Every summer, Mission Cliffs opens its doors to hundreds of new climbers. Through our own summer camp programs as well as through the field trips of other summer camps in San Francisco, kids arrive to try rock climbing for the first time with the assistance of our enthusiastic belay staff. Some organizations return year after year, and we are always happy to offer discounts and work with local nonprofits to make sure that they are able to come back.
One organization that has been coming to us regularly over the years is GLIDE. Based in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, GLIDE has been providing food, health services and youth and women’s empowerment resources to the San Francisco community for decades. GLIDE works to combat poverty, drug abuse and violence through creating a radically inclusive and mobilized community.
Through their Youth and Children Services, they offer daycares, after school tutoring programs, athletics, creative and performing arts, and other activities and field trips for San Francisco’s youth. Paul Chilvers, a Lead Teacher with GLIDE Family Youth and Childcare Center gave us an inside look at this summer’s trip to Mission Cliffs:
“This summer, as we have for nearly half a decade, the children of GLIDE visited Mission Cliffs to do some rock climbing. We come in from the Tenderloin, which can be scary, but our children have grown accustomed to the hustle and the bustle. As usual, all of the residents of the ‘Loin greet us with smiles and kind words, whatever their situation in life. The call of ‘Kids coming through!’ echoes down the block as a warning to put away anything you think would be a bad example for a child.
We board the 27 bus, and travel thirty minutes or so into a different world. The streets are cleaner and wider, our class breathes easier with the many trees. As we enter Mission Cliffs, the children become excited for what many think of as the best trip all summer.
They gear up, and form into small groups, and start to tackle the walls. Children who are afraid find encouragement in their friends. Those who have experienced this before scramble to the top. Even the teachers take their turn at the exhilaration.
After a few hours, arms are shaky, and muscles the children were unaware of become a little bit sore, and we are ready for our ride back to our little center on Jones and Ellis. The kids have a new sense of themselves and what they can do, and the teachers are able to rest easier that night knowing they gave their students an opportunity they wouldn’t have had otherwise because of GLIDE. The day is always one of my favorites, and I am so glad for our relationship to Mission Cliffs.”
We are so honored to be a place where children and adults can come to experience the joy of climbing. Please consider donating or volunteering with GLIDE! To learn more about our outreach programing and community development at Mission Cliffs, call 415-550-0515.