Youth Climbing the Walls at the Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud

Playtime Elevated

At the Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud youth are having extreme adventures right within the walls of the Club. In the fall of 2014, a 16 foot climbing wall and a 550 square foot bouldering cave were built for Club members by local volunteers. Now the youth at the Club have a new favorite activity.

“The wall builds our students’ motivation for a healthy lifestyle and allows them to experience success in overcoming their fears [while] in a safe and loving environment!” said climbing instructor/teacher Breanna Stroh.

The Club’s Executive Director, Glen Marshall, loves both the wall and the story of how it came to be. “The goal was to provide active recreation, indoors, that would challenge our kids both physically and mentally.” said Marshall, “Climbing is one of my favorite things to do outdoors, so when the organization known as ‘A World Feast’ told us they would sponsor a wall, we rallied the troops and were able to make it happen. Our volunteers were amazing and the kids love to climb - as they frequently remind our staff. They get up on the walls almost every day.”

It’s Mental Exercise Too

The wall was a mental challenge for Marshall and the rest of the volunteers. No one in the group had ever built anything like this, but they knew it could be done. Marshall bought a book, “Building Your Own Climbing Wall”, and started looking at different designs. The team ended up with a simple design, using plywood and Metolius climbing holds, generously discounted by Metolius. An REI store in California donated climbing shoes and carabineers. The Club hopes to expand on the climbing enthusiasm with an outdoor climbing trip to one of the many climbing destinations in the Black Hills this summer.

Off the Wall

The wall is just one part of the Club’s blossoming Outdoor Education program. In addition to climbing, the Club has recently invested in mountain biking and kayaking programs for their youth. Local educator/kayak paddler Sarah Schrotenboer leads youth kayak club every “non-windy” Friday.

Paddling a kayak is a way for the Club kids to learn a new skill, as well as get some physical activity and spend time with a caring mentor. Local bicycle enthusiast/educator Allison Seger recently partnered with the Club to launch the ‘Rosebud Trips for Kids’ chapter, a way to introduce local youth to mountain biking. The Rosebud Reservation is rich in trails and outdoor opportunities, and the chapter has regular rides planned for this summer and beyond.

Marshall is enthusiastic about the Club’s future in the outdoors. “Our reservation has such awesome outdoor opportunities, but many people don’t realize what’s out there. We are honored to have partners that share our vision of getting our kids outside into the beautiful wild lands that surround them. Through climbing, kayaking, biking, and more, we are instilling an outdoor passion in our kids that will last a lifetime.”