An obstacle course presents a fun, active way for teenagers to burn off energy. It can be used for a variety of purposes, from building teams to testing physical prowess. As you design the obstacle course, plan activities that are difficult enough to present a challenge to teenagers so it does not seem beneath them.
For a more athletic obstacle course, plan a wall that participants must get up and over. Throw long, thick ropes over the wall so both ends dangle within arms' reach of the ground. Tie thick knots in the rope about 3 feet apart to give teenagers something to hold onto. Participants must approach the wall from one side, climb up the rope, over the wall, and down the other side. To make sure the rope doesn't slip while students are climbing over, slide it through a metal loop at the top and tie a thick knot on either side so it can't slide.
Take a page from military training and get your participants sliding through the mud. Build a mud pit that's about 5 feet wide and 20 feet long. To protect your players, dig a trench and line it with a tarp so no rocks or sticks can injure them. String wire or rope from posts about 2 feet above the mud and hang small flags from it. Participants must slither through the mud any way they can without touching the flags.
Make use of the tires you find around your house or at a junk yard by setting up a tire course. Lay two lines of tires side-by-side and have students run through them, putting each foot in a different tire. Find large tires and bury them partway in the ground in a tunnel and have students crawl through them. If you have trees on the obstacle course, hang tires from trees with thick rope and have participants climb through them.
Bucket of Water
Give your obstacle course an additional challenge with a simple bucket of water. String a rope above the obstacle course, just high enough so participants can reach it. Hang a bucket of water from the rope by the handle. As people go through the course, they must move the bucket along the rope without spilling any of the water. The challenge will require them to figure out how to get the bucket moving even when they are climbing over or under obstacles.