CommunitySpotlight Series


Spotlight on Versailles: Life Adventure Center

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Posted at 11:21 PM, Apr 20, 2022

WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — On 575 acres in Woodford County, people face their fears at the Life Adventure Center.

"Our mission is to use outdoor adventure to build resilience and self-regulation skills in people affected by trauma," said Director of Philanthropy and Engagement Laurel Hostetter.

"One of the great parts about it is it forces you to take a risk. You're out of your comfort zone already. We really want to get people in that growth zone," Hostetter said.

The facility has horseback riding, canoeing, and all kinds of outdoor adventures. As LEX 18 visited the facility, the Leadership Anderson County group was doing a team-building event on the climbing wall and ropes course.

About 35 feet above the ground, they wandered from platform to platform through all kinds of ropes and cable setups. The key, organizers said, is to look for small victories. Leadership Anderson County director Jeri Lynn Carmickle got halfway up the wall. The goal isn't to make it to the top - it's to make progress.

"I've been out here several times before and never even put a helmet on, was not going to put a harness on. I knew that I would freeze up," Carmickle said. "This time I actually decided, put that helmet on, put that harness on, and let's try this,"

"We never want to push someone too far. We want it to be your victory and for some people, that's putting the helmet on, for some people, that's getting to the top of the wall and zip-lining down," Hostetter said.

Group member Jennifer Drury didn't know many of the people in the group when they showed up that day, but by the time they finished, she'd learned a lot about how to connect with them.

"Not be so focused on what you're doing in the moment that you can't be present for those around, because it was hard not focusing so much to where I still could encourage my teammates," she said.

That's what this organization is all about - taking the lessons learned high above the ground and carrying them all the way back down.

"This is the easy part. This is the fun part. It's when you go back into your life, when you go back into your classroom, back to your home, what skills are you taking with you?" Hostetter said.