Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer

Challenge Course History

Built in February 1998 by Steve Lee from Adventure-based Experiential Educators, Inc. (ABEE).

Started in the RMLS department, moved to Extended Learning, and finally moved to University Recreation.

The roots of adventure education can be traced back to the ancient writings of Plato and Aristotle (Wurdinger, 1997). Plato suggested that the young be exposed first hand to risk taking experiences that would help them develop virtues such as courage and compassion. Kurt Hahn, a more contemporary educator, studied Plato's philosophy and decided to put it to practice by developing the first Outward Bound School in Great Britain (Skidelsky, 1969). Hahn's original concept was to bring an adventure component into the traditional school environment in order to facilitate the development of the whole child. Hahn's belief was that the classical school curriculum did not educate the whole person on an intellectual and emotional level. Adventure education's current practices still rely on Hahn's original principles which include self-reliance, self confidence, the will to survive, tenacity, and compassion.