Some items FFA chapters donate help the Indiana FFA Center expand its offering of activities. Many of these activities encourage leadership development, not just recreation alone, notes Joe Park, Indiana FFA Center director. Several items donated by chapters are utilized in the low ropes course at the Center.
One of the most extensive low ropes courses in Indiana, the mission is training small groups how to cooperate, Park says. For example, teams of students are challenged to get their entire team on a swinging log, suspended between trees.
The low ropes course is also available for use by adult groups who want leadership training as well. Training is done by certified instructors.
In another activity campers learn how to balance themselves and teammate on the Whale Watch. It's an overgrown teeter-totter, much wider than playground teeter-totters. It looks like a flatboat on a pivot point, which is made of lumber and is at ground level.
Fans of National Treasure, the movie, may recognize it as the type of flat wooden structure that the heroes and heroines had to negotiate without falling off while finding the treasure. Built and donated by the South Newton FFA, it challenges teams to see how many members they can get onboard before it tips.
North Newton FFA donated money, supplies and time to put together yet another exercise and training device. Made out of plastic PVC pipe and connectors, it forms the base for a game called "Nine squares in the air." Almost indescribable, it's like volleyball, dodge ball and tic-tac-toe all combined into a game kids love, he says. It takes teamwork and thought to use it successfully.
Other chapters have donated everything from flowers and shrubbery to their own time, spent doing projects around the FFA Center.