Rock Climbing and Outdoor Skills Camp
For the safety of our campers, their families and our camp staff, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person summer camp programs this year. This includes Rock Climbing and Outdoor Skills Camp.
9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Boys and girls ages 10-15
Deposit Required: $495
Space is limited. Minimum number of campers is 10 and maximum is 18.
Program HighlightsPenn Charter and Team Tufas' Rock Climbing and Outdoor Skills Camp will focus on learning the skills and risk management of rock climbing, wilderness safety, and the stewardship practices of Leave No Trace Ethics. Our program will begin with some indoor (rock gym) climbing and then we will build up our skills for a final full day of outdoor adventures. The daily program will include team building, risk management, rock climbing movements, learning about climbing gear and anchor systems, applied environmental ethics, as well as challenging yourself and having fun! All climbing spots will be driving distance of about an hour or so from Penn Charter. We will teach the seven principles of Leave No Trace Ethics, and there will be other fun team-building activities as well!
Daily itinerary: All locations and time tables are subject to shift due to weather and other factors, but the goal will be a combination of both indoor and outdoor climbing, learning about stewardship practices, hiking and exploring!
On the first day we will be building a foundation of learning about gear, and understanding the techniques and safety features of climbing. Campers will have some time to get to know each other, learn about climbing commands, safety checks, and movement and techniques in rock climbing. We will be working on Penn Charter’s Climbing Wall in the morning and will likely explore the Wissahickon park in the afternoon. We will start to introduce some of the principles of leave no trace ethics.
In the morning, we will head to Tufas Boulder Lounge which allows for 12,700 sq/ft of bouldering action! Bouldering is a style of climbing that is close to the ground, but may include much more dynamic movement, so we will build upon the themes of safety and explore some climbing techniques of footwork, types of handholds, and balance. We may then spend the afternoon in the Wissahickon park exploring some of the bouldering options and ways to mitigate risks in outdoor settings.
On day three, we will build upon our skills and will move back into roped climbing. We will get the chance to visit some local gyms either at Reach or The Cliffs at Callowhill. Campers will learn some of the styles and forces at work in roped climbing and we will get a chance to play some team building games!
We will be doing more outdoor climbing and learning about how to set up top rope anchors. This may include some new knots, new climbing gear, and safety and partner support! The areas will likely remain in the Wissahickon and we will continue to learn and practice the 7 principles of Leave No Trace Ethics.
We will finish camp with a full day of visiting Ralph Stover State Park in Bucks County. Stover’s “High Rocks” overlooks the Tohickon creek and allows for many choices of climbing routes. Campers will explore a wide variety of climbs, some up to 200 feet, and practice many of the techniques and lessons we learned. Throughout the camp we will emphasize enjoyment, care, and protection of these beautiful climbing locations.
Camp StaffTom Rickards is the Coordinator of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability at Penn Charter and has been a faculty member and department chair for over 10 years. He holds his Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) certification through the AMGA (American Mountain Guide Association), Kayak Touring Instructor through the ACA (American Canoe Association), and Wilderness First Aid certificate through NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). Tom runs the climbing programs at Penn Charter and teaches Outdoor Education and Environmental Ethics.
Rachel Fifer is the Director of Youth Programs at Tufas Boulder Lounge. She is a lifelong dancer and athlete and first tried rock climbing in 2008. Since then, climbing has led to adventures all over the country. Rachel is especially passionate about encouraging female-bodied climbers and beginners to trust themselves and be bold, and she tries to foster a more supportive and less egotistical culture around rock climbing. Movement is a joyful privilege and we are all our best selves when we celebrate each of our journeys with humility and gratitude.