Eight Loops in the Knot and One Goal

By Green River Preserve

40 feet, 36 handholds, eight loops in the knot and one goal.

The climbing tower is often seen as the scariest exercise during daily activities. Despite the snippet of fear and anxiety that goes along with heights, campers scramble up the tower again and again and again. Some find new holds and each kid discovers their own route up the wall. Not one camper climbs the same route. As someone who belays, I get the privilege to encourage and support each camper as the make their ascent. I also get to see where they meet a challenge. Perhaps the next hold is too far away or the top looks unreachable. From time to time, handholds loosen ever so slight and they happen to reach for the one that’s starting to swivel. There is a slight moment of panic and the feeling of, “what do I do now?” Thankfully, with a community of encouragement and a tug on the rope while letting the climber know they’re safe, they overcome these challenges.

Many solutions present each camper’s creativity. Maybe it’s switching feet with a little hop or a lunge up to grab the next hold. Even swinging back and forth a bit to get used to the feeling of dangling by rope and harness can give campers that little slice of confidence that will give them the hope and knowledge that they can do it. Each child starts with a goal. For some, it’s reaching the top to ring the infamous climbing tower bell. Others try to get at least a bit further than a previous attempt. Lots of campers simply want to learn how to tie the figure 8 knot. Each way to achieve their particular goals is unique and special to each individual, making the climbing tower an unforgettable experience of Green River Preserve.

Anna Ewing