The Rock Wall at Washington County Community College was a busy place on December 10th when dozens of participants engaged in a vertical “climb to the cosmos” while their friends and family members looked on. The event was coordinated entirely by students of the Adventure Recreation program under the guidance of program director Scott Fraser.
The students, all of whom are in their second year of the program, developed several routes for participants to take, ranging in skill level from beginner to advanced to expert. Each route had a name related to a celestial body. Participants could also choose between climbing with ropes, bouldering (climbing without ropes), or mock ice-climbing with modified picks. After paying an entry fee, participants selected their courses and headed up the wall. By the end of the event, 26 climbers tried their hand at the wall, raising over $100 that will contribute to a scholarship for a future Adventure Recreation student.
“We were nervous at first,” said student Abbie Kemmerer, describing how the students were uncertain if their marketing efforts were successful. “It was really nice when people started showing up.”
Each participant filled out a survey, all of which indicated that the climbers had a great time. Some of the climbers had never been to the Rock Wall before, including one 10-year old participant named Trent. Trent’s family was particularly impressed by the event and by the courtesy demonstrated by student Curtis Paradis. “When they introduced [Curtis] to Trent, he held out his hand for Trent to shake it,” said Trent’s grandmother, Dorinda. “Then, when Trent was climbing, he kept talking to him and encouraging him. They were all very nice, but Curtis stood out.”
For the students, the competition was invaluable in preparing them for orchestrating similar events in the future. While the event went off without any issues, students recognized how much time and effort is associated with creating adventure recreating programming. “This event was a great vehicle for students to use to apply programming theories and get experience developing and delivering programming in an authentic learning environment,” said Fraser.
The students wish to thank Dunkin Donuts for providing refreshments.
The WCCC Rock Wall is open regularly on Thursdays from 5:30-8:30. The fee is $5 a night for those that have their own equipment or $8 a night for those that don’t. There is no fee for WCCC students. Hours are anticipated to expand next semester and an annual membership is available.