Swinging Log

The Swinging Log is a popular ropes course element that is constructed between trees or poles. A tree or log is suspended with cables between trees or poles, making it very difficult to stand on.

The objective is to perform various group balancing tasks on top of the log.

Sample Tasks

  1. Have individuals stand on one end of the log and walk to the other side. Not as easy at it sounds - the log rocks back and forth and side to side!
  2. Have one individual stand on top of the end of each log. They can hold on to the cable to start. On "Go" each person must balance without holding on to anything, and try to rock the log to shake the other person off. (We call this activity "Jousting")
  3. Have individuals try to step up onto the middle of the log and balance for 5 seconds on the first try. Create a line in the dirt in front of the log and have people step onto the log from behind the line. Move the line back to making increasingly more difficult.
  4. Have the group sit on the log and lift their legs off the group simultaneously for a count of ten.
  5. Have the group stand on the log at the same time for a count of ten. Very difficult!

Some facilitiation tips:

  • The group initiatives are very difficult to spot. Many ropes course companies now recommend only doing individual activities on the log. When performing group initiatives on the log, be sure to have participants hold the log until the last person is up. Staff spotters should secure the log when the group jumps off to prevent it from swinging.
  • Be sure that your ropes course contractor has installed safey cables that limit the swing of the log.
  • Do not let participants go between the log and the trees it connected to. They could be struck while between the log and tree, which would be very dangerous.
  • Be sure that only properly trained staff supervise all ropes course activities!
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