Climbing has a long tradition of mentorship. Many climbers can trace back their first time climbing back to a friend who showed them the ropes (figuratively and literally). We know how powerful that kind of relationship can be, so we really get Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the oldest and largest mentoring program in the country. BBBS helps children reach their potential through one-to-one mentoring with adult volunteers, exposing them to new experiences and alternatives and empowering them to become responsible, confident, and self-sufficient young adults.
Every Touchstone gym supports BBBS—If you are a Touchstone member and also a volunteer Big, your Little can come climb with you for free, any time!
LA Boulders recently hosted Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, a Los Angeles local affiliate of BBBS which serves youth and volunteers of all faiths and backgrounds throughout LA County. It is a free program that matches children ages 7–14 with volunteer Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Big Sister Amanda told us that both she and her Little Sister Idaly had a fun experience. “Since it was our first time bouldering we were both apprehensive at first,” she said, “but training with our awesome instructor instilled confidence and we had a great time challenging ourselves to try the different walls. It was an especially great experience for my Little Sister Idaly to challenge herself, try a new activity, meet new people, and build confidence!”
Big Brother Peter was stoked to try something new with his Little Brother Ke’mani. “Ke’mani was scared to try it at first,” Peter said, “but only because it was something new. Ke’mani and I are so glad we went because we were able to learn something new with other kids in the program.”
Many of the participants hadn’t known about indoor rock climbing, and it turned out to be a great way to strengthen the relationships between the Bigs and Littles, too. Little Brother Nathanial said that he had never heard of bouldering before: “It was hard when I first tried it, but then with practice and the help of my Big Brother I was able to climb higher and higher. I didn’t know I could do that and it felt good to reach the top.”
We’re so proud of how much everyone pushed themselves on their day of climbing!
If you’re interested in learning how you can be a part of BBBS, check out their website here.
Want to get involved with outreach groups at LA Boulders, or see if your group would enjoy a day of climbing with us? Contact Holly at (323) 406-9119.