來源：The Complete Ropes Course Manual
Ropes courses have progressed significantly in design and function over the years. In 1941 the military developed an obstacle course, a confidence course, and a Tarzan Assault High Course. All three types of events were used as assessment tools for entrance into elite programs, specifically Men that Served in Clandestine Missions (Special Force). Ropes Courses, as we know them today, have been in existence in United States since the early 1960s. According to Alan Hale, Director of the National Safety Network, Ropes Courses in America originated within the Outward Bound movement.
多年來，繩索課程在設計和功能方面有著顯著進展。1941年，軍方開發了障礙課程(obstacle course)、信心課程和泰山攻擊高空課程(Tarzan Assault High Course)。這三種課程都被用為進入精英計劃的評估工具，特別是那些曾在秘密任務（特種部隊）服役的男性。正如我們今天所知，繩索課程自20世紀60年代初以來一直在美國存在。據國家安全網路主任Alan Hale說，美國的繩索課程起源於Outward Bound運動。
譯者按：＊obstacle course類似國軍五百障礙，Tarzan Assault High Course即各種高空設施連結穿越，多無確保。
The initial ropes course was constructed in Colorado at the first U.S. Outward Bound School. It was patterned after the military’s original courses and by today’s standards the course was very primitive. It was built primarily with hemp rope, which deteriorated quickly, and its belay systems were minimal or nonexistent.
There have been many changes since those early days. Today’s Ropes Course utilizes a variety of safety systems, with elaborate safeguards engineered to protect participants from injury. Construction methods have also improved, with building materials and methods regularly updated. Steel galvanized aircraft cable and other specially designed hardware have replaced hemp and manila rope, making the modern Ropes Course safe and durable.
One significant development that has occurred throughout the past two decades has been the use of utility poles or steel beams in the construction of Ropes Courses. This development allows greater latitude in site construction due to the builder not being dependent on tree availability. The creation of Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) in 1993 led to nationally accepted construction standards. Many creative designs have been developed over the years in both the construction of ropes courses and their intended usage. For example, high course designs can allow more team work while in the air.
The original Ropes Courses were designed and built to enhance physical capabilities (agility, balance, and coordination); whereas today’s courses address problem-solving skills as well as individual and group dynamics issues.
Initially Used in Physical Education 最初使用於體能教育
In 1971, Project Adventure’s first course was built in Massachusetts at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School by Karl Rohnke and a band of conscripted high school sophomores. This was the beginning of trend to integrate Ropes Courses into many types of programs. Their initial use in physical education classes has since extended to a broad range of applications in education, recreation, therapy, and organizational development.
1971年，Project Adventure的第一個場地，由Karl Rohnke 和一群徵召而來的高二學生，建於Massachusetts 的Hamilton-Wenham區域高中。這是將繩索課程結合到多種型態課程的開始。最初使用在體育課程，現今已廣泛應用在教育、休閒、治療以及組織發展。
Therapeutic Uses 用於治療
Harnessing the value of experiential education, Ropes Courses have been used in therapeutic ways to bring about change in individuals and groups. Since the beginning, those who developed youth at risk programs have recognized the value of the Ropes Course experience. It has become common practice for adolescent treatment centers, substance abuse centers, physical rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals to incorporate Ropes Courses into their offerings.
Colleges and Universities 學院及大學
Now, many outdoor educational centers, colleges, and universities are providing Ropes Course experiences as a major component of their programs. Services are diverse and include experiences for freshmen orientation, leadership development, clubs and Greek organizations, local school groups, civic organizations and business/corporate groups. Such programs can be found with Student Services, Academic Services or Continuing Education. In some cases ropes course programs are housed within academic units. These units may administer the program and facilities while also offering courses that train students to be facilitators or simply expose them to the experience. Degrees in Recreation Management, Leisure Studies, Outdoor Recreation, Physical Education, and Student Services Administration will include ropes course/group facilitation as a curriculum component when it is available. There continues to be steady growth within this arena.
Camps represent some of the original users for a variety of reasons, ranging from personal development to pure adventure recreation. Dynamic high courses and low ropes courses are traditional components of a camping program. The growth of Adventure Camps, which parallels the overall movement of outdoor programming, has contributed to increased usage of Ropes Courses programming.
Corporate Use of Ropes Courses 繩索課程的企業使用
During the middle 1980s, the corporate world began turning to innovative firms that creatively use the Ropes Course to assist their executives in solving key organizational issues and to create an environment for increased productivity and team work. Some specific professional development themes addressed include: team building, communication, problem-solving and decision making skills, and other organizational development concepts.
This movement continued its growth up until today, where we find experiential activities, including ropes course programming, as common practices within the corporate training world.