- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

FIRTH, Neb. (AP) - A children’s camp in southeast Nebraska is celebrating the completion of its new aerial park that challenges visitors to navigate through a course suspended high above the ground.

Camp Solaris, operated by faith-based organization Camp Sonshine, is an overnight camp just south of Firth for children in third through ninth grades. The camp offers a variety of outdoor activities, including the aerial park perched 30 feet (9 meters) above the ground, the Beatrice Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/2rKA91a ) reported.

“Our heart behind it is that it’s something that gets kids out of their comfort zone, which can lead to powerful conversations and powerful things to where they maybe discover they’re brave enough to do something like this and face their fears,” summer program director Kyle Schwerdtfeger said.

The obstacle course begins with a 30-foot climb up a ladder and ends with a zip line ride to the bottom on the other side. Guests can choose how to make their way from one side to the other of the course, while hooked to the course for safety.

“It has the Smart Snap system, which is like an interlocking device that once you hook in on one side you can’t unlock yourself until you lock in on the other side,” Schwerdtfeger said. “You’re always connected to the course. It virtually eliminates the human error of it.”

Summer program director Lauren Schwerdtfeger said adults tend to be more hesitant about the course than children. She also said the park is regularly inspected and that the equipment is inspected daily.

“It’s kind of across the board and has been mostly positive,” Kyle Schwerdtfeger said. “There’s been a few kids that were apprehensive at first. It’s one of those things where you build up to it and once they get up there they realize it’s like a playground in the air.”

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, http://www.beatricedailysun.com

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