Why Climbing Rocks Matters

Marin GreenPlay is privileged to roll out our expanded outdoor rock climbing program for Summer 2017 for kids aged 8-18 which is being offered every week of the summer.  It has been an amazing experience collaborating with passionate rock climbers who share a love for nature and for climbing and understand the benefits to younger climbers to create a comprehensive and state-of-the-art program.

All young adult climbers wish that they had started climbing at a younger age.  But they recognize the limits.  Only when children have started to differentiate from their parents and (usually unbeknownst to them) are beginning to establish their unique identities is a very individualized pursuit like outdoor rock climbing appropriate.  That's why we offer rock climbing to kids beginning at age 8 or the later elementary school grades.  So what are the benefits?

Building self-esteem.  It can't be stated too often that in a rapidly changing and competitive world our first impulse as parents is to protect our kids from perceived dangers so that "they don't make the mistakes we made" or have an easier time of life.  We know that we are preventing them from learning lessons on their own but we justify it as more efficient or so that we can expose them to more opportunities.  Our outdoor rock climbing program comes to your rescue in this dilemma in teaching kids that they can accomplish goals in spite of apparent danger.  They receive excellent instruction but they still have to complete the climb, drawing on strength that comes from inside themselves, often strength they never knew they have.  Your child's inner strength makes one of its very first appearances.  We're humbled to witness that moment.

Connecting to nature.  In another blog post, we explained that all kids are born with a natural biophilia - or love of nature - but "life happens" and a separation is created.  Rock climbing brings kids back to the Earth quite literally as it is impossible to climb without developing a profound respect for the tissue of Earth where you are placing your hands and your feet.  And when we take down that separation, we become truly citizens of our home, willing to protect it with the natural talents that through experience we come to learn that we possess.

Protecting the Earth.  When the Earth provides us with experiences that change us forever, we instinctively know that we must protect it.  During a week of climbing, we learn that giving back to the places we climb is critical.  We must leave the Earth better than the way we find it if it is going to continue to sustain us.  This might take the form of non-native plant removal or litter reduction around a crag or another restorative activity at least once during the week and potentially more.

We invite you to find out how our outdoor rock climbing program can teach your child about giving back, increase self-esteem and connect them to the most fundamental of the building blocks of their DNA -- nature.

As always, we'd love your feedback.  See you on the trail!