April 12, 2012
by Simon Hansen
An important part of our camp mission is "to help all people realize their fullest potential". One of our favorite ways to help people do that is through our Climbing Tower.
Cabin groups come together to climb the wall almost every day of the week. People of all ages step up to challenge themselves, to try their hardest, and to push past their fears and limitations.
The Tower is a challenge by choice activity - that means that everyone is encouraged to set themselves a goal that they are comfortable with, and then everyone else encourages them as they try their best to reach that goal. Some climbers will set themselves a goal to climb all the way to the top, others will challenge themselves to go halfway, some will challenge themselves to put the harness on, get tied in and touch the wall; whatever they choose, as long as they try their hardest - it's all good!
No matter when you are at camp you will be able to hear positive hoots, hollas and encouragement coming from the direction of the tower. Everyone at the Tower is part of a community, supporting and encouraging whoever is climbing. The "belayer" (the belayer is always one of our trained staff members!) and the crowd are constantly giving the climber advice, encouragement and some straight up good vibes as they make their way closer to their goal. When a climber feels like they have tried their hardest or reached their goal they are always asked - "are you sure??" by the be-layer. Most of the time climbers will rest a while and then try just a little harder to go just a little further - that is when the really good stuff happens!
Because of the awesome challenge of the Tower, climbing has been an important part of what we do at Camp Marston since the early 90's. Back then the climbing face was some plywood bolted to a couple of old Pine Trees. It was affectionately named the West Face, and though a little rough and wobbly in the wind, was a popular place for campers to challenge themselves to reach their goals. The existing Climbing Tower was built by volunteers and staff in the Spring of 1996 and has remained the centerpiece of camp since.
There are a lot of amazing stories about campers climbing the tower, overcoming fears and inspiring others by setting a goal and giving it everything they have to reach that goal - do you have a story about your experience at the Marston Climbing Tower??