR, and a first aid kit is always present while groups are on the challenge course. Nationwide safety studies indicate that challenge courses have fewer injuries than competitive sports and physical education classes.

Our challenge course and all of its equipment are inspected on a monthly basis to ensure the highest level of safety and care. It was designed and installed by EdVenture Builders, LLC, an Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) certified builder.

It's your day, tailored to your physical abilities

Our challenge program is designed for all levels of physical ability. Furthermore, we like most other courses operate on the philosophy of "Challenge by Choice." This means that your involvement is determined entirely by you — we will give you all of the information, and then you can decide if you feel comfortable taking part in an activity or challenge and only go as far or high as you want.

What to wear

Choose athletic or recreation clothing that is comfortable, allows for freedom of movement, and is appropriate for physical activity. Dressing for the weather and being in the woods is a must, and getting dirty is a strong possibility. Sturdy, closed-toed shoes (i.e. sneakers) are required. For more information, see our Challenge Program Participant Information Guide


The course is located in the wooded areas on either side of the Dickinson path that heads down the hill from the brain to the Recreation Center, East Gym. For more details, see: map

Schedule your program

  • Reservation request: Submit your information and group details online to begin the reservation process.
  • Group minimum is 9. If your group is less than 9, you will be charged a minimum base rate depending on the selected program option.
  • Planning meeting: The group leader is required to meet with the lead facilitator or challenge program manager no less than 21 days prior to the event. Deposit is due no later than the planning meeting.
  • Cancelations: Cancelations 11 days or more prior to the program date will result in a 50 percent refund of the initial deposit. Cancelations within 10 days are accepted, but will result in forfeiture of the entire deposit. Weather cancelations can only be made by the challenge program manager and lead facilitator. A program that is 75 percent complete will be considered a full program and charged as such.
  • No show: Failure to arrive on the day of the program will result in being charged for the full amount of the program booked.

Last Updated: 6/22/18