Rope Teams IRL: The Value of Community

The value of community—what we call your Rope Team—cannot be understated.

Rope Teams are one of the seven elements to lead a No Barriers Life; these individual communities and support systems are essential to building a fulfilling, purposeful, service-oriented life. 

Call it a clan, call it a squad, call it a tribe, or call it a family. Whatever you decide, whoever you are, you need a small group of people in your life that lift you higher.

rope team icon

To be a Rope Team player means you:

  • Know what kind of support you need and can give
  • See value in working with others and appreciate teamwork
  • Believe being part of a team makes you a stronger individual
  • Work to strengthen the relationships in your life

Your Rope Team is the group of people that you are tied to while you climb towards summits—both literally and figuratively. The value of community and your Rope Team are essential parts of your life experience. They hold you accountable, are your biggest cheerleaders, and sometimes, show you things about yourself that you wouldn’t recognize otherwise.

The steps to build your Rope Team are fairly basic, but you will want to put a decent amount of energy into building that team since these folks will walk with alongside you for life. Learn more about the value of community and why a Rope Team is essential. Get out of your comfort zone, crush goals, and have fun!

Why your rope team is essential


This team will is the group of people that you share some of life’s most awesome—and challenging—experiences with. The highs and lows of life are better fared with friends by your side. These vital connections provoke a sense of closeness and fulfill basic human need. In fact, the more quality relationships we have, the happier and healthier we tend to be. Companionship can even help clarify your sense of purpose.

It’s important to share your experiences with other people, and your Rope Team is your opportunity to do this. It’s where the real value of community of community shines.

“I know for a fact that when you have a Rope Team, that you are stronger and better than you are when you’re by yourself and that there’s value in having people seek Vision with you.”—Gretchen Evans

Sharing knowledge

Your Rope Team can be your go-to source for strong, unbiased feedback about who you are as a person, as well as your skills and abilities. Sometimes we are unable to see our own strengths and weaknesses clearly, and your Rope Team can be a great source of information for your self-development.

the value of community from penn street

Beyond your own growth, you might tap into your Rope Team for specific knowledge or networking opportunities related to your own goals. A major perk of working in teams is tapping into everyone’s different experiences and knowledge. Chances are, everyone on your team will have different skills to bring to the table, so this is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge. You can really feel the value of community when you have open and honest communication.

In life, there are always things you can improve on, and having different eyes and opinions to teach you and critique you can be extremely beneficial.

A team of veterans spent 5-days on a No Barriers program backpacking in the Rocky Mountains. State Forest State Park, Colorado. r-- Photo Credit: Todd Newcomer / No Barriers.r-- Photo by Todd Newcomer


With the right support and help, you can do better and actually achieve your goals in life. You’re more likely to stick to new habits, stay focused, and feel a genuine sense of progress thanks to your biggest fans cheering you on every step of the way. Make a commitment that matters to your overall goals and then  rely on your Rope Team to help you achieve it. Accountability accelerates your accomplishments in life!

Pro tip: Ideate consequences based on outcomes in advance of working towards your goal. Make an agreement with your Rope Team on what you’d like them to do if you don’t follow through.

How to build a rope team

Step 1: Find a group of people who are goal-oriented and share your personal values

Finding people who are like-minded and want to go on the same adventures as you is a great way to start your Rope Team. You can tap into pre-existing friendships and relationships or actively seek recommendations for additional participants. Remember, a Rope Team is more than friendship—it’s like friendship on fire.

“No one person overcame these differences; the most important trip of my life taught me the meaning of community. While these friendships live on today, that’s nothing compared to the mountainous differences in culture, politics, and values that we struggled with at the time. No one person bridged these divides—the group did. We did together what no single person could do.” —Nora, Youth Learning AFAR Alum

You will immediately start experiencing the value of community once you surround yourself with loved ones.

Step 2: Create team goals and standards

Creating team goals is essential for getting everyone on your Rope Team to be on the same page for commitment, communication expectations, accountability strategies, meet ups, etc. Setting guidelines for your group will help all members feel safe and capable, and having group-wide goals can help challenge your team to become better together. (The likely outcome? Super-duper tight bonds like nothing you’ve experienced before!).

Step 3: Spend quality time together 

The final step in building your rope team is getting to know your team.

the value of community from amy saffell no barriers

Since this team is super important for your safety when climbing, it is important to get to know your team members. By getting to know your team members better, you will have a stronger sense of community throughout your climb and most likely greater peace and enjoyment during your adventure. 

Ways to bolster your rope team RIGHT NOW

  • Determine who is actually ON your rope team!
  • Text your Rope Team and express gratitude for how they’ve added value to your life
  • Have a potluck with your team
  • Set up a day to play kickball in the park
  • Ask each person how they’re actually doing
  • Get coffee one-on-one with a team member to get to know them better
  • Pick a group goal that you all can work towards together
  • Get your team together and play team building games
  • Set up a scavenger hunt for your team
  • Host a cook-off for your team where everyone competes at cooking the best dish
  • Go to an Escape Room with your team
  • Volunteer together
  • Attend a sporting event (Go Broncos!)

Rope Teams rock

The Amazing Race activity is part of the No Barriers Summit festival and facilitated by the crew of CBST Adventures ( In this special edition the challenges are modeled after the No Barriers Life Elements. They encompassed a broad range of exercises ranging from mental, physical, creative and even technological components that requires a full team effort for success! Participants can choose their level of challenge and find a role to accomplish each tasks that works for them. In the end, it’s the collaborative team effort that leads to victory! nn— Photo Credit: CBST Adventuresn— Image # 13SCN0085_CBST

Rope teams are one of our seven life elements and essential to leading your best life.

Your rope team is an essential part of your climb, not only on the day of, but also while you prep for your adventure and decompress afterwards. There are major benefits to being on a rope team from feeling safety in vulnerability to community to sharing skills and knowledge.

Developing your rope team and getting to know the other members can be the best part as you get to create new relationships in a fun environment.

Building your rope team is an essential part of the process and you will want to be sure that you are intentional every step of the way so that your climbing day goes as smoothly as possible!

Donate Now to Your No Barriers Rope Team

This article is part of an ongoing series that explores the No Barriers Life Elements in-depth. Find additional articles here:

  1. How to Create a Vision for Your Life
  2. 7 Stories of Reach & Why Goal Setting is Essential
  3. Pioneering: Easier Said Than Done
  4. Rope Teams & The Value of Community
  5. How to Stay Positive No Matter What AKA Alchemy
  6. 4 Steps to Find Gifts from the Struggle & Celebrate Your Summits
  7. How to Be the Best Leader You Can Be & Elevate Others
November 14, 2019
No Barriers

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