The Team Leadership Center & Kayaking Adventures Door County
is DC Adventure Center!
– All the facts you need to understand who we are and what we do –
Q: What is at the Team Leadership Center?
A: On these 80 acres is a low and high ropes challenge course, as well as a turn of the century dairy barn. The barn itself holds an indoor climbing gym, a 15′ initiative wall, several high ropes climbing elements, a multi-use hayloft (huge gathering space for large groups), 2 heated conference rooms, as well as a large eating area with picnic tables. Outside is our high and low ropes challenge course that hosts over 12 high ropes elements, a 30′ pamper pole, a 30′ climbing tower, and Door County’s very first “Adventure Zip Line Tour.” This tour happens to still be the longest and highest course in Door County still to this day (Jan 21, 2013)! Standing on the top of our 30′ climbing tower, you will zip across 500′, land on a platform, climb up to 45′ launching onto our 750′ zip line, and finishing the course traveling 260′ to our last platform.
Q: What leadership/team building adventures do you offer?
A: We provide customized programs in team building, collaborative leadership, keynote speaking and strategic planning facilitation to organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Our programs focus on leadership tendencies and group dynamics. They are interactive and dynamic, helping participants have first-hand experience in applying the skills learned. This hands-on approach facilitates the transfer and retention of skills developed, enriching both the participants and their organizations.
Q: Do you ever provide offsite programs?
A: Yes! We travel all over the United States and Canada providing offsite programs. Our most popular offsite programs are for corporations, trips or schools. St. Norbert College (SNC) also contracts us out to run their low and high challenge course in De Pere, WI. Many organizations choose this location for convenience and to save on bus cost. New to 2013, one of our most popular programs focuses on the current and unfortunate buzz word, “bullying.” From the Door Peninsula in the East to Eau Claire in the North and Hartford in the South, we are traveling all over Wisconsin talking about leadership as it relates to bullying for 4th and 5th grade students.
Q: Is the center opened year round?
A: Yes, we provide programming 364 days a year. We suggest you reserve your program date for a team building or leadership event at least 2 months in advance to guarantee your magical day. Trips and training sessions should also be scheduled several months in advance, while tours and instruction can be scheduled just 2 weeks in advance. However, feel free to schedule even farther in advance; that helps our scheduling team immensely! No need to call ahead to rent a boat or SUP, just show up. Walk-ins are welcome at our rental concession. They are also welcome for our tours! However, we cannot guarantee service upon arrival. In fact, some tours can get cancelled, moved or rescheduled based on weather or demand so call/email today!
Q: What kind of clothing and shoes should participants wear to their adventures?
A: Due to the nature of the rustic setting of the Team Leadership Center, Inc. and our other outdoor adventure programs (zip line tours, kayak tours, boat/SUP rentals, etc.) participants should dress in layers. Any clothing that wicks away water should be your primary layer, followed by warming layers (wool is awesome!), with a outer shell to protect your body in the wind and waves. Even in summer it can be extremely windy so be mindful of the forecast! Always wear comfortable clothes, being prepared for rain and inclement weather. Footwear is important; always wear close-toed shoes, preferably sneakers or hiking boots. Please do not wear heels or sandals of any kind.
Q: What if I am not comfortable participating in an activity?
A: All activities, initiatives and climbs you may participate in are on a “challenge by choice” basis. TLC is in no way affiliated with the military. If something is pushing your personal comfort zone or physical abilities, please speak to your facilitator and they will find another role for you to play.
Q: Can I fall?
A: DC Adventure Center holds safety as our first priority, with fun being the second when facilitating any group. All TLC facilitators are trained and certified professionals who only do things one way, the safe way. Whenever participants have the opportunity to leave the ground, they will be using climbing/safety equipment (harnesses and helmets) and are always secured to a climbing rope.
Q: What does “belay” mean?
A: Belay is a word of French origin which means to secure (a climber for example) at the end of a length of rope.
Q: What group sizes can DCAC work with?
A: 6-20 are our smaller and more ideal group size. 20-50 can be handled with multiple facilitators with an increase in program cost. We can also handle 50-300 participants depending on the demands of the program. Call with questions and ask for large group rates!
Q: What about safety? Are you safe?
A: Yes, we have been operating as a commercial vendor for kayak tours, lessons, trips and workshops for the past 18 seasons. We have never had a rescue incident, citation, severe injury or loss! Our certified staff and stellar safety record is what sets us apart from the rest of the commercial outfitters in Door County.
Q: What about our guides? Are they well trained?
A: They are all well-trained, gaining certifications throughout their employment. The guides employed at DCAC are trained according to national standards set by the American Canoe Association (ACA) and the Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). Successful completion of training leads to certification as a coastal sea kayak instructor. Our kayak guides are urged to achieve ACA Level-3 ranking within their first summer (unless already certified). Many instructor-guides pursue additional levels of certification as well. All kayak staff participate in on-going training in areas of kayak skills, rescues, navigation, group management and open water paddling. Our zip line guides and ropes course facilitators are hired upon initial certifications. All ropes course facilitators participate in on-going training in areas of zip line guiding and rescues, soft facilitation skills, technical belay skills and ropes course management.
Q: What exactly is a sea kayak?
A: Our sea kayaks vary in length from 15-22′, have two bulkheads sealing off watertight compartments in the front and back of the boat. We required all guides and participants to wear a spray deck/skirt while paddling. Lake Michigan is COLD! The spray deck serves to keep water out of the cockpit enabling the paddler to stay warmer and drier. Your time on the water will be much more enjoyable, reducing the potential for hypothermia. In the unlikely event of a boat capsize, the spray deck releases quickly. We love sea kayaking in its traditional form and use this type of boat for all of our paddling endeavors (tours included).
Q: So what is a recreational paddling tour?
A: Participants, on these half-day tours, usually paddle about 2.5 hours. We welcome any ability and experience level but gear the program especially to beginners! Basic safety, boat control and paddle stroke instruction is included before pushing off from shore. The pace is leisurely with guides taking pictures for a memorable experience!
Q: What then is an outfitted trip?
A: This is an overnight or multi-day paddling (canoe or kayak) trip where we paddle the islands of Lake Michigan or Superior, with lodging near our launch sites. Everything we need for the entire trip is packed in our boats! Typically we send out specific equipment lists prior to the departure date, but participants always need a sleeping bag with compression sack, sleeping pad, tent, wetsuit and waterproof dry bags for clothes and personal items. Don’t have all of that stuff? Not to worry!!! We can help!! We are happy to provide sleeping bags, compression sacks, pads, tents, wetsuits and dry bags for our trippers to use at no extra charge. In addition, DCAC provides meals, camping fees and top notch instruction for every one of our trips. Fun fact: we always bring chocolate to reward success and help brain function!