USF Challenge Center Strengthens Relationships

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to utilize one of USF’s unique campus resources: the Challenge Center. The new Challenge Center opened behind the university’s library in August of 2018, after being previously located a block away.The center includes low ropes courses as well as high elements, like a Power Pole that extends 20 feet into the air. All are used primarily for team building activities.

The center is relatively unique to USF. While it’s not the only challenge course out there, it is rare to find one at nearby colleges, and it is definitely unique for a small college like USF. Here’s an inside look on the center.

Helping build relationships and trust

If you’re a student at USF, you will likely spend time at the Challenge Center. Recreation & Sport Management (RSM) classes use the Challenge Center extensively in the fall semester to train students in team building facilitation skills. RSM majors then facilitate activities for the entire freshman class during the first month of school. Taking part in the different team building activities on the course is intended to help freshmen feel an attachment to the USF community, and also addresses themes of communication, trust, leadership, diversity and inclusion, and dependability and accountability, which have universal applications. The experiences at the Challenge Center are transferable to work, school, life and relationships.

Various other academic program benefit from the Challenge Center. The College of Education uses it for various teacher-training activities, and the social work program brings students to build community, social bonds and teamwork. It’s not unusual to see other programs and university groups out at the Challenge Center either – it is truly a place that brings people at USF together.

Beyond the classroom: Challenge Center is open to schools, businesses and organizations

Schools, companies and organizations get in on the action too! The Challenge Center serves K-12 schools, day camps, and sports teams, as well as professional team training for clients such as school districts, park districts, and forest preserve staff teams. Programming is available year-round, and outside groups can come to campus, or USF’s certified Challenge Course facilitators can travel to provide a portable program. For more information, click here.

(May 13, 2019)