Historical Fact #7 - Original C.O.P.E Course
N 42.32052 W 072.00423
Congratulations on finding one of our most challenging caches. You are now at the location of Treasure Valley’s original COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personnel Encounter) course, near what used to be the Trails End campsite. Built in 1984, a year or two before the BSA formally developed the Project COPE program, it was originally called the “ropes course.”
This course, built entirely in the trees, was a joint venture between the Mohegan Council (now Heart of New England Council) and the Norton Company (now St. Gobain). At the same time of building the course, the Norton Company also funded the renovation and weatherization of the West Lodge and the West Commissary, turning the latter into the Conference Center (now the Venture Lodge).
The Norton Company used the buildings and the ropes course for executive meetings and team building. Scouts had their use during the summer and whenever not in use by Norton. Throughout the summer there were two sessions - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Limited to approx 15 participants the groups would at the Carr Waterfront and canoe across Browning Pond via the war canoes and hike to the course
In the photo above, the person in the Scout uniform is Camp Director Jeffrey Goldfarb (director 1980-1986). The person in the white helmet is Treasure Valley’s first ropes course director, Thomas Galanos.
Evolving industry/ BSA standards eventually frowned on using live trees for this type of course. In 1996-1997, the Council replaced the course by one using utility poles, located on the right hand side of the Main Road as one enters Treasure Valley.
TVAA fact provided by Mike McQuaid on May 17, 2022