Students to monkey around at Go Ape

Learn outdoor skills like zip lining and climbing at Go Ape, located in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of Go Ape

By Kyle Ferraro

A day of treetop fun is promised for students April 16. Youngstown State University’s Adventure Recreation team is taking students and interested faculty and staff to the Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park in Cleveland.

Go Ape is a high-ropes course 50 feet in the air that includes zip lines, Tarzan swings and obstacles advertised as exciting. 

R.J. Markowitz, coordinator of Adventure Rec at YSU, is organizing the trip. This is the first time the Adventure Rec team will visit Go Ape. 

“It has always been something we have talked about,” Markowitz said. “But it always depends on student interest. We are always trying to provide something new and something different along with the old favorites.”

Markowitz said all transportation will be provided, as well as necessary equipment like rappelling gloves. 

This trip has a maximum limit of 15 people. It’s open to all members of the YSU Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center. This includes all students and any faculty and staff who have paid memberships. The trek to Go Ape will be a great way to meet like-minded individuals, Markowitz said. 

“College is the time when you’re supposed to step outside your comfort zone,” Markowitz said. “You don’t want to look back and say, ‘I wish I would’ve done this.’”

Matthew Mazei, a sophomore criminal justice major, loves the idea of attending this trip. 

“Going on this trip sounds like it’d be a lot of fun,” Mazei said. “I’ve grown up climbing trees and have been zip lining before, so going up with other YSU students should be fun.” 

Mazei isn’t worried about any safety concerns that may come with this obstacle course. 

“All of the employees there take their job seriously and will teach us all the right ways to go through the course,” Mazei said. 

Jason Budden, chief operating officer at Go Ape, said the safety of guests is top priority.

“We ensure that everyone who comes to Go Ape has the training and skills to complete a treetop activity,” Budden said. “For the safety of everyone, we require all participants to read and sign our waiver before you ‘Go Ape.’”

All of the Go Ape courses are inspected by staff through regular audits and the use of third-party Association for Challenge Course Technology certified inspectors, Budden said. 

In case of emergency, Go Ape team members are properly trained. 

“All the staff undergo regular training in terms of dealing with an emergency. We also have a rescue-trained staff member at the site at all times,” Budden said.

The course will take around two hours to finish. The buses will leave campus at 10 a.m. and are expected to return between 4-5 p.m. 

To register, search Campus Recreation on the YSU website and click on the store tab. The registration deadline is 3 p.m. April 14, and the cost is $70.

RJ Markowitz, Coordinator of Adventure Rec at YSU, ramarkowitz@ysu.edu

Jason Budden, Chief Operating Officer at Go Ape, Jason.budden@goape.com

Matt Mazei, YSU, sophomore criminal justice major, Mdmazei@student.ysu.edu