Rock Climbing at Summer Therapy Camp
It’s easy to see on the Summerland camps website that we do a lot of challenging activities. White water rafting, zip lining, caving, hiking, robotics, exploring and more can be exhilarating and physically demanding activities.
But no activity we do is quite as challenging as rock climbing. With rock climbing we not only challenge campers physically to move from the bottom to the top of the 30-foot cliff, we are also challenging them mentally.
Therapeutic Value of Rock Climbing at Camp
At Summerland camps we like to say rock climbing is, “Mind over matter.” Such is the case with a lot of things we talk about at Summerland camps. Often, rock climbing can be a metaphor for other challenges. We discuss with campers how they can apply the same thought process which enabled them to achieve something that physically they thought they were not capable of doing to other situations in life including making new friends, overcoming fears, and improving academic
One purpose of the rock climbing trips we do is to develop inter strength and resilience in our campers. Let’s face it, change is hard and it’s going to take everything campers have to stick to new routines in order to overcome the temptations of videogames, social media, and browsing the internet endlessly for hours.
Learning new activities like rock climbing also helps campers to develop new interests, and it’s not uncommon for campers to try new activities and want to continue pursuing them when they go back home. This is why every morning we start with a morning walk and track our physical activity with a pedometer.
Campers journal their activity in their behavior planning journal, and through journaling they can link how they are feeling with the amount of physical activity they’ve done. Campers therefore learn that it is possible to change the way you feel by engaging in physical exercise, just like playing a video game can change the way you feel when you are bored for instance. This way we can teach how exercise and physical activity is a useful coping skill for dealing with boredom and frustration alike.
There are many ways we can bring the experience of rock climbing into the group and individual therapy conducted at camp. If you would like to discuss your child’s individual situation and how rock climbing might add value to their summer experience, please give us a call at 800-365-0556. We look forward to speaking with you soon.