Welcome to Kids Climbing Classes! Kids Climbing at UWSP offers lesson-based classes designed to teach participants about climbing including terminology, equipment, skills, and safety. Each class consists of six progressive lessons; each lesson is one hour in length and is taught by two instructors. Three separate classes are offered—Beginner Basics (two age groups) and Beyond the Basics. These classes are repeated four times over the course of a year. Questions about climbing classes can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants should arrive 10 minutes before each scheduled lesson to stretch and prepare for a full hour of learning and practice. Missing a portion of a lesson may result in falling behind the rest of the group in the learning.
All students must be accompanied by a responsible adult during the lesson time per our UWSP Climbing Wall policies. A seating area will be available for all who bring a participant to Kids Climbing Class. Adults are encouraged to observe and cheer their students along!
Class and Lesson Information (see detailed descriptions below)
Beginner Basics Series 5-7
Students of all learning styles and climbing backgrounds are welcome. The expectation of this class is to introduce students to the sport of climbing and to teach them how to safely climb. Students in this class will focus primarily on fun, engaging activities that will promote the goal of being able to climb to the top of the wall and descend with confidence
At the conclusion of the class, students should demonstrate safe bouldering while following all bouldering rules, safe top roping, and safely descending from their climb. Students should listen, pay attention throughout the class, and follow instruction. This class will help students become confident in their equipment and in themselves by trying something new. Students at this age may not be able to reach the top of the wall until further along in the class. Ideally by the end of the class, students should be able to climb to the top of a wall in their harness, however, not all participants will achieve this.
Developing a student’s confidence in their equipment and in themselves helps them to overcome fear. It is common in this age group for students to be hesitant and fear heights. We will encourage students to set individual goals. One way we encourage students to overcome fear is to set clear goals. Once a student reaches a goal, they must pick a new one
We ask students to take a rest throughout their climbing, as this helps them trust their equipment. So, when a student wants to come down, we may ask them to just sit in their harness and encourage a brief rest. This helps them follow instructions in coming down safely and can contribute to their confidence in climbing.
Because students in this age group respond well to games and imagination exercises, we use several teaching techniques. When teaching this group, we utilize descriptive imagery and keep them actively engaged. We break up lessons with a form of activity. This age group can also struggle with exclusivity games, so when teaching we are encouraging and excited.
We recommend students repeat this class several times until they can; 1) correctly describe the climbing tools/methods and 2) consistently demonstrate the skills taught. There will be two instructors allowing the more experienced climbers to be challenged.
Beginner Basics Series 8 - 12
Students of all learning styles and climbing backgrounds are welcome. The expectation of this class is to introduce students to the sport of climbing and to teach them how to safely climb. Students in this class will focus primarily on fun, engaging activities that will promote the following goals: 1) being able to climb to the top of the wall, 2) utilize climbing techniques and movements, and 3) begin to climb routes.
This group will be expected to follow more detailed instructions and learn more intricate moves compared to the Basics 5 – 7 class. This group in general is very high energy and responds well to task-based games and learning.
Students should demonstrate safe boulder while following all bouldering rules, safe top roping, and safe descent from their climb. Some in this age group may be hesitant and scared of heights initially. This class will help students become confident in their equipment and in themselves to overcome fear.
By lesson 3-4 all students should be able to make it to the top of the wall, however, this may not be the case for all participants. After reaching the top, students will be encouraged to push themselves and do more than rainbow climb an easy wall. We will encourage students to get better and better, not just do the same thing over and over again.
When students struggle with fear, and want to come down, we will ask them to just take a rest for a moment. Just sitting in their harness helps them get used to and trust their equipment. This helps them follow instructions in coming down safely. Sometimes resting gives them the confidence to keep climbing.
We recommend students repeat this class several times until they can; 1) correctly describe the climbing tools/methods and 2) consistently demonstrate the skills taught. There will be two instructors allowing the experienced climbers to be challenged.
Beyond the Basics Series
Students ages 6-13 who have participated in at least one session of beginner kids climb and who can confidently climb a 5.6 without assistance. Routes on our climbing wall are often rated from 5.1 (easy) and 5.12 (very challenging). All routes are marked with colorful tape, one color per route. The expectation of this course is to train students to improve skill in climbing. Students will learn many techniques that will increase their skill and ability.
Students in this group should be confident and exceed in all expectations of beginner classes. Climbers who are good candidates for this class can climb to the top of the wall using their strength and skills without relying on the safety rope to support their weight when climbing. Climbers should also be able to come down from the top, using appropriate technique, and show no fear or hesitation.
The Beyond the Basics climb course is designed to be taken multiple times and should not become dull or repetitive because it will build upon skills learned in beginner courses.
Ideally by the end of this course students should be able to complete routes more difficult than 5.6 and utilize climbing movements and techniques. Students should not be in this course if they cannot come down safely or are nervous with heights.
This series is all about challenging the students. A participant in this class should always be willing to learn and gain new skills. Students should be working towards difficult goals and challenge themselves regularly.