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October 2016 Newsletter

FLC’s rock climbing program took on new heights!

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Rock climbing at Forest Lake Camp continues to be one of our most popular activities. Campers love the opportunity to challenge themselves, support their fellow climbers and reach new heights. There is nothing like scaling to the top of our climbing wall and ringing the bell as you look out over the tree tops across Forest Lake.

Until this past summer – when we decided to expand our climbing program and partner up with one of the most renown rock climbing guide services (Rocksport) in the Adirondacks. We were thrilled to give our senior campers the opportunity to test their rock climbing skills on natural rock. We  ran a series of senior rock climbing trips to Shelben Rock, which is on the east shore of Lake George and to the High Peak Region in the Adirondack Park.

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Each trip was accompanied by 2 of FLC’s rock climbing counselors to help support the Rocksport team.

In order to qualify for this trip senior campers had to demonstrate competency on FLC’s climbing wall, and learn how to belay and use the climbing commands confidently.

These trips were a gigantic success!  Not only did our campers reach great heights and experience beautiful vistas but they learned tons in regard to technique and climbing etiquette. Every camper came back excited to share stories and their time out on the rock.  We look forward to offering more clim bing trips in summers to come.

Below are a few reflections for our campers and staff: 

This summer I was lucky enough to take two climbing trips out in the Adirondacks. I watched as several boys had awesome days out climbing rock cliffs, learning to belay while repelling down rock! We shared an incredible experience and there was a climb for everyone with a beautiful views waiting for us at the top!! Can’t wait for next summer’s trips!!Jamie K. (FLC, Boys’ Head Counselor)

The climbing trip was a real treat this summer. It was the first time I had ever been on a trip like this with Forest Lake and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I saw campers push past physical and mental barriers, be it fear of heights, falling, or failing. They worked hard physically to make it up the rock and had priceless smiles when successful. It was an awesome time with an awesome group of campers! Emily Fagan (FLC, Girls’ Climbing Counselor)

As a longtime gym climber, more recently turned onto outdoor climbing-I can appreciate how challenging it is to go from climbing plastic, manmade holds, to climbing on real rock. Climbing on natural rock means there isn’t tape or colored holds telling you what to grab or where to move; you find the route by either following the previous climber’s chalk marks, listening to advise from others on the ground, or by feeling around for the right holds with your hands and feet.

image2As impressed as I was by the campers’ climbing- I was more impressed by their eagerness to belay. When we first got to the climbing area, the boys were all taught how to belay: the proper commands to use and the specific technique to follow.  For some of the campers this was the highlight of the day. Anytime one of the boys was ready to climb, there was a fellow camper jumping out of his seat to belay his buddy.
 

I had an awesome day climbing in the Adirondacks and seeing the boys climb on rock for their first time.  The boys definitely had a stellar time as well. My greatest hope is that for at least one or two of these boys, their time on the rock will have sparked a desire to climb more. – Aaron Bacon (FLC, Assistant Wilderness Director)

This past summer, I went on a climbing trip to Shelving Rock. I’ve gone to FLC for 6 summers and in those summers I’ve probably climbed less than 10 times. But, I decided to go on the climbing trip because I thought it would be an awesome experience and also an opportunity to head off of camp for the day. Other then trying to avoid  some poison ivy around the base of the cliffs, climbing Shelving Rock was so much fun. Shelving Rock over looks Lake George and once you get to the top of the rock you are able to turn around and see the entirety of Lake George spread way below you. It was a very memorable sight. Climbing Shelving Rock was definitely one of the highlights of my summer at FLC and it helped me realize how many awesome experiences there are to be had at camp.  – Skyeler Devlin (FLC LIT) 

This summer a couple of girls in my cabin and I went on a rock climbing trip to Shelving Rock on the shores of Lake George.  It was so much fun and this was the first time that camp has ever offered a chance to do something like that.  We pulled up and met the climbing instructors and they gave us helmets, harness and other gear.  We then hiked to our climbing spot which was really fun.  We got to the cliff and hung the ropes up.  Once it was all set up, we were ready to climb.  I was not told that we would get to belay but was pleasantly surprised when we were told we would. During the trip everybody had something to do.  It was the perfect balance of having different jobs so we were not just sitting around waiting our turn.  There were three different routes and one was easy, one was medium, and one was hard – the highest route was almost 100 feet!  Once you got to the top, there was an amazing view of Lake George.  When we were all done climbing we hiked down and we gave our gear back and said thank you to our guides.  After our climbing, we had the chance to change into our swim suits and we walked down a trail to Lake George.  When we were climbing we actually saw the spot that we then swam in.  Swimming was really fun and there were a lot of people which made it a ton of fun.  I had a lot of fun on this trip and I really want camp to offer it again next year.  -Emma Blanck (FLC Camper)