The history of Project COPE goes back to 1979-80 when the first COPE course in the country was built right here in St. Joseph, Missouri at Camp Geiger. In 2010, the Pony Express Council completed a new state-of-the-art course designed to carry Camp Geiger well into the 21st century.
COPE is a great opportunity for organizations to promote staff development and leadership skills. The course is designed to build more self-confidence and teamwork in a shorter length of time than anything most people will ever encounter. Many local businesses have done training using Camp Geiger’s COPE program. Church youth groups, school groups, and sports teams have also used the COPE program to help them achieve their goals.
The Pony Express Council would like to encourage you to look at the information and photos available and consider if groups in which you are involved would benefit from the COPE experience. Packages can include meals and overnight stays in addition to the COPE activities. Camp Geiger has campsites, indoor lodging, training rooms and sporting clay and archery sports available.
For scheduling or for more information, contact the Pony Express Council office at 816-233-1351 or contact Mike Lowe (COPE Marketing and Off-Season Coordinator) at 913-367-9635.
Group Initiative Games
Initiative games at the beginning of each COPE session help participants learn to work together through communication to achieve their goals. Initiative games do not require constructed elements. Many initiative games require only simple props or no props at all.
Trust events are a series of activities designed to develop trust in the mind of the individual and with the group as a whole, as well as to develop spotting skills.
Low course events do not require participants to be on a life safety system. While individual coordination and strength are helpful, participants accomplish the low course activities with the support and combined efforts of the group.
COPE low course events are team problems and/or obstacles that challenge groups or teams both mentally and physically. These group activities require teamwork (the interaction of all members) to accomplish a task. These team initiative activities allow them to work through their objectives and prepare them for bigger challenges, such as a high ropes course or climbing tower.
A COPE activity is considered a high course event when participants are required to be on a life safety
system. High course events tend to focus on individual initiative rather than group problem solving.
COPE high course events, sometimes called a high ropes course or high challenge course, consist of elements suspended between 20 feet and 50 feet above the ground between wood poles or steel posts. Participants challenge themselves to climb and/or traverse the elements by themselves in pairs or with support from a larger group.
The COPE course will help you to build the leadership capacity of any individual in your organization. The course and the instructors also help the leaders who lead in an organization the ability to see their staff in a different setting. This course is a powerful way to learn team building and to strengthen the relationships within the organization. I would highly recommend COPE to any organization!
Troy Dunn, Minnie Cline Elementary School
The COPE training course at Camp Geiger was an excellent program for my large team of Resident Assistants at Missouri Western State University. The program incorporated engaging challenges and activities that were instrumental in building leadership and problem-solving skills. I could not have been more happy with the dedication and professionalism of the Camp Geiger staff. Ten out of ten, would recommend!
Amy McLarren, Missouri Western State University
The COPE course at Camp Geiger provided a tremendous team building experience for the inaugural class of Leadership Savannah. The course challenged individuals to overcome fear and test their limits. The class was very inspired by the experience and we are looking to incorporate this activity in future Leadership Savannah programs.
Chad Higdon, Leadership Savannah
We take a group of junior high West Platte students every year up to Camp Geiger in St. Joseph for Project COPE. Our students are always challenged and enjoy the team building games that we play with them in the morning. Students emerge as leaders while others learn what it means to follow. It creates a strong camaraderie within the kids.
Emilia Sheffer, West Platte School District
The afternoon consists of a high ropes course in which the students test bravery and determination. We highly recommend this feature for students and adults alike as this is the favorite part for both. From a teacher's perspective, we are able to facilitate students encouraging other students and can share in the joy when students complete the course.
Danielle Glynn, West Platte School District