HARLINGEN — Bingcheng Lin crouched at the top of the pole, contemplating his next move.

“Stand straight and take that extra step,” said Bill Hingle, high ropes instructor at Marine Military Academy.

Hingle and several other instructors were helping Bingcheng, 12, and other international students challenge the high ropes course yesterday.

The second week at MMA’s All Boys Summer Camp was drawing to a close. Several groups of campers ages 12 to 18 were running the high ropes course, the confidence course and the mud course.

“Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!” ordered Sgt. John Elizondo as a large group of campers began running the confidence course. The obstacles were constructed of imposing wooden poles.

The campers rushed the first obstacle, climbing up an incline of three poles before diving off the end. The air was filled with the slapping of hands against wood along with grunts and gasps. They’d run this course, made up of 11 obstacles, several times.

“It was built to instill confidence,” Elizondo said. “Some of them are facing physical demands as well, utilizing muscles they’re not used to using. Some are afraid of heights.”

The course especially challenged the boys’ fear of heights with the “Stairway to Heaven,” a towering structure which resembled an oversized ladder.

“It makes me feel like ‘You can do it,’” said Joshua Wiltz, 13, of Houston.

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