Goals & Features of cope 1 hour Group Development 1 hour Sequencing & Processing 2 hours Stories & Tall Tales 1 hour Trust Activities 2 hours Low Course Activities 4 hours High Course Activities 4 hours Standards Recap 1 hour Total 16 hours



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Goals & Features of COPE 1 hour

Group Development 1 hour

Sequencing & Processing 2 hours

Stories & Tall Tales 1 hour

Trust Activities 2 hours

Low Course Activities 4 hours

High Course Activities 4 hours

Standards Recap 1 hour

Total 16 hours

Subject: Goals and features of COPE

Course: COPE; Level II

Time: 1 hour
Instructional objectives:

  • Be able to incorporate the goals into the program


Training Aids and Equipment:

  • BSA COPE & Climbing Reference Manual


Materials for Distribution:

  • None


Methods and Overview:

  • Group discussion activity

  • Initiative games/activities


Lesson plan for Level II:

  • Divide the class into groups and have them do the following:

    • Select one of the 8 goals of COPE and design an initiative game from the COPE and Climbing Manual or other games resource that emphasizes that particular goal

    • Present the activity plan to the entire class
    • Go out and play a few of the games to illustrate the concept


  • Conduct a process session after the games

    • How well did the game reinforce the goal?

    • What other adaptations might be made to make the game more successful?

    • How could you re-shape the game to include another goal?


Subject: Group Development

Course: COPE; LII

Time: 1 hour
Instructional Objectives:

  • Describe the stages of group development.

  • Describe how COPE & Climbing can form the core of a group development program.

  • List the key factors in group development.


Training Aids and Equipment:

  • COPE & Climbing Reference Manual

  • A Teachable Moment by Jim Cain, Michelle Cummings, and Jennifer Stanchfield (Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co., 2005)


Materials for Distribution:

• None
Methods and Overview

• Discussion and group activity: Stages of Group Development
Lesson Plan:

Discussion and group activity: Group Development



  • Lead a discussion to identify the stages of group development:

    • Forming – possible points to discuss: uncomfortable; disoriented; needing order; how do I fit in

    • Storming – possible points to discuss: seeking control & power; nervous; divisiveness; us vs/them feelings; anger

    • Norming – possible points to discuss: identity as a group; sharing; high comfort level; improved communication
    • Performing – possible points to discuss: cooperation; enthusiasm; unified; flexible; consensus; effective communication


    • Transforming – possible points to discuss: highly effective levels of communication, listening, problem solving, productivity; use of "touchstones" from past experiences; synergy

Group Activity



  • Select several experiential games.

  • Divide the group into small groupsEach group will be assigned one of the experiential games.

  • Give one handout to the group which explains the rules of the game.

  • Each group must play the game and demonstrate it to rest of the group.

  • After all the groups have shared their game, the instructor should process the group experience

  • Ask each group to provide examples and explain how they went through the stages to successfully play the game.

Subject: Sequencing and Processing

Course: COPE; Level II

Time: 2 hours
Instructional Objectives:

  • Describe how well-timed additional challenges can be used to promote group growth

  • Diagram a continuum of processing techniques from participant-centered to facilitator-centered processing

  • Design a sequence of activities to accomplish particular group goals



Training Aids and Equipment Resources:

  • BSA COPE & Climbing Reference Manual

  • Luckner, John and Nadler, Reldan. Processing the Experience. Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co., 1997
  • Cain, Jim, Cummings, Michelle, & Stanchfield, Jennifer. A Teachable Moment. Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co., 2005


  • Stanchfield, Jennifer. Tips & Tools: The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation. Wood ‘N’ Barnes Publishing Co. 2007


Materials for Distribution:

  • None


Overview and Methods:

Group activity and discussion: Processing continuum

Group activity: Design a sequence of events
Lesson plan:

Group activity and discussion: Processing Continuum



  • Lead the group in an initiative game or low course activity. Following the activity, process the experience using a variety of techniques so that you can draw on those in the discussion. Introduce an additional challenge to the activity while it is underway.

  • Describe how well-timed additional challenges can be used to promote group growth

  • Conditions or occurrences that cause frustration or conflict in a group

  • Disruption of normal defenses

  • Hope (or lack of it)

  • Effort (or perceived lack of it on the part of others)

  • Trust (or lack of it)

  • Incomplete communication

  • Stress

  • Sense of unknown

  • Perception of risk

  • Perception of “changing rules”

  • Sometimes these conditions occur by themselves; however, facilitators can facilitate them by introducing additional challenges, or changing the situation. Good facilitators are careful to weave these into the story so that:

    • The facilitator does not become the adversary, rather it is a natural part of the progression of the story, so it has to make sense to the participants
    • Warn participants early on that “bad things happen to good people”, and “life is not always fair”, so sometimes you just have to “suck it up” and get on with life


    • Make certain that the timing and degree of difficulty of the challenges do not compromise the safety of the group or make the task impossible to complete

    • Sometimes the challenge can be linked to a specific purpose, such as getting a reluctant leader to step up to a leadership role, or settling down a person who is always taking charge

    • The more creative the story, the easier it is to weave changes into it as the activity progresses

    • The most difficult challenge for the facilitator is to pay close attention to what is going on with the individuals in the group and knowing when to intervene, and when to just let things happen on their own

  • Discuss various processing (sometimes called debriefing) techniques that might be used, and list them on a line chart that goes from facilitator-centered to participant-centered processing. Examples might be:

    • Questions

    • Dyads, triads, writing, talking around the circle

    • Tools (cards, rings, “talking stick”, props)

    • Body language

    • Waiting patiently for something to happen on its own

    • Mountains speak for themselves (so do Valleys)

Group Activity: Design a sequence of activities to accomplish particular group goals.



  • Divide into groups and design an appropriate sequence of activities for one of the following groups, be certain to use the advanced facilitation skills learned in today’s lessons:

  • Patrol Leader Council

  • Camp Staff

  • Universal Access Group

  • Corporate Group

  • When the groups are finished have each group describe their sequences and why they chose them to the entire class.

Subject: Stories and Tall Tales


Course: COPE; Level II

Time: 1 hour
Instructional Objectives:


  • Demonstrate the ability to construct an original story line and use it over a sequence of activities


Training Aids and Equipment Resources:

  • BSA COPE & Climbing Reference Manual

  • Various objects to use for object analogies

  • Flip chart and markers


Materials for Distribution:

  • None


Methods and Overview:

  • Group Activity and Discussion: Creating a story line

  • Group Activity: Using a story line for a sequence of activities


Lesson plan:

Group Activity and Discussion: Creating a story line



  • Divide the group into sub-groups of 2-4 people each.

  • Give each group an object and ask them to come up with a storyline related to their first idea that comes from looking at the object

  • Ask each group to create a progressive story that can be used for a sequence of 3 activities

  • All of the groups should present their story line and activity plan to the entire class

  • Ask the class to select one of the groups’ activity plans and go through the sequence as a class. The group who developed the sequence should lead it.

  • During the processing of the final activity, ask both those who lead the activities and those who participated to comment on the effectiveness of the story line
  • Give an assignment for each individual in the class to come up with an original story line and sequence of activities, and bring it with them to tomorrow’s class. Instructors should type up these story lines & sequences and share them with the class at the end of the course.



Subject: Trust Activities

Course: COPE; Level II

Time: 2 hours
Instructional Objectives

  • Describe techniques for integrating trust activities into the COPE program

  • Facilitate trust activities


Training Aids and Equipment Required

  • None


Materials for Distribution

  • None


Methods and Overview

  • Group Activity & Discussion: Blind Trust Walk

  • Group Activity: Designing trust activities into a COPE sequence


Lesson Plan:

Group Activity & Discussion: Blind Trust Walk



  • Describe progressions for developing trust

  • Ask the group to identify some of the safety concerns associated with trust activities

  • Discuss how the Blind Trust Walk might be used to lead a group from one activity to another in order to introduce the challenge of having part of the group be unable to see the activity area from the beginning.

  • Lead the group on a Blind Trust Walk with half of them blindfolded. Add some interesting variations such as:

    • Crawling over a picnic table

    • Walking on a log

    • Going under a low branch

    • Passing blind participants through the Porthole of Spider Web

  • Take the group to a low element and leave the blindfolds on. Tell the story for the element and let them know the safety concerns and rules for the activity.
  • Make it part of the story for the blind participants to get their sight back at some point. This may not be the same for everyone, but the process needs to make sense in the context of the story line.


  • After processing the experience, discuss what impact coming to the activity blindfolded had on the group. Get the perspective of both those who were blind and those who were sighted.

Group Activity: Designing trust activities into a COPE sequence



  • Give the class the following example of a COPE sequence (or make up your own):

    • Traffic Jam

    • Couples Tag

    • All Aboard

    • Triangle Traverse

    • Spider Web

    • The Beam

  • Ask the class where spotting training should take place, and how it should be done

  • Ask the class where trust activities might fit in the sequence and the possible impact they might have on the group


Subject: Low Course Activities

Course: COPE; Level II

Time: 4 hours
Instructional Objectives:

  • Instruct a sequence of COPE activities for an outside group


Training aides and equipment required:

  • None


Materials for distribution:

  • None


Methods and Overview:

  • Group Activity: Facilitate Low-Course Activities



Lesson plan: Low Course Activities

Group Activity: Facilitate Low Course Activities



  • Arrange for a group to participate in a low course experience. It might be an outside group, a group of scouts, or another section from NCS.

  • Have the students plan and facilitate the activity while the instructors observe their performance.
  • After the conclusion of the activity, debrief and evaluate the day



Subject: High-Course Activities

Course: COPE: Level II

Time: 4 hours
Instructional Objectives:

  • Inspect, set-up, and operate the high course with a group of outside participants



Training Aids and Equipment Required:

  • All equipment to inspect, set-up, and use high course elements.

  • Equipment for emergency procedures


Materials for Distribution

  • None


Methods and Overview:

Group Activity: Facilitate High Course Activities


Lesson plan:

Group Activity: Facilitate High Course Activities



  • Arrange for a group to participate in a high course experience. It might be an outside group, a group of scouts, or another section from NCS.

  • Have the students plan and facilitate the activity while the instructors observe their performance.

  • After the conclusion of the activity, debrief and evaluate the day


Subject: Standards Recap

Course: COPE; Level II

Time: 60 minutes
Instructional Objectives;

  • Understand the NCAP process and how COPE and Climbing programs fit within that process

  • Have a good understanding of all the standards applicable to instructing the COPE program.


Training Aids and Equipment Required

  • Current ACCT Standards

  • Current NCAP Standards


Materials for Distribution

  • Current ACCT Standards


  • Current BSA COPE & Climbing National Camp standards


Methods and Overview

  • Mini-lecture and group discussion: NCAP process

  • Creative game to review the standards (Standards Jeopardy, Standards Charades)

Lesson Plan: Standards Recap

  • Mini-lecture & group discussion: NCAP process

    • Briefly outline the NCAP process explaining the following:

    • NCAP Standards





  • Few things are more boring and tedious than trying to present all of the ACCT and BSA COPE & Climbing standards in a single sit down session. Relevant standards should be covered as part of the subject matter presentations and discussions. This way the standard makes sense and the student is more apt to remember it. This is not intended to be a complete review of all of the standards, only the ones relevant to the job of instructing COPE programs.

  • One method that might be used is to make a checklist of the standards that need to be covered in the course on a flipchart, and check them off as they are covered in the session. Before this session begins, review the list and make sure all of the standards relevant to COPE have been addressed. Identify any standards not already discussed and present this information to the class.

  • After assuring all of the ACCT and BSA COPE & Climbing standards have been presented spend some time fielding questions or quizzing the students to assure that they understand




2/9/2015



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