We held our indoor rock climbing outing on Saturday, December 9th, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Since next week is finals week, we thought it would be a good break for students to do something fun and get energized before the exams. We had nineteen students meet on campus in the student center. The BSU Outdoor Club’s co-advisors, Dr. Sumanth Reddy and Dr. Daniel Graham, drove us in two university vans to Movement Gym in Columbia, which is half an hour away. On the drive, we introduced ourselves to each other, and we were excited to go rock climbing. 

Once at the gym, we signed waivers, picked up our climbing shoes, and headed to our private wall, where several instructors were waiting. Once they introduced themselves, they taught us how to put on our harness correctly. They proceeded to go over some basic safety instructions, and just like that, it was time to take our first steps on the wall.

Most students had never gone rock climbing, outdoors or indoors. Some felt confident and comfortable scaling the wall, while others took their time going up one small step at a time. We all made it to the top, about 20 feet high. After getting to the top, the most challenging part was letting go of the wall so our instructors could repel us. Trust was the most critical element we had to learn how to do. Within half an hour, most of us were comfortable and confident, and we were ready for the next challenge – the bigger walls in the main gym. 

The bigger walls were much more challenging, and many of us were up to it. We felt comfortable with our instructors and trusted their expertise and guidance. We scaled many more walls over the next hour and felt empowered. By the end of our activity, we had gotten to know each other and felt comfortable in this new setting. We were chit-chatting with classmates, learning climbing tips from the instructors, and attempting a fun but challenging sport that made up for a fun evening.

After wrapping up our activity, we headed out to Chick-fil-A for dinner. We had worked up an appetite with all the climbing we had done. We were tired but relaxed and thought of ideas for future Outdoor Club activities. After dinner, we returned to campus and were thankful for a fun evening with our peers.