There has been a lot of research, and a lot has been written, about the physical, emotional, and even spiritual benefits of indoor rock climbing for kids. (Learn More Here) We know it may be the best full-body workout in existence. We know it builds the right kind of physical strength. We know indoor rock climbing is an excellent cardiovascular workout.
But the hidden benefit? It is an easy, extremely rewarding, life-changing way to access a highly supportive community of high-tone, supportive friends. Too often, our society offers kids only limited opportunities to participate in a supportive community.
The school experience itself is often too massive of a community for a child to thread his or her way into a supportive community. There are simply too many kids, too many parenting styles, too many conflicting values, too much bullying, all within a system that necessarily targets the greatest common denominator.
Schools offer a limited menu of afterschool programs (which, by the way, are constantly threatened with extinction from budget constraints). Our broader communities offer some more options in terms of traditional sports programs and activities, but we all know it’s the minority of kids that are suited to those.
Add to this the fact their parents, through no fault of their own, simply don’t have the time to discover and then provide the support necessary to find the ideal niche for their children. The bottom line, kids are left without sufficient opportunities to be a part of a highly supportive community.
Enter niche activities that can be learned and often even mastered very quickly. That by their definition involves forming a collective to support the individuals within the collective. That demands fun as the essential element of everything they do.
That demands respect and inclusion among the participants. That fosters friendships. And that makes each participant feel that are an important part of a greater whole. That makes them feel stronger and more confident. Enter indoor rock climbing.
David, the owner of The Boulder Field is a parent of two climbers that started nearly 20 years ago when they were in their early teens. From the outset, what David observed in climbing, in contrast to what he had observed in years of their participation in soccer, baseball, and basketball, is the highly collaborative, supportive nature of the sport.
Not once, in hundreds of competitions he attended and thousands of visits to climbing gyms across the country, did he ever see the type of negative parental involvement that often exists in most team sports.
Not once did he see anything other than complete support for fellow climbers, even direct competitors. Rather, David saw a massive community of friends, sharing the same interest, ways to improve, the same language, and the same degree of protectiveness around the positive qualities of the community. As someone who came from a traditional sports background, David was many times, blown away by the strength and health of the community.
With respect to alternative activities and communities where kids can find a meaningful and rewarding place, David can only speak to the benefits of rock climbing. And he feels so strongly about this that he partnered with one of his sons to build one of the best climbing gyms in the country, one designed and operated with a community focus and one that offers robust opportunities for kids.
These include spring camps and summer camps, 12-week semester programs, field trips, recreational and competitive teams, and even birthday parties. Check out The Boulder Field’s website and you might find the ideal community for your child, and possibly even you and the rest of your family!
If you’re looking for more sports activities for your kids, check out our sports category.
Interested in more blog posts about children’s health? Check out our health-related blog posts
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