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Blog for members of the NCAC COPE group to discuss Project COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience).


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Top tags: COPE  belay  good_practice  Adult  Facilitation  Session  technique  Training  Website 

Changes to COPE pages

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Friday, December 06, 2013

Planning to attend the Webmaster training session on 2013-12-07.

  1. Upcoming events. Includes Council-wide events, not COPE events, which visitors to the COPE pages would expect to find. Can a filter be included?
  2. Blog. Moved to left (wider) side of page. Right side was too narrow. Blogs (IMHO) are for concise statements.
  3. Event signup. Need sign up for multiple types of events:
    1. Facilitation sessions. Maximum of 30 students per session (need the Committee to define a minimum per group). Typically one full day comprised of two half-day sessions. Requires non-refundable deposit for the group. Balance is due at start of session. Two staff required per group. Maximum of two adults allowed as observers. [Group committment, non-refundable down payment.]
    2. Instructor sessions. Maximum of 20 students. Requires minimum of 3 fully qualified staff, prefer 5-7. Session is from Friday 1700 hrs to Sunday 1500 hrs. Following training, students must help facilitate sessions while being monitored by senior staff. [Individual committment, fee.]
    3. Committee sessions. Quarterly. Purpose is to review and approve the operation of COPE in NCAC. Attendance limited to committee members or COPE advocates interested in supporting the program. [Individual committment, no fee.]
    4. Field days. Limited to COPE-qualified individuals. Purpose of sessions is to maintain the course facilities or the competence of the individuals, both low element and high element. [Individual committment, no fee.]
  4. Forum. Maybe?
  5. Layout. Alternative? Can anyone suggest a page that has a more appropriate layout?

Tags:  COPE  Website 

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Safety Break

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Saturday, September 21, 2013

Please go to the 2:23 point of the video on abseiling (aka rappelling); Notice how the climber uses a prussik as a protection; the break hand MUST be on the prussik or break is automatically applied.

I think the Committee should adopt the use of a break knot in the event the belayer slips, gets tripped, or otherwise has issues.

In other words, let the Powder Horn incident be the first and the LAST!

Tags:  belay  COPE  good_practice 

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Break-Under-Slide Belay Technique

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Saturday, September 21, 2013
Currently, our lesson on Life Safety Systems (CCF1-9) includes a discussion of three belay techniques:
  • Break Under Slide (BUS) (NOT Pull-Break-Under-Slide, PBUS, because "P" allows a hand on the rope to the climber, not on the break side)
  • Chop
  • Slip-slap-slide 

Why more than one?

Not a good idea.We should discuss, teach, practice one!

Why BUS?

  1. The BUS belay method has been adopted by the American Mountain Guide Association, Most climbing gyms and Most Recrecational programs as the safest belay technique.
  2. It is described in the current BSA Merit Badge booklet and the BSA Topping Out climbing program guide.
  3. The BUS method is seen as the most reliable because the rope is locked in the BRAKE position in the belay device while your hands are repositioned on the rope to take more slack.

Take a look at these online resources and practice the technique to use and to teach:

-Climbing Magazine web site:

-Video from Aiderondack Community College: (but do not take non-dominant hand off the break-side of the rope)

Tags:  belay  COPE  good_practice  technique 

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Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Attention all qualified COPE Instructors!

Shannon H. and Tony W. (Level II Instructors) will open the COPE course at Camp WB Snyder on Saturday, 24 Aug 2013, from 0900 to 1600 hrs.  Powderhorn Training has requested two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The purpose of the sessions is to help the attendees develop an appreciation and understanding of Project COPE. The objectives are:

  • Experience the range of a COPE session: ice breaker, initiative games, trust games, low elements, high element, reflections;
  • Understand the 5 stages of group development (the extended Tuckman model of group development; forming, storming, norming, performing, adjourning) by experiencing the stages;
  • Be able to explain how Project COPE is able to help unit leaders with team building and leadership training for youth and adults (COPE is the "lab" session for training);
  • Be able to explain how Project COPE enables youth and adults do self discovery. 

Since the COPE course is open, certified Instructors may use the facilities, but will be responsible for providing their own food and arrange with the staff supporting Powderhorn for use of gear. Instructors may use any/all elements not being used for Powderhorn. All security and safety protocols will be followed.

Instructors are requested to use their own best judgement during practice. For example, blood-curdling screaming while practicing rescues is discouraged (but check with the COPE Level II instructors).

If you use it, inspect it going out and inspect checking in (and update the logs).

If you break it, donate funds to replace it.

Finally, all participation is Challenge by Choice; your choice to take the challenge and the Level II Instructor's choice to let you.

Contact Tony W. or Shannon H. if you plan to attend or if you have questions.

Tags:  Adult  Facilitation  Session  Training 

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