By Michael J. Gobert
In that I am new to Allen County Parks I have been given this opportunity to provide more of my history, skills and experience.
My friends know me as a caring, giving, open-minded, intelligent, and spiritual person. I am an educator, environmentalist, naturalist, horticulturalist, conservationist, cyclist, challenge course trainer and instructor, and wilderness guide that is always learning and growing. I have over 35 years experience of working in these fields of study, and have worked with all ages in a wide variety of learning environments. My approach to teaching is experiential and I utilize the acclimatizing sensory awareness methodology. I am a diverse and a directly honest individual. I will gratefully talk to you, and provide programs relative to any of the aforementioned topics.
I plan to provide specific programs in canoeing, cross country skiing, backpacking, camping, survival skills, and trip planning. Hopefully we can set up some trips.
A new program offering at Metea County Park is Challenge Course programming. This program is comprised of three primary aspects. The initial is usually games and initiatives. These are further divided into categories of social/recreational, trust, and problem solving. They all foster the development of communication and teamwork. The second and third level of challenge programming occurs on a Challenge Course. The military calls them obstacle courses, which implies that something is in the way. They are also called ropes courses by the professionals of climbing and builders organizations. I prefer to challenge rather than force or coerce you to do something you are unsure of. A challenge course is divided into low and high segments. I know of five local courses, (within 25 miles), two comprised of lows, and three with both. Of these Challenge Courses, The Timberline Challenge Program at Deer Run is renowned as one of this nation’s best courses in design and diversity of options. Lows and highs are made of wood, poles, cables, and/or rope strung between trees or posts. Lows are 10’ and under, whereas highs are commonly 25’ to 60’. I have been on a Challenge Course in Oregon that averaged 60’ and the highest was 131’. Hopefully we will be able to extend programming to a Challenge Course during warmer months in the future.
In summary, come see me at Metea. I am looking forward to meeting you, your family, groups, and organizations. I am at your service.