Winter Climbing Week One (January 26 & 31)

Thursday Climbing Program 

What better way to start off a new year than with a new program!

On Thursday we held our first (of many) Decathlon partnered program and it was unsurprisingly a huge success! We were joined by students from Forest School (from multiple different classes), and by some new students; we even had the joy of including siblings in our gym games. It was so great to reconnect with the students from the past and meet the new – many who will be joining our Winter Programs this year.

Quite honestly, we weren’t sure how this program was going to go…but it was SO FUN! We were worried with having such a small wall and so many eager climbers that the students might feel discouraged; however, this was not a problem at all with this group! This group was happy to engage in their own group led activities and filled their time well. The gym was a buzz the whole time with many activities.

And of course, there was some climbing going on.

The first day was focused around finding the perfect shoe size and getting comfortable with the wall. The climbing we are doing is called “bouldering” and consists of climbing routes up a wall without a harness. This wall in particular is 18 feet tall with many different angled platforms for added challenges. In the forest, we always encourage students to trust their bodies and never do anything they aren’t comfortable with; the same rule applies here. This is apart of respecting yourself, one of Wild Child’s three main values; accompanying “respecting each other” and “respecting your environment”.

With this in mind, our first lesson is “how to fall”.

When climbing we tell students to climb back down once they complete their climb. This is the safest way to climb and provides the least risk; however, this isn’t always possible. When a climber needs to get off the wall and climbing down is not an option, they are taught to fall “correctly” to avoid injury. It is important to jump away from the wall, knees bent, in preparation to roll back once they hit the mat.

Risk assessment is important in all types of activities, both in and out of the forest. By providing information to the students on how to connect with their bodies and safely climb using their own risk assessment we are able to safely enjoy risky play.

And if seeing how much fun these kids are having isn’t enough to put a smile on your face , perhaps this one will.

These two students walked into Decathlon strangers and left calling each other best friends 🙂


Tuesday Climbing Program

The vast differences in these two climbing programs is exactly why we thought it was important to offer two different age groups; Thursday being our younger class and Tuesday our older. Tuesday’s climbing program is also the only program we currently run for this age group, and it was a refreshing change to engage with students of an older age.

With that in mind, all these students are new to the Wild Child community and many new to each other. We spent some time going over introductions and throughout the program the students were given lots of opportunities to connect.

Though there was a little less buzz in the gym on Tuesday, this group was much more eager to work towards solving problems on the climbing wall. It was great to see the problem solving and team work that bouldering brings.

We are looking forward to the upcoming weeks and including some new climbing games and challenges to keep their brains and bodies busy!

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