CHARMS Collaborative is an educational program working with students to develop successful lives outside of the classroom. CHARMS joined Waypoint for an Outdoor Rock Climbing adventure at Quincy Quarries. What started as a chilly and misty morning turned out to be a beautiful day full of people who pushed their limits and learned the power of relying on their support systems.
Let me explain…
The class was split into small teams. As each member of those teams stepped up to climb the rocks, the remaining members looked past themselves to support each other through what’s called “team-belay”. Team Belay engages and challenges the entire group to work together to act as the climbers safety system. As you can probably guess, this programmatic form of belaying is a great way to demonstrate the fact that a support system is a crucial part of finding your ability to challenge yourself. If you feel supported, you’re more apt to challenge yourself. Additionally, it’s also very effective for building trust and camaraderie among the group.
We saw a lot of success with Team Belay during this program. One student said, “I was nervous about the team-belay. I knew that I could support everyone else, but I wasn’t sure if I could be supported by them. Once I started [climbing, that all changed and] I was surprised at how much I trusted my team.”
At the end of the program, we took a short hike to the top of the cliff where there was a view of Boston. While there, we talked for a while about how they might take what they learned regarding challenge and support back into the classroom. We asked each student to write down observable ways and places that they can challenge themselves. We also asked them to think about and explore ways that they might support the rest of their class mates as they challenge themselves. The teacher took these pieces of paper back to the classroom with him and now plans to keep the ball moving as he challenges the students to follow through.
Transferring the concepts of “team-belay” into every day challenges, whether in school or work, is how experiences like rock climbing make a difference!