Junglesport is a special company with very unique needs when it comes to road cases. Chris Mick, founder and president of Junglesport, turned to Production Case to help make his equipment set up faster, easier, and more safe for his staff.
Junglesport is a combination of climbing gym, ropes course, and playground, all designed to get kids and teens to enjoy being active. Imagine an entire gym full of kids, climbing walls, swinging on ropes, and leaping for trapezes and other objects, having a great time. It’s also a great confidence booster for them, especially the younger students.
Teachers love the program because it gives their students a fun change, without having to organize busses or change class schedules. The full set of safety certifications gives them peace of mind as well.
Junglesport is at a different school every week. Their equipment includes tall aluminum stage trusses (the kind you’d see at a rock concert), two 20’ tall climbing wall, rope mazes, giant ladders, giant swings, and more. There’s also a very delicate electronic winch and control box that are needed to hoist the equipment into place.
“It’s definitely a travelling road show,” says founder Chris Mick. “Right now I have 10 teams working in Ottawa, Montréal, and the GTA, with more franchises in the planning stages. Each team visits one or more schools a week, depending on how many days they book us for. We provide this experience to 150,000 - 200,000 students every year.”
An Idea is Born
A former phys ed teacher, Mick started the business because he was frustrated with the lack of variety and equipment he had to work with. Inspired by his background in ropes rescue and whitewater rafting, he started setting up zip lines and rope climbing courses to engage his students.
The kids loved it. Word spread, and soon Chris was getting invitations from other schools. “We had to get mobile, and that’s where the business began,” says Mick. “Many families wouldn’t be able to afford an experience like this on their own, but for schools it’s a very cost effective adventure.”
Getting There is Half the Fun
The challenge of Junglesport begins long before the students strap on their safety gear. The set up teams only have two hours to build the structures in the morning, and two hours at the end of the contract to pack up. They need every minute they can get.
“We often have to travel through lots of long hallways to reach the gym, and every school is different,” says Mick. “Because we’re so pressed for time, we need to pack some items partially assembled.”
There are other constraints that Junglesport faces. “We’re restricted in the amount of space we have on the road - everything has to fit in a 16’ cube van. It also has to be safe for my teams to transport.”
Safety is a big concern for Mick. “The cases can’t be falling out when they open the van, or lead to crushed fingers when trying to get through a door or around corners. Each case has to have a low centre of gravity so it doesn’t tip when cornering or going up and down ramps. Some of our gear, like the climbing wall, also has a lot of hand and foot holds that would be awkward to pack and get damaged in transport if unprotected.”
The set up teams are able to get the job done on time thanks to their custom cases from Production Case. But Junglesport wasn’t always as efficient as it is today.
Creating the Right Solution with Production Case
“Originally, I had built my own carts in my shop,” recalls Mick. “I soon realized we needed to work with some pros who would have ideas on packing our equipment in a more efficient manner. ”
In 2008, Mick sought the help of Production Case’s custom case design team. “I had some preliminary drawings and a set of parameters. I sat down with Production Case to discuss what we needed, and they made recommendations for what would work and what wouldn’t. They also had some great suggestions for latches that don’t catch and really last. The staff at Production Case is easy to deal with, professional, and able to meet deadlines for construction and delivery.”
"Not many companies have the space or expertise to build the very large and very long cases that Junglesport needs," comments Production Case president Nigel Lever.
Personalized service is also a key factor in the successful outcome. "Chris likes to deal personally with the people who will actually build his cases. He sits with them and they design together."
A Partnership for Success
As Junglesport continues to grow as a business, they will be continuing to work with the Production Case team.
“I have to say that Production Case has been one of the most professional and flexible companies we’ve dealt with. They’re always there with a solution to a problem,” Mick says.
For Nigel Lever, it’s a welcome partnership. "We're proud to be the transport case provider to JungleSport. It feels good to know that we're helping a business that encourages young kids to be active and healthy."