On May 24th, 45 students from San Francisco International High School, a public school for recent immigrants, headed over to Dogpatch Boulders to check out the new gym. The students, who are adjusting to a new life in the United States, had never been climbing before! We caught up with them to see what they thought of climbing.
“When we got to Dogpatch Boulders, the kids were amazed by how big the gym was. They ran off like little kids in a playground,” said Jessica Bray who teaches at SFIHS. Caroline, a staff member who worked with the kids was struck by how different it was to be teaching ESL students. “Everything I was teaching had to be very visual,” she said. “Instead of explaining things in length I had to show them on the wall.”
“One student who really impressed me was Vivian.” said Bray, who spoke about the student’s trip. “She came from China just a few months ago. She speaks almost no English and is very shy. Within 3 minutes of arriving to the gym, she had climbed to the top of a wall! She was just hanging out there for a few moments, not looking scared but not having the language to say, ‘I don’t know how to get down!’. I climbed to the top and showed her the best holds to down climb. She proceeded to climb up and down walls for the next half hour before she was completely exhausted! It was neat to see students like her shine.”
Angela Zhang, another student from China, loved Dogpatch Boulders. “Maybe it is easy to climb up but it is so hard to climb down. I need to jump down when I got to the top. But that’s cool, I love it.” James Luo, said “It’s my first time climb with nothing but myself. It’s so cool and I really enjoyed it.“ Eduardo Hernandez, a senior, added “I am so thankful to the gym for letting us come to your place. We really enjoyed it, and it was really cool to have this opportunity to have fun and climb!”
This was one fo the first school groups to come through Dogpatch Boulders. We are always happy to provide students with the unique opportunity to rock climb at one of the world’s best boulder gyms, right here in California!