Liberty Elementary Climbing Club
High fives, fist bumps, happy dances, and grins. The students participating in the Liberty Elementary climbing club experienced all of that and more in a powerful 45-minute session at Momentum Climbing Gym. This experience happened in thanks to teachers volunteering to drive and belay the students, a school counselor with a vision, and an amazing nonprofit called Elevated Mountain Guides, whose mission is to empower under served communities through climbing and other outdoor experiences.
This was the second group of students, ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old, who were selected to participate in the after school climbing program. The students submitted an application and video stating why they wanted to climb. Then, over of the course of six weeks, the kids first learned how to free climb on a low boulder wall, then how to climb a training wall while on belay, to finally how to conquer walls with outcroppings and hangovers. In just two weeks, one student went from climbing just two feet off the ground to making it over half way up the wall. His perseverance, joy, and ultimate pride were palpable.
The founder of Elevated Mountain Guides, herself a survivor of homelessness, says that climbing helped her work through her own PTSD by giving her something to focus on, a community of support, and something that she could control. She hopes that the students at Liberty Elementary will gain some of those same benefits and tools through their climbing experiences.
* - article submitted by Anna Kogan at Liberty Elementary