Universal Experiential Education through Aerial Adventures

2022 International Conference Pre-Conference Events

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
1:30 PM - 5:30 PM (EST)
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Category: International Conferences

Universal Experiential Education through Aerial Adventures

Capacity: 30 participants

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 9th, 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Location: Challenge Course & Shelter

Cost: $125 

Presenters:  Melanie Wills & Carla Hacker

Melanie has experience in program management at multiple camps & outdoor centers and is currently the Director of Operations & Development/COO for Experiential Systems, Inc. Melanie is involved with several industry associations including the Association for Challenge Course Technology, Association for Experiential Education, American Camp Association, and several medical associations leaning into her additional background in public health and wellness.

Carla has been providing universally accessible programming in the field of experiential education for many years. As a trainer and accessibility specialist with ESI, Inc. she continues to develop and implement training curriculum and equipment design for full inclusion on challenge courses and ziplines. Carla serves on the board of directors for the Association for Experiential Education, has hosted and presented at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally, and is an active member of AEE. She is also graduate faculty for the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse.


This engaging workshop will showcase active participation in an aerial adventure. Melanie Wills and Carla Hacker will cover how to create an aerial adventure (challenge course, adventure park, zip line) program designed to include participants of all abilities. The concepts of Universal Mindset and Invitational Education will be utilized as a basis for our time together. Come prepared to dive deep into the accessibility world and come away with resources needed to assess your facility, course, and program. Though the focus of the workshop will apply to aerial adventures, much of the content can apply to other experiential education activities.

  • Understand universal mindset and invitational education as it pertains to aerial adventure courses.
  • Utilize accessibility assessment tools including the principles of universal design to determine what is needed on your course or program.
  • Practice with speciality equipment and rigging techniques that may be needed to work with a broader range of people.
  • Actively engage in a course experience through guided simulations.
  • Network, share, and learn from others.

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Pre-Conference sessions (Extended Education) take place prior to the start of the 2022 International Conference, and are in-depth workshops and activities that provide an expanded opportunity for professional development.


Do I need to register for the International Conference (taking place Nov 10-13) in order to attend a pre-conference event? No! You are able to register and attend any of the below events without having to purchase a ticket or attend the entire International Conference.

Are meals and lodging included? No. If you plan to stay overnight or have meals on-site, you must purchase lodging and a meal plan separately.

Can I get CEUs from pre-conference events? This depends on the individual event. Each event is different and you'll need to check out the specific event details.

Where are the events being held? Location varies by individual event. Each event will be held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly unless otherwise specified.

Are the pre-conferences available to virtual attendees too? Will they be recorded? No. Pre-conference events occur in-person only unless otherwise specified.

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29 Seats Remaining
29 Seats Remaining