A Day in the Life of a Course Manager
By The Adventure Park
Want to know what it’s like behind the scenes here at The Adventure Park? We’ve captured all kinds of interesting insights! To step into someone else’s Park boots, we sat down with Morgun Knabbe, the super-friendly Course Operations Manager at The Adventure Park, Virginia Aquarium. Having worked at the Park for years and worked his way up from course monitor to course manager, Morgun has all the experience and knowledge it takes to make your day here at The Adventure Park super special.
So here are the ins and outs of what a day in the life of a course manager looks like–told from the eyes of Morgun. Without further ado, here’s what he had to say!
How does your day start? How do you get the Park up and running?
So the general staff usually gets here about an hour before the Park opens–and we’ll do everything from inspecting the gear, climbing and testing all the courses, and hanging the harnesses–everything that helps a smooth running of the Park throughout the day.
Safety is always a priority, like if anything needs adjusting or staff needs help with anything–I’m there for it.
All the hosts will check guests in and send them over to our briefing area. The monitors will then run through the full safety briefing and get them in the air. It’s lather, rinse, repeat all day!
As the course manager, what are your main responsibilities?
I position myself to be the MOD or front-facing manager that customers see. I’ll walk around, talk to people, and oversee everything that goes on in the Park–checking in on staff, making sure everyone’s happy. I also help coach people through certain elements of the courses.
On busy days it’s kinda just all hands on deck. Everyone’s where they should be. We work like a well-oiled machine!
What about not-so-busy days?
There’s always something to do. Sometimes I’ve got staff training to complete or periodic inspections of the courses to make sure they’re 100% safe.
I also try to get people on board with annual Park memberships. We’ve literally had people get rid of gym memberships and get season passes with us before!
“Anytime Adventure” Season Passes offer unlimited climbing and are valid for 365 days. It’s the perfect alternative to an unused overpriced gym membership. Learn more!
What type of guests would you say visit the Park most?
The Park is most popular with people looking to get outside or do something a little adventurous. Maybe even get a little exercise.
But the most rewarding guests to interact with are those afraid of heights or scared of ziplining–but really really want to try it. These are the people who have the best time and are most thrilled when they leave at the end of the day.
What is your personal favorite element of the courses?
Kinda unique to The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is a 250-300 feet zipline, which is massive! It goes over the water so I can twist and see straight up the stream. I love going on that one. I always save that particular inspection for myself.
Did you know? The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium has a total of 258 adventure challenges, including 16 different treetop courses and 31 ziplines!
And what is your favorite Park event or the best time of year you most look forward to?
For me, it’s the middle of summer when we’re doing our Glow in the Park nights. They’re a fun experience for everybody! The Parks look so different at night. We theme each Glow in the Park event too–we’ve done animated movie night, country night, rock night and disco night!
Want to get your tickets? Reserve your slot NOW–these are SELL-OUT events! Here’s all the info you need to know.
Can you share any inspiring stories about why you love working at the Park so much?
It’s not just one specific story–this happens quite a bit. But we get a lot of 5 or 6-year-olds coming, and because it’s the first time they’re doing anything up high, they get scared…
Well, we have an old practice station that’s far removed from anything else in the main Park, and we use it sometimes for little kids who just want to do a zipline. It’s so low on the ground we can just hook them up and their parents can drag them along…And they have SO much fun doing that.
The parents are always happy too, because the kids might miss out when they have older brothers or sisters that are up climbing on the main courses. So it’s great to give the younger kids something to do, and they have a great day too.
Any funny stories?
We have this element called the “devil’s disks,” and everyone struggles with that one. It’s basically doing 9 pull-ups while moving forward!
When there are kids who are gymnasts that come with their parents–they know how to do all that stuff easily, but then you see the parents just dragging themselves across it!
So what’s the most challenging course?
So we have two really challenging courses called “Black Hawk” and “Commando.” They both offer very unique challenges, so I hesitate to say which one is harder than the other. But I’d say Commando might take it…just might.
Also, there are 16 courses that start off the main platform, and we have a labyrinth which is basically a bunch of interconnected courses that allow you to choose your own adventure.
What do you love most about your job?
Interacting with people for sure. It’s not your typical customer service job. No one ever comes to the Park angry. Everyone’s always happy to be here and excited–you can read it on their faces when they walk in!
Want to work with us? Check out our Employment page for current opportunities.
To finish up, what’s the best advice you can give someone who might be hesitant to visit the Park?
We’ve got a little something for everybody, so give it a shot! Be willing to push your comfort zone a little bit and you’ll have a good time.
I’ve coached a countless number of people who are afraid of heights–even scared of just getting up a ladder. At the end of their day here, those people are never not happy that they did it!
Want to Join Morgun at The Adventure Park, Virginia Aquarium?
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Book your tickets and get excited. One of the Park’s friendly staff will welcome you and talk you through every step of the way.
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Ready to try our courses out for yourself? Visit our Park locations and book your adventure today!