Earlier this fall, The Studio Climbing in San Jose was thrilled to open its doors and welcome a group of San Mateo high school students from the Student Conservation Association for a fun day of climbing. The SCA’s program connects underserved youth with hands-on environmental education, bringing students on outdoor trips and engaging them in community improvement projects that focus on parks and trail work.
Climbers are one of the many groups that benefit from the trail maintenance, cleanup, and park conservation efforts that the SCA teaches and promotes, so it was a special treat to have the students visit The Studio and have many of them get their first climbing experience.
One of the students with the SCA crew, Stephanie, said that her favorite part of the trip was “being able to rock climb for the first time.” She said that the Studio’s belay staff were “supportive and helpful” especially when she was “scared to look down due to the height.”
Another of the students, Daniel, said the most challenging part was “getting balanced and holding onto the tiny rocks” but that he would do it again because “it’s a lot of fun and gets people out of their comfort zone.”
The SCA’s field trip to the Studio was part of a series of visits that the students made to green businesses, to teach them more about local conservation groups and outdoor themed recreation. On their visit, not only were the SCA students exposed to indoor climbing, but they also were introduced to the climbing community and to the many ways in which climbing and conservation are linked together.
Carmen, another SCA participant, said that the trip to the climbing gym helped the whole crew bond. “I got stuck in the same spot for ten minutes… I probably looked ridiculous… but hearing the other crew members call up encouragements from below made me feel like part of a team… the [gym] staff were all incredibly positive and friendly and thanks to their help I made it to the top of a wall I almost gave up on.”
Climbing events at the Studio are a great way to work on team building and the staff at The Studio were happy to be a part of the SCA’s program. Seeing high school students explore new challenges and take an active role in helping the environment is inspiring and makes us proud to be able to give back to the local outdoors community. Thanks for visiting, SCA!
Would YOU like to find out more about getting involved at your local crag? Check out the Bay Area Climbers Coalition or the Access Fund.