Rock climbing is not only fun and great for the development of physical fitness, it also builds many positive character traits. We will be highlighting five positive traits in a blog series. We previously discussed Courage and Diligence. Now we are focusing on Responsibility. Kindness & Caring and Respect will follow in the weeks to come, so please check back.
Being responsible means being reliable and dependable. Building a sense of responsibility in children is something that everyone feels is important and there are many ways to help develop this character trait. Did you know that a climbing wall can help build a sense of responsibility in youth?
Initially, climbers practice responsibility by following important safety rules. On a Traverse Wall® this means keeping feet below the Red-Relief® Line, keeping space between other climbers and climbing down (not jumping) off the climbing wall when the climb is complete.
Eventually, climbing games and activities bring additional opportunities to develop responsibility. Climbing in the Night is a partner activity for a Traverse Wall in which the climber is blindfolded, and the partner verbally guides the climber across the climbing wall, describing where to move hands and feet, while also serving as a spotter. The climber relies on their partner being responsible to help them safely and successfully traverse the climbing wall.
Responsibility is taken to an even higher level with a top rope climbing wall where climbers move vertically, often to heights in excess of 20 feet. The belayer, who controls the safety rope, must follow strict safety protocols and use the equipment properly as their climbing partner works to reach the top of the climbing wall. The belayer is also responsible for lowering the climber safely back down to the mats after the climb is complete. Demonstrating this level of responsibility is an accomplishment worthy of celebration.
The responsibility that is developed while rock climbing and participating in climbing activities can transfer from the climbing wall into everyday life. This brings many additional benefits, including a sense of competence, confidence and self-worth.