BPD Ropes Challenge a success

The Baldwinsville Police Department has a history of providing many worthwhile community service programs. Some of the most exciting programs are those that involve the youth, specifically teenagers in our community. Many experts agree that the best programs for youth are those that involve boosting their self esteem and activities that force them to believe in themselves.

On June 25, the police department completed its 13th annual "Ropes Challenge," which included more than 30 teenagers from the Baldwinsville area, from 12 to 17 years old. This event provided a valuable opportunity for our local youths to challenge themselves and try new positive adventures. The day's event started at Baker High School in Baldwinsville then ended in our own Community Park and was a great success.

The morning events started with a very warm welcome from Baldwinsville Police Chief Michael Lefancheck who welcomed the teenagers and offered words of encouragement to get the youths excited for the day's events. The youths were then fitted for safety harnesses and were tasked with the first challenges of their day. The first event consisted of two events where two separate ropes hang from the gymnasium ceiling and the youths were asked to climb as high as they could. These events built trust and confidence with the youths as many were able to overcome their fear of heights and climb to the top of each rope.

The motivation and team work showed by every person involved pushed these individuals through tough times during both of these very difficult challenges. This display of teamwork is what makes the Ropes Challenge a success.

Later in the afternoon, the group moved the event to Pelcher-Arcaro stadium where the youths were given much tougher challenges. The challenges consisted of a pole approximately 20 feet high in which the task was to have the teens climb to the top of the pole and then leap in an attempt to touch a ball dangling approximately 25 feet over an open area. The other challenge was the high pole which consists of a 40 to 60 foot pole in which the youths were asked to climb and then as they reached the top they were to walk along a horizontal pole which was approximately 60 feet or so from the ground and then as they reached the end of the pole they were asked to repel to the ground using the safety harness. It was very exciting to see how many individuals overcame their fear of heights and completed both tasks.

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