Soaring Thru Spaces

Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center’s Soaring Thru Spaces Program

ABOUT: The Soaring Thru Spaces Program at the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center is specially designed to help students in grades 5 through 12 experience and develop life skills. Communication, teamwork, cooperation, problem-solving, goal setting, and leadership are not always easily taught in the classroom. The Soaring Thru Spaces Program utilizes ground initiatives, communication exercises, trust-building activities, team challenge course elements (low ropes), and depending on the group the high ropes course to accomplish these learning goals. The High Ropes Course allows students to set goals, push beyond their comfort zone, bask in the support of teammates, and realize their own abilities. Our belief is that individuals are often more capable mentally, physically, and emotionally than they actually perceive themselves to be. If given the opportunity to try new challenges in a supportive atmosphere, they will be able to discover the excellence within themselves.

1, 2, and 3-day program options guide participants as they explore three spaces in their lives:
Inner Spaces: Knowing oneself, setting goals, overcoming fears, coping with change,
and making effective personal decisions.
Shared Spaces: Group interaction, problem-solving with peers, communication skills,
conflict management, and making effective group decisions.
Outer Spaces: Facing the unknown, envisioning a positive future, creating new ideas
and applying lessons to real-life situations.
In a supportive and non-competitive atmosphere, students increase their ability to share feelings, express themselves, and deal with obstacles.

STAFF: All educational programming is lead by Penn’s trained group of facilitators. All
facilitators make student safety their top priority and have the ability to use each element on both the Team Challenge Course and High Ropes Course as viable educational tools and are able to take advantage of those “teachable moments” that develop during the program.

PROGRAM OPTIONS: Groups can choose 1, 2, or 3-day experiences. All programs begin with group initiative activities, cooperative games, and trust activities, progressively increasing in difficulty. Team Challenge Course elements include Spiders Web, Mohawk Walk, and Tree Tops to name a few. These activities provide the ultimate challenge for a team to learn to work together and problem-solve effectively. Many of our groups also choose to utilize our High Ropes Course during their visit. Specific High Ropes elements will be chosen depending on trip length and group size.

FACILITY: Groups choosing to spend 1 or more nights at camp will live in our A-framed cabins which accommodate 25 individuals each. Cabins include shower and restroom facilities, bunked beds, and are heated for year-round use. Meals are prepared by our full-service dining hall, which is peanut-free and vegetarian options are available.

CHAPERONES: Although Penn’s trained facilitators handle all the educational programming, each school is responsible for providing chaperones to assist with activity groups during the day and to oversee the cabins at night. Depending on the group, these chaperones may be a teacher from school or a brave parent that has signed up to chaperone through the school.

To enroll your class in the Soaring Thru Spaces Program, contact Education Director Kyle Shillinglaw at 336-349-9445 or