Jason Tipton works as a park monitor at Boundless Adventures, a zipline and aerial park, in Bristol Woods County Park.
With the new park recently opening in Bristol Woods, the Kenosha News asked Tipton a few questions to get to know the 26-year-old Kenoshan better.
Q: What is a park monitor?
A: A park monitor insures safety guidelines and rules of the park are followed at all times. If any safety concerns come up, we’re the ones there to assist or redirect. We provide reassurances and guidance to get through the course. We try to make sure all of the participants make it successfully through the course.
Q: You greet patrons and check over gear as they approach the beginning platform — what exactly are you doing?
A: I check to make sure all the harnesses are on properly. During a course, sometimes they might get a little loose. Before they start a new course, I want to make sure the harness is as good as when we first put it on. I make sure they’re having fun and have a smile on their face. I don’t want to see someone looking down in the dumps because they couldn’t complete a blue (course) successfully, but they’re back to try a green (course). I’m going to give them the reassurance that green is still good and to keep on going.
Q: Have you done the course?
A: I’ve successfully completed the courses. Even the black. I followed our general manager, Brian Dyer, on my first day here. I thought, “Let me go with the experienced guy,” and followed him around. I did a blue with him, and then he hopped on a black (course). I figured I had gotten that far and jumped on it, too.
Q: Did you have experience with courses like this prior to taking this job?
A: This is my first course. I had done some rappel work prior. I was in the Marine Corps, so we had to at least know how to rappel. The gear is a little bit different here, but once I saw how the gear was working, I was like, “Yeah, I’ve put stuff like this on before.” Definitely having the prior military experience helped.
Q: What sparked your interest in doing a job like this?
A: I really wanted to be out in nature and do something physically active. I wanted to do something that was fun, where I get to coach somebody. I used to be a youth coach as well. Here I still get a coaching element. I still get the satisfaction of helping people out — I see a 10-year-old accomplish a course they didn’t think they could accomplish.
Q: What’s been the toughest part of the job?
A: The assists, because they are the most innately dangerous. (The participant’s) safety is 100 percent in my hands. It’s challenging in that I cannot screw this up because someone can get hurt.