Challenge Sonoma offers leadership classes

Challenge Sonoma Adventure Ropes Course is gearing up for its annual spring Ropes Course Leader Training programs at the ropes course on Sonoma Mountain above the former Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge.

Potential ropes course leaders, ages 15 years and up, are invited to participate in the training, which provides opportunities both to enhance outdoor leadership skills and also to “give back” through voluntary community service.

The first training program is offered Friday, March 19 to Sunday, March 22. Training session times are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Leaders are required to volunteer a minimum of seven days during the ropes course season of operation from April through November. Thirty hours of shadowing are required after training sessions. Three refresher days are required each year thereafter. After completing the shadowing and refresher days, facilitators are paid.

Launched in 1984, Challenge Sonoma Adventure Ropes Course is a nonprofit group of community volunteers serving Sonoma Valley school children and at-risk youth.

Both training sessions are “site specific” for the ropes course and are recommended for anyone considering a career in the field of experiential education. Challenge Sonoma’s leaders are community volunteers who guide participants through a sequence of activities and obstacles comprised of logs, elevated platforms and ropes, offering all ages both physical and mental challenges.

Trained leaders will have the opportunity to work with diverse groups including fifth-grade classes, sports teams and community organizations as well as family groups and corporate bodies.

Tuition for the training is $125 and includes more than 50 hours of leader training.

Participants are responsible for the cost of fingerprinting. Partial scholarships are available. For an application packet and to enroll in either of the training programs, visit or call 484-7759.

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