Impromptu Obstacle Course Was a Hit With Highpoint Students

One Sunday this past September, Highpoint’s new residential coordinator (formerly a supervisor) Victoria Hanson, her assistants, and another colleague came up with a fun, spontaneous way to get the students outdoors and moving.

The idea? An obstacle course! “It was really nice out that day,” Hanson said. “We haven’t been doing real big campus activities with everyone together, so I wanted to do something that could be done team by team that everybody could still have fun with and be active, because everybody was kind of sitting around. I wanted everybody to get up and go outside at least for a little bit.”

Together, they set up different obstacles for the students to run. The final result had the students run the bases of the baseball field, dribble a soccer ball around cones, score a shot into the soccer net, hop over milk crates, and make a foul shot into the basketball hoop. To cap off the course, they had to land a frisbee into a CanJam.

The maximum amount of time students had to complete the course was three minutes. “If it took them longer than that, that was their time so that the rest of the team wasn’t waiting around for them,” said Hanson. “But surprisingly, a lot of them didn’t need that and they finished in two and a half minutes or less. So that was cool.”

Dorm teams came down one at a time to participate in the obstacle course. Two enthusiastic student helpers hung around the whole time to demonstrate the course to their classmates. 

“They ran through it every time there was a new team that came up,” Hanson said. “So they were pretty beat by the end of the day.”

Students were not required to join if they didn’t want to, but many were excited for something fun and different to do. And as Hanson shared in her interview last month, she saw real progress in one of the students when he chose to participate. 

She said, “We have a student who for a while was refusing medications. He spent a lot of time in his room, he wasn’t really following programming. 

He’s made a lot of improvements since then and when we did the obstacle course, he came out and participated. A couple of his peers did it with him, but he was able to do it in front of everybody. I think that that really said a lot about where he’s going, compared to where he was when he [arrived at Hillcrest]. For him to be able to be happy, participate, and end up doing really well…I think that was a real confidence booster for him.”

Providing our students with healthy, fun activities is a priority here at Hillcrest. We want them to have the opportunities to try new things, to socialize with their peers, and experience the normal joys of school and childhood. Sometimes these activities are extensively planned out like Hillcrest Academy’s clubs, and other times it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision like this obstacle course.


We’re looking for dynamic, compassionate people to join our team! Check out our career openings. We’re waiting to hear from you.

Don’t forget to read our interview with Victoria Hanson, the residential coordinator at Highpoint. 

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