“My name is Meagan Kelly and I’m a sophomore at Lees-McRae College. I am a member of the LMC Competition Climbing Team, and I’m also the co-captain of a very cool program here at LMC, the Kids Climbing Team. This is my second semester working with this program. The Kids Climbing Team is really special to me because I get to work with kids – which I love – and I get to teach them how to rock climb, which is something I’m very passionate about. I think the Kids Climbing Team is great because not only do I get to work with kids, but I also get to work with other LMC students who are just as passionate about rock climbing as I am. It’s also really neat because it is a great leadership opportunity. I get to work with some pretty cool people teaching kids something that is pretty neat in itself. Tuesday is definitely my favorite day of the week simply because I get to spend time
running around and climbing with a bunch of kids; they really know how to have
a lot of fun. I can always tell they’re having a good time, because when I
look around the room, they’re always smiling and laughing and they still work
really hard! I’m really happy that I’m a part of this, and I can’t wait to
see how the semester goes!!”
“My name is Josh Kline and I am a senior at Lees-McRae College. Four years ago, I remember sitting around the dinner table with two of my friends, Aaron Linville and Liz McElroy. Aaron was trying to come up with a way to get his service learning hours for the Bonner Program and have fun at the same time. The year before this Aaron, a few other Lees-McRae College students, and I started the LMC Competition Rock Climbing Team and he had the idea, “why not create a kids climbing team?” The kids in the area could come to the LMC climbing wall and have fun while learning to climb.
“When we finally got the Kids Team going, it was mostly a day care with rock climbing. We had kids who were there just to play and we had kids who really wanted to learn how to rock climb. The second year we decided to actually treat the kids that were coming like a team. They were going to take their practices seriously and train to compete just like we did. The team just took off from there. We went from only a handful of kids who actually wanted to be there to having 10-15 show up every week. At each practice we would teach them some new aspect of rock climbing. We taught them the knots that they would need, different styles of climbing, proper technique, and what kind of gear they needed for the style of climbing they liked the most as well as the proper way to fall when bouldering (because there is a right way and a wrong way).
“The kids we had, year after year, just soaked it all up. Outside of practice there were kids that were our friends, many of whom were professors’ children or children of people we dealt with on a daily basis, but when they got to practice, or when we all got to a competition, we were all rock climbers. Many of the kids we have coached have the potential to go very far with the sport and are already incredibly skilled. I can see great things for the Kids Climbing Team here at Lees-McRae College. And I firmly believe that one day while I’m out climbing I will meet some of these kids again. And they’ll probably be a lot better than me.”