This summer more than 300 people were able to enjoy the challenge provided by the new climbing tower! Unlike enjoying a zip line or giant swing, climbing the wall often involves significant physical effort. We enjoyed adapting the experience to challenge everyone. For some, the goal was to make it to a certain hold partway up the wall. Others were motivated by the desire to make it to the top and enjoy the spectacular view.
A few people increased their own challenge level by avoiding certain colored holds or climbing blindfolded. Blindfolded climbing challenged more than just the climber as observers on the ground learned how specific their communication needed to be in order to be helpful. In one situation, a climber requested the blindfold because of their fear of heights. That climber reached the top!
Many climbers do have to work through feeling fearful or being uncomfortable, which means the wall also presents a strong mental challenge. More than once Paul’s words from Philippians 3:13-14 were paraphrased: “Forget what is behind you and strain towards what is ahead!” Climbers had to choose whether to focus on what they had already done, or on what they were still capable of doing. At times when fear was strong, we worked with the climber to replace fear with trust. By keeping a tight belay or allowing them to put their full weight on the rope, we were helping them trust a secure system that would be in place during the duration of their climb, no matter what the height.
It was our ambitious goal to have the Adventure Tower and challenge course improvements completed in time for the summer and paid for by September 30, our fiscal year end. Of the $25,000 the project required, only $3,200 remains to be raised. If you desire to help complete the project or provide a beginning for the next adventure element, send a check to Highland earmarked ‘Adventure Program’ or make an online donation of any size.