Low Elements

Interested in team-building? Want your retreat group to grow closer to one another while learning more about themselves? Low Elements has been an integral part of summer camp living groups and retreat schedules at Glisson for decades now. Built in 2011 by Project Adventure, our new course is comprised of multiple team-building initiatives that do not require helmets, harnesses, or belayers. Since these elements are low to the ground, they only require attentive spotters (the members of the group not currently on the element). Trained Glisson staff facilitate the small group dynamics involved in solving the initiatives with a focus on inclusion, communication, and encouragement. Of all the events in our Challenge Course, Low Elements is often the activity that draws a group closer, faster, than any other.

The course forms a circuit similar to the map shown below. Our customized, 13-event course includes the elements listed beneath the map.

Low Elements Map

Low Multi-Vine Traverse:
This element appears twice on our circuit. One of those two times is as the first of eight segments of the zig-zaging Mohawk Walk. Two cables are strung parallel to the ground: the lower at approx. 18" high and the upper at approx. 10' high. The participants crosses the lower cable using ropes (constituting the "vines") suspended from the upper cable. 

Mohawk Walk:

A multi-segment element consisting of cables strung approx. 18" above the ground between trees at varying lengths. The participants work together to traverse all segements without touching the ground. 

Tension Traverse:

Spanning two segments of our Mohawk Walk, this element involves a long rope attached to a tree at a point approx. 12' above the ground. Participants use this rope, their wits, and their best cooperation to traverse the cables approx. 18" above the ground. 

Full House:

This element is in the shape of a house formed by wooden rails laid approx. 18" above the ground. The group members begin this activity with half of the group standing on the wooden rails of the left side of the "house" and the other half standing on the right side. The objective is for the halves to switch places by traversing the wooden rails in opposing directions: one half traverses clockwise while the other half traverses counter-clockwise. 

Universal Person Sender:

Two platform are separated by approx. 25.' Above the heads of the participants is strung a cable on which is suspended a platform. The platform slides the length of the cable connecting one platform to the other. The group participants are to cross the gap using this sliding platform.

360 Whale Watch:

On a center point rests an octagonal shaped platform having the mobility to lean in any direction. The group tackling this obstacle will coordinate their balancing efforts to level out the platform preventing any edge from touching the ground. 

Spider's Web:
At this element, bungee cord is strung between two trees forming a web.  The group works together to pass every group member through the opening in the web. 

TP Shuffle:

A group stands along a utility pole laid a few inches above the ground. The participants' objective is to switch positions with each other by traversing the pole without touching the ground. 


Two large platforms spaced approx. 20' apart have 8 smaller 1'x1' platforms scattered between them. The group will use three planks and their best puzzle solving capabilities to, as a team, traverse the gap between the two large platforms. 

Wild Woosey:

At this element two cables are strung approx. 18" above the ground in the shape of a 'V.' Two particpants  traverse the 'V' from the narrow end to the wide end by leaning in to support each other. 

Team Triangle:

Here, a six-sided wooden platform is surrounded by a triangle formed by three trees and foot cables strung between them approx. 15" above the ground. The group begins the activity stanging on the platform. The objective is for each member of the group to touch each corner of the triangle without touching the ground. 

Rope Bridge:

A 25' long cable is strung approx. 18" above the ground between two platforms. Strung parallel to the cable is a rope approx. 5' above the ground. The group will trust each other as they guide one another across the cable. 

Broken Bridge: 

Two platforms are separated by a 30' gap connected by two parallel cables. Resting on these cables are six sliding planks. The group is given four planks to forge across the gaps between the sliding planks to reach the other platform. 


"This was my 5th or 6th year and I have even more fun each summer! Thank you for making me feel safe and at home at Camp Glisson."

2013 summer camper