Spencer Lodge & YMCA Leadership Challenge Centre

We believe success is not dependent on individual ability, but rather collaborating to solve problems together. Experiential education is a powerful tool in helping students transfer learning from the classroom into real life.

Our programs meet Ontario curriculum requirements and address the specific needs of students and teachers. Whether at the Elementary or Secondary School level, we include specific lesson plans, recommended experiential exercises, and debriefing activities. We also follow all OPHEA guidelines and recommended practices to ensure the safety of all participants.

Located conveniently in London and Sarnia, our sites are designed to maximize confidence building and teamwork. Each location offers the same programming but may have different outdoor course elements.

The YMCA Leadership Challenge Courses offer a range of programs for people of all ages and abilities. The experiential adventure program provides groups the opportunity to participate in a series of activities involving mental, physical, and emotional challenges in a safe environment. The programs are designed to improve communications, break down barriers, and enhance leadership skills amongst participants. Success is not dependent on individual ability, but rather collaboration to solve problems and navigate change together.

Our staff will work with your group to create a customized program that meets your needs. We weave team goals into instructions, activities, and debriefing to ensure they are the central focus. Bookings are flexible - morning, afternoon, evening, or full-day. Start and end times are also flexible to meet your schedule.

Participants are divided into groups and complete activities on a rotational schedule facilitated by experienced YMCA Leadership & Outdoor Educators. View the list below for a sample of some of the programs that would be appropriate for your group.

  • CHALLENGE BY CHOICE - Individuals are invited to participate voluntarily in the activities and challenges. If a participant chooses to sit out an activity, this right will be respected.
  • BREAKING THE ICE - To help break down barriers, the day starts on a positive note with some fun group activities to get people laughing. This is also an opportunity for Y instructors to assess the group dynamic and adjust programming accordingly.
  • LOW ROPES - A series of obstacles (one to three feet off the ground), designed to challenge groups to work together to accomplish a task. These trust activities and problem-solving challenges help develop self-confidence, cooperation, respect, decision-making skills, leadership, goal setting, and teamwork.
  • HIGH ROPES - Groups learn about safety, harnessing, ropes, belaying, and spotting techniques. Participants challenge themselves to climb one of four routes on the 40-foot climbing tower, or one of many high ropes elements (30 feet above the ground). Participants will be secured in climbing harnesses and wear helmets for protection at all times.
  • GROUP BENEFITS • Goal setting & achievement • Powerful, fun, hands-on programs for groups of all ages & abilities • Successfully navigate change • Break down communication barriers • Deepen personal confidence • Develop a positive group climate • Celebrate individual & group accomplishments

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The YMCA of Southwestern Ontario is a multi-service charity that provides opportunities for personal growth in spirit mind and body for people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and abilities. We offer schools and not-for-profit organizations financial assistance to help build healthy communities. For more information please contact us.