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OPINION: Should Schools Promote Indoor Climbing and Outdoor Pursuits?

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 UKC Articles 09 May 2022

School teacher Olivia Bruton shares her experience of taking a group of children to a climbing taster session, and states her case for more cooperation between climbing walls, organisations and schools.

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9
 MalcolmMac 09 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks for your article. We have a classic old seventies style wall in our secondary school (rural Aberdeenshire) which despite it's shortcomings compared with newer walls is used for a weekly after school climbing club. We give kids a six week block on it (any longer and the wall's limitations become too much) but they can choose to come back for another rotation should they wish. We then try to get them outside at a local crag in spring / summer for an evening session. Our big cost issue is transport; never mind admission fees we are 32 miles from our nearest commercial wall and the travel time is around an hour. We are lucky (the kids are lucky) that a few staff have relevant qualifications and the will to run the club but any activity is stymied these days by transport costs...raising funds for this is an ongoing battle as though very worthy bus rental is not the most glamorous of goals for the parent council, or anyone else.

1
 birdie num num 09 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

I think no, they shouldn't.

But I'd be interested to know what UKC thinks? And why?

29
 birdie num num 09 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

Sorry. I should be clearer. Currently UKC so far are three to two in favour, looking at the like/dislike statistics swingometer.....

I was more interested in the opinion  of the publishers of this article...UKC Articles 

Post edited at 22:59
21
 spenser 09 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

My time as a cadet at school introduced me to outdoor pursuits, it gave me my first consistent group of friends, it helped me get my first job (albeit relating to the military side of things rather than outdoor pursuits), it gave me a safe place to go so I wasn't required to spend as much time in the house with the feckless abuser my mother had shacked up with, it gave me the confidence to disclose what was going on at home to a teacher, it introduced me to a range of hobbies which helped me to develop friendships as I moved around the country for uni/ work. I wouldn't have had those opportunities, or known how much I wanted them, without the combined cadet force at my school and I wouldn't have been so enthusiastically involved if it wasn't for the outdoor pursuits activities they offered.

This shouldn't be a debate, anyone who objects to children being introduced to outdoor pursuits in a responsible, safe and affordable fashion that doesn't block any who want to from participating is an objectively good thing. I don't think I have ever seen such an utterly cynical and miserable post on these forums.

4
In reply to birdie num num:

> I think no, they shouldn't.

I disagree, l introduced a number of pupils at my old school to climbing. I ran an after school club on the school climbing wall, took a number of them climbing outside on our activity weeks and along to our local wall. A number of them are still actively climbing and one of them often writes articles for UKC (Keri Wallace). I think that was probably worth more than my classroom teaching. 

1
 birdie num num 10 May 2022
In reply to spenser:

Hi Spenser 

Im rather humbled by your response. Thank you.

My interest in climbing started many years ago, probably sparked by the Everest SW face expedition, and in those days, rock climbing was a mystery as was high altitude mountaineering.       Circumstances for me, in the intervening years from those days meant that I couldn't pursue that interest, but I read avidly just about everything possible on the subject and was well versed on attitudes and ethics in the UK climbing scene before I ever put on a harness.

I certainly don't object to children being introduced to outdoor pursuits, not at all!  My comment, albeit cumbersome, was more about the climbing aspect.

I'm very interested in UKC Articles take on their own poll. Popular crags in the UK are crowded enough. And if you follow debates on these forums, you may not find my question so cynical 

21
In reply to birdie num num:

I tend to support your cynicism.

Articles of this type are generally written and or published by those with "skin in the game". Those liable to benefit financially from an increase in participation positioning themselves to access lucrative funding schemes.

It has been forever thus. 30 years ago when I embarked on a teaching career, the phrase "the bad boys always get to go canoeing" was commonly heard.

There have been some quite overstated articles in recent years on the benefits of climbing to kids, mental health, insert focus group here, all with a similar Motive once the surface is scratched.

I look forward to the day climbing/the outdoors is proposed as a cure for the common cold or the ibd which has me awake, grumpy and typing this. 

Climbing is good for some people, that is why we do it, for others it has little or no benefit, for them it could be golf, football, the pub, or tiddlywinks. Proposing climbing as a panacea for all ills is simply cynical marketing. 

20
 spenser 10 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

These opportunities have existed for a long time as far as I understand with the old Local Authority outdoor centres (and cadets, outward bound etc). Unfortunately the local authority centres have been slowly shut down with an expectation of the service being provided by them to be replaced by private businesses.

There is a balance to be struck in terms of climbing population, too small and we won't be able to buy equipment as easily as we can now, we won't have some of the genuinely excellent walls we have, even the popular crags will get overgrown etc etc. Too many who don't get an understanding of responsible access? The BMC gets overwhelmed with the need to constantly renegotiate access across many more crags than they do now, human waste everywhere, problems abound. Mass excess of responsible climbers? There will be deli counter ticket machines at the base of all 3 star routes and we will queue like good British citizens. 

2
 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

>  Popular crags in the UK are crowded enough. And if you follow debates on these forums, you may not find my question so cynical 

Ah, the old 'England is crowded enough already, so immigrants are not welcome', populist trope so beloved of our more objectionable political manipulators.

I was introduced to climbing, (along with other outdoor activities you presumably think we also have no more room for) shortly before Thatcher squeezed such life-changing opportunities out of existence for most ordinary folk. I wouldn't want to deny any child the chance of finding their lifelong passion.

15
 DaveHK 10 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Climbing is good for some people, that is why we do it, for others it has little or no benefit, for them it could be golf, football, the pub, or tiddlywinks. Proposing climbing as a panacea for all ills is simply cynical marketing. 

I don't think it's cynical marketing in this case just over enthusiasm clouding judgement of the benefits of climbing. It's a case of 'oh my god, oh my god, I found this amazing thing and now I think everyone needs to do it'. 

I do agree with your general point though, I love climbing and it has shaped my life in a positive way but I totally understand that it's not for everyone. The same conceit turned up in the recent 'how do we get more BAME people into the outdoors thread'. It turns out that plenty of people in that group lead full, happy lives without engaging in outdoor pursuits. It really doesn't matter what people do as long as they're doing something.

I think a lot of the disagreement around this comes from the use of the word promote. It's great to offer kids opportunities but we shouldn't promote climbing, we should promote an active, healthy lifestyle whatever it looks like.

Post edited at 07:27
2
 birdie num num 10 May 2022
In reply to john arran:

> Ah, the old 'England is crowded enough already, so immigrants are not welcome', populist trope so beloved of our more objectionable political manipulators.

Yes. That's the trouble with UKC debates. Folk like to quote your post, and manipulate it into something you didn't say

16
 morpcat 10 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

Hold on, your argument for why children shouldn't be introduced to climbing by schools is that the crags are already crowded?

If you can't already see how arrogant and privileged an opinion that is then I doubt anyone here could hope to change your point of view.

Next time my son refuses to give another kid a toy because he got it first I will teach him about kindness and sharing, because even at 2 years old he can learn those concepts that you seem to have failed to grasp.

6
 birdie num num 10 May 2022
In reply to morpcat:

Well, I simply gave an answer to the title of this thread.

And yes, crags are already too crowded. As are the mountains, particularly popular routes. This can only lead to much more erosion, much more polish and quite possibly ultimately an erosion of ethics.

It has nothing to do with privilege or arrogance.

This is a UKC poll. I gave an answer. And you'd like to pillory me for it.

24
In reply to john arran:

> I wouldn't want to deny any child the chance of finding their lifelong passion.

Writing as an ex-head I couldn't agree more. Offering a huge range of extra-curricular activities so every student could discover a talent was always one of the three simple aims I gave when asked for my "mission statement." Ideally every school would offer tasters in football, golf, climbing, dance, tiddlywinks etc etc. In reality of course, it's daft not to capitalise on the passions and skills of your staff, so there will always be variety and luck involved. Sadly some kids may never discover their great talent. However, I do think some things should be entitlements that all are enabled to access. I'd start with all secondaries having to offer DofE and provide all kids with a residential outdoor experience. Unfortunately, in our currently fragmented, badly-led and under-funded system, these will have to remain pipe dreams. God only knows when as a nation we will start to spend the money on education that we should.

2
In reply to john arran:

> >  Popular crags in the UK are crowded enough. And if you follow debates on these forums, you may not find my question so cynical 

> Ah, the old 'England is crowded enough already, so immigrants are not welcome', populist trope so beloved of our more objectionable political manipulators.

An interesting analogy but not one I can support. 

From experience, peers reporting memorable days out frequently use phrases such as:

"had the crag to ourselves" 

 "only one or two other teams there". 

I have yet to hear:

"great day out, crag was mobbed, had to que for every route" 

I concede the latter is an extreme case but if we wanted crowds we wouldn't go to the crag, we would go to the football or the shopping centre. 

16
 ExiledScot 10 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Loved the link the boxing, however it's likely inappropriate when related to climbing. Many kids swung to boxing as they were violent feckers with troubled up bringings and gave them somewhere to steer their aggression, instead of smashing each other up on the streets or at closing time. It's a digression but lots of research on the removal of lead from fuel improving things. 

Climbing or most outdoor sports more likely draws a certain mind set in terms of reliance on your own skills, trust in your belayer, challenging, potentially risky. The kids who dislike classic school team sports. 

4
 Mick Ward 10 May 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

> I think a lot of the disagreement around this comes from the use of the word promote. It's great to offer kids opportunities but we shouldn't promote climbing, we should promote an active, healthy lifestyle whatever it looks like.

Absolutely. If people find something they love - or even just like - then great. May be climbing; may be something else altogether. 

A caveat. If I'd had kids, selfishly I would not have wanted them to climb. While climbing is increasingly viewed as a recreational activity, unlike most, it's one where dire penalties can be invoked. If your life has been impacted by such penalties (to yourself or others) then you will almost certainly view climbing in very different terms indeed. 

Mick 

1
In reply to Presley Whippet:

You should move to the southern end of Snowdonia where classic routes on huge mountain crags are being lost to vegetation because noone ever climbs there any more. If you want solitude and adventure Gist Ddu, Craig Cau and Craig Cywarch are waiting for you. If, on the other hand, what you're after is convenient roadside cragging on clean rock you're going to have to share with other people.

1
 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> Yes. That's the trouble with UKC debates. Folk like to quote your post, and manipulate it into something you didn't say

I agree that folk often do that, but in this particular case, in a very closely analogous way, you did say that.

7
 morpcat 10 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> And yes, crags are already too crowded. As are the mountains, particularly popular routes. This can only lead to much more erosion, much more polish and quite possibly ultimately an erosion of ethics.

Yes, by definition, the popular routes may be crowded. 

That said, I went up a 4* classic on the bank holiday and was the only party on the route. On the way down, we passed 8 hikers on the "tourist path". Not bad at all considering it's normally an extremely popular mountain and route. 

That's but a single data point though. I have witnessed the mountains being crowded in the summers of 2020 and 2021 in particular, but I doubt this has anything to do with schools encouraging children into outdoor pursuits (in fact I have yet to encounter any school group in the mountains), and has more to do with the blindingly obvious global circumstances that led to an increase in domestic tourism. 

> It has nothing to do with privilege or arrogance. This is a UKC poll. I gave an answer. And you'd like to pillory me for it.

If your opinion is that children should not be exposed to climbing and outdoor pursuits because the outdoors is already busier than you like it, then by definition that is you taking a privileged position.

I don't want to put you or anyone else in a pillory, but I do want to ask you to consider sharing our open spaces, mountains, crags, and indoor climbing walls with children who can benefit enormously from those experiences. 

Post edited at 09:12
1
In reply to pancakeandchips:

Sometimes I rather like a day at busy crag, I quite like the social side of a sunny evening at Stanage.

If I want to climb in solitude, I'll head up to to one of the moorland crags in the dark peak and enjoy the quiet and the views.

If I want gatekeeping, I'll come to UKC

1
 Offwidth 10 May 2022
In reply to Mick Ward:

You can't have it both ways. There is risk in everything and in terms of comparing UK rock climbing quite a few other common activities come out more dangerous from those who try and measure such things.

http://www.bandolier.org.uk/booth/Risk/sports.html

I've friends who died mountaineering in the alps,  but none on UK rock; I've more friends still who committed suicide  and a lot more who died in road accidents (including pedestrians, cyclists and in vehicles). I suspect your views are slanted from climbing in earlier decades when average risk was higher.

I think a great thing about climbing is most climbers are very up-front that it's a risk sport, unlike most other sports I was introduced to. Many team sports in particular were dishonest about risk for decades. I think those who climb outwith instruction need to be making an  informed choice and understand the importance of always paying proper attention to keep risks down.

The vast majority of UK crags and routes are not too busy, that's just the honeypots. I've climbed on busy days on many crags (inevitable in guidebook work) and had a great time because of it: climbers are interesting people to meet and converse with (and because I'm interested in watching others climb... especially those who climb well). I actively encourage people to climb on the large majority of (quieter) crags because they need more traffic. I simply don't share the rather misanthropic views expressed by the likes of birdy above.

 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> An interesting analogy but not one I can support. 

> From experience, peers reporting memorable days out frequently use phrases such as:

> "had the crag to ourselves" 

>  "only one or two other teams there". 

> I have yet to hear:

> "great day out, crag was mobbed, had to que for every route" 

> I concede the latter is an extreme case but if we wanted crowds we wouldn't go to the crag, we would go to the football or the shopping centre. 

You seem to have simply repeated the desire to see fewer young people climbing so as to have a greater chance of your having the crag to yourselves. Can you not see that, had opportunities been more limited when you started climbing, you may never have had chance to find your climbing passion? Or is the current demographic in your view now at maximum capacity (a.k.a. England's full)?

2
 Offwidth 10 May 2022
In reply to john arran:

I'd add that one or two like to play a cartoon character on UKC and then get ruffled when people don't take them seriously. As an old example, I know Sloper well but don't understand why he played the fool....on the crag he was knowledgeable and talented.

In reply to john arran:

England is not full and I and many others, likely including yourself, prefer quiet crags. The two ideas are not exclusive. 

6
 Offwidth 10 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Neither is having more climbers overall inconsistent with no impact whatsoever for quiet crags. If anything quiet crags seem to me to have got quieter in my three and a half decades. Certainly the atmosphere is cleaner so vegetation growth is more profuse:  many routes on many crags need more traffic (or to be left to nature). It's also hardly like outdoor education is anything new....how old are you .....  as it was happening from mid last century?

 Andy Hardy 10 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Should young people get the chance to have a go at climbing? Absolutely they should. Are schools best placed to give them that chance? Not so sure.

Maybe schools need to buddy up with scouts, cadets, youth clubs etc so kids get the chances, and teachers / schools avoid (or minimise) the red tape.

 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I find it hard to believe that you either can't see, or are happy with, the 'I'm alright, Jack' attitude you're presenting, portraying almost as a threat the potentially life-changing beneficial experiences of a select few young people for whom climbing will become central to their lives.

2
In reply to john arran:

> I was introduced to climbing, (along with other outdoor activities you presumably think we also have no more room for) shortly before Thatcher squeezed such life-changing opportunities out of existence for most ordinary folk.

I’m not sure the dole sponsored denizens of Hunters Bar would have seen it quite like that as they changed the face of UK and world climbing while hitching back from Parisella’s every two weeks to sign on.😂

 mutt 10 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

Denying outdoor Education to kids because your favourite crag is busy is ridiculous. In point of fact even stanage is deserted if you are willing to walk a mile further than others. If you can't find solitude then I suggest you stop being so lazy. Get yourself off to Scotland and walk 5 miles and you'll have all the solitude you need.

 Howard J 10 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Ideally schools should give their kids the opportunity to try as many activities as possible.  However many, perhaps most, won't have ready access to a climbing wall let alone outdoor climbing, and promoting an interest in climbing is of little benefit if the children cannot then take it further.  So for most it will be a once-a-year experience.

I grew up in Essex.  I was obsessed with climbing but with zero opportunity to try it.  It wasn't until I went to university that I was able to go climbing for the first time.  Even where I now live in Cheshire, the nearest full-size wall is 45 minutes to an hour's drive away, so a visit would wipe out half the school day.

Arguably it's the people who have been going out for decades that have had the biggest impact on crags, as opposed to those who have just started to enjoy the outdoors in the last few years, and even then go out infrequently.

Maybe instead of school kids never getting the chance to enjoy the outdoors to preserve your peace, it should be the older climbers stopping going out to allow kids the peaceful experience that was once possible. Getting there first doesn't give you a right to stop others getting there after you.

Obviously we shouldn't be forcing the outdoors onto children as a fix-all, but to suggest it should be kept from them is awful.

 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> I’m not sure the dole sponsored denizens of Hunters Bar would have seen it quite like that as they changed the face of UK and world climbing while hitching back from Parisella’s every two weeks to sign on.😂

Yes, unintended consequences indeed!

But on further reflection, many of those at the centre of the scene at that time I do believe started climbing ... at school! 😂

1
In reply to john arran:

A parallel 1978: a young boy by the name of Jerry Moffatt was looking forward to his first climbing trip at school, until his teacher announced it was cancelled so Presley Whippet Snr could enjoy a day out at Craig-y-Forwyn in peace. He never bothered to try it again, and that was the end of his climbing life.

1
 stubbed 10 May 2022
In reply to spenser:

I was also introduced to adventure sports through the school's mandatory cadet force, which I was reluctant to join, but ultimately changed my life. I had grown up on a farm and never been camping or hill walking or anything like that before I went with the army.

As for climbing: my son isn't conventionally sporty and isn't included in football etc at school as he's rubbish at it, frankly. However when climbing he's confident and determined, like a different character. He is always happy to hill walk as long as there is a scramble involved.

I really think if the country wants a more active, less obese, population, we need children interested in all sorts of sports - including climbing or whatever - because I think in order to be passionate about an active lifestyle, you need to find the right sport for you.

 kathrync 10 May 2022
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Should young people get the chance to have a go at climbing? Absolutely they should. Are schools best placed to give them that chance? Not so sure.

> Maybe schools need to buddy up with scouts, cadets, youth clubs etc so kids get the chances, and teachers / schools avoid (or minimise) the red tape.

The difficulties with this is that the groups you mention are somewhat self-selecting. Younger children attending these activities will tend to be those with fairly engaged parents and the disposable income to pay regular subs plus any additional costs for these trips. Older children who choose to continue attending tend to be those who already know that they enjoy the activities on offer.

The advantage of offering outdoor activities through schools as part of regular activities (rather than as extra-curricular activities) is that the opportunities are offered to all children, regardless of wealth, family circumstances or anything else.

I agree with the sentiment on here that the focus on specifically offering climbing to children is a bit of a red herring. Offering variety is key.

In reply to john arran:

Thatcher didn’t stop anyone climbing and you must have known the Hunterhouse rd team of climbers receiving in their own words “grants for climbing” in the form of benefits to go full time climbing. Many of them, again as you will well know, went on to succeed mightily from climbing. As I’m over 70 I can remember only too well the utter wreckage caused by the unions, of an economy and our country, until Thatcher took over. I also used to work down a mine at the time for awhile and I know who caused the tragic outcome of the miners strike and it wasn’t Thatcher, although I’m fairly sure Andy Cave would disagree.

11
 RobAJones 10 May 2022
In reply to kathrync:

> I agree with the sentiment on here that the focus on specifically offering climbing to children is a bit of a red herring. Offering variety is key.

I agree. In fact having taught at schools where climbing was offered, mainly due to intrested staff and a climbing wall within walking distance, I'd question whether it was one of the better choices. As others have said you also want the kids to have the opportunity to follow up the school experience, IME locally other minority sports/activities have been much more proactive and accommodating . Yes, my local school have produced a disproportionate number of climbers, but I'd say this is almost entirely due to parental influence. 

In reply to UKC Articles:

The amount of selfish bastards that want to pull the ladder up behind them is astounding, who are you to decide who enjoys the outdoors? It may be a bit more crowded, tough shit, walk further to where it is less crowded. If you really want it to be less crowded, stay at home, let someone else enjoy the outdoors without you dragging your miserable carcass around whining about kids and other people and how you have to share things, you're worse than the children.

4
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Maybe schools need to buddy up with scouts, cadets, youth clubs etc so kids get the chances, and teachers / schools avoid (or minimise) the red tape.

I'm all for schools working as closely as possible with every voluntary youth organisation going - but after years of Tory slash-and-burn austerity you'll be lucky to find many youth clubs still standing! Most of my headship was during the relative plenty of the Blair/Brown years and I still used the school budget to subsidise youth provision by part-funding a school/community worker.

I remember when many Local Education Authorities funded their own outdoor pursuits centres following the pioneering work of the great Jack Longland when he was Director of Education for Derbyshire. One school in my own LEA even had its own cottage in Wales! Such centres provided the ideal means to ensure that all children irrespective of parental background and income got the chance to experience outdoor activity on a residential. They're mostly gone or privatised now of course. I wonder how many multi-academy chains fund one?

 DaveHK 10 May 2022
In reply to Boris's Johnson:

> The amount of selfish bastards that want to pull the ladder up behind them is astounding, 

Maybe 2 on this thread out of how many respondents? Can't say I'm astounded by that, if anything I'm surprised it's not more.

 Andy Hardy 10 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

and KathrynC (https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/ukc/should_schools_promote_indoor_climbing_and_outdoor_pursuits-747284?v=1#x9632378)

Fair point(s) both. Maybe we need to start a campaign to "re-wild" our schools ?

 Tony Buckley 10 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

I think there are two issues being smeared together here.

"I adored residential trips to outdoor centres . . . "

Communicating about and teaching respect for the natural environment is important.  That's much easier in an outdoor centre setting as it's around you, getting you cold, wet, muddy and lost.  Much more difficult in an inner city when, as noted, there may be no similar experience in many pupils.

"the rise of so many amazing centres in our cities."

The all-round experience of climbing provided by centres can be transformative and is greatly to be encouraged; not just for the physical activity but for the social and team skills as described.

But the two are different things.  Both need attention.

T.

 RobAJones 10 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I wonder how many multi-academy chains fund one?

I can name one, United Learning who sold one, in Little Langdale,  less than 6 months after the take over. 

 GrahamD 10 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Personally, I think there is a very blurry line between *enabling* access to climbing and the outdoors and *promoting* it.

Absolutely we should try to make sure that everyone has access.  However I think the desire, to a certain extent, has to come from the individual.  Actively pushing the outdoors (or indoor climbing) as anything over and above what it actually is sits uneasily with me.

2
 birdie num num 10 May 2022
In reply to Boris's Johnson:

Nobody wants to pull any ladder up.

I went climbing because I was interested in it. I wasn't spoon fed. And as I said earlier my response has nothing to do with privilege, arrogance or even selfishness. I have absolutely no problem with young people, whatever their background, having the opportunity of outdoor instruction, climbing or otherwise. School parties on crags have never bothered me, I'd just go elsewhere.

However, climbing has boomed massively over the last few decades, and this takes its toll on the rock in polish, erosion and damage. You only have to look at the footfall scars on the Lakeland fells to realise that.

As one poster said above, there's a difference between actively promoting and catering for youngsters that are interested.

14
 ExiledScot 10 May 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

> Personally, I think there is a very blurry line between *enabling* access to climbing and the outdoors and *promoting* it.

> Absolutely we should try to make sure that everyone has access.  However I think the desire, to a certain extent, has to come from the individual.  Actively pushing the outdoors (or indoor climbing) as anything over and above what it actually is sits uneasily with me.

I think intelligent use of the outdoors should be on every curriculum, at least a week per year somewhere, but not purely to push physical activity, but to tie in with other subjects too, biology, geography, history etc.. climbing and caving are often great levellers too, suddenly the school in crowd or clique aren't the best, they are a little scared of heights, claustrophobic, can't read a map so well. It gives others a chance to shine and gain confidence. 

I know some places do this already, others much less so. 

In reply to Edshakey:

Public schoolboys get all the opportunities. 

3
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Fair point(s) both. Maybe we need to start a campaign to "re-wild" our schools ?

Mine could get a bit wilder than desired on occasion. The Sixth Form breakfasting on vodka jellies to kick off their Fancy Dress Leavers' Day will live long in the memory.

On a serious point, it's not hard to introduce kids to the joys of TGO so they at least have some real-life experience on which to decide whether it's something they want to pursue. In their first term with us at secondary we organised a fairly local camping weekend for each tutor group in turn. Cheap and good for building esprit de corps.

In reply to RobAJones:

> I can name one, United Learning who sold one, in Little Langdale,  less than 6 months after the take over. 

How had they come by it? Was it ex-LEA? They're a huge trust who should easily have been able to support such a centre. And they could have used it for spiritual retreats!

In reply to john arran:

I think you misunderstand me.

Climbing will prove beneficial to some from whichever focus group you choose. This will likely be a minority of them. Climbing is a minority sport for a lot more reasons than just accessibility. It is right that the opportunity is given.

It is also very notable that the main proponents of increasing participation stand to make from it through tuition fees, gear sakes, website visits, apartment rent, guidebook sales etc.

Further of note is the desire of many climbers for a peaceful crag environment (my good day comments above). As many climbers choose to avoid, say, stanage on a sunny Bank Holiday as choose to go there. Of those there, some will be under duress and others there due to other pressures.

Of my peer group, I am one of the more willing to use popular crags (they are popular for a reason, usually quality, sometimes convenience). The attitude of avoiding the busy is international, "secret" Spanish crags etc.

I do promise to report back when/if I hear "great day, crag was mobbed, queues everywhere". It will likely be the day I weigh my rack in and start going to the football. 

1
In reply to birdie num num:

> Well, I simply gave an answer to the title of this thread.

> And yes, crags are already too crowded. As are the mountains, particularly popular routes. This can only lead to much more erosion, much more polish and quite possibly ultimately an erosion of ethics.

Popular routes make up a tiny fraction of the total routes in the UK.. I was up Broad Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor on a lovely Saturday just gone and saw one pair of climbers on Slime Wall, one group of climbers on Lagangarbh and nobody on Broad and Great Gully Buttress. Likewise I was up Polldubh on a sunny day the week before and apart from an outward bounds group we saw nobody on the Gutter or Styx Buttress until we were leaving.

Some crags will be busy of course and if you go to popular crags you'll probably find them busy ... duh

 RobAJones 10 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> How had they come by it? Was it ex-LEA? They're a huge trust who should easily have been able to support such a centre.

My brief version of events goes as follows. Two LEA secondaries that are both doing a good job are put under pressure to become academies but initially resist. Ofsted are then called in to put them in Special Measures, so giving them no choice but to merge and become an Academy. To be fair a lot of money and a new building did eventually appear, Blair years, but after 2/3 years of dramatically falling roles they were in major financial difficulties. I think it was one  of UL's conditions for taking over that some of the assets could be sold off. 

 ExiledScot 10 May 2022
In reply to timparkin:

Long ago in the early 90s an instructor(mike wright ex school teacher) taught me that if you're prepared to walk a hour you can avoid crowds and queues even in the lakes on a BH monday, the point was proved a few years later when I bumped into him climbing next to engineer's slab on a Bank Hol, we were the only two pairs there.

Post edited at 18:46
 Ciro 10 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> I went climbing because I was interested in it. I wasn't spoon fed.

> As one poster said above, there's a difference between actively promoting and catering for youngsters that are interested.

I agree. Schools should stop promoting things like literacy and numeracy while they're at it. Leave a few books around for those who are interested, but don't spoon feed them. That way, it'll be much easier for me to get a good job too, in between climbing at the quiet crags 🙂

2
 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

You seem to think this thread is about increasing/promoting participation. I think it's about promoting opportunity. The latter may well have a spin-off effect on the former, but the two are very different animals.

2
 mike123 10 May 2022
In reply to Edshakey:

> A parallel 1978: a young boy by the name of Jerry Moffatt was looking forward to his first climbing trip at school, until his teacher announced it was cancelled so Presley Whippet Snr could enjoy a day out at Craig-y-Forwyn in peace. He never bothered to try it again, and that was the end of his climbing life.

So ? 

15
 timjones 10 May 2022
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Speaking as a  climber who spent 24 years volunteering as a Scout leader very little of my time was spent taking Scouts from my own troop climbing.  They choose the activities and the leaders provide them themselves or using other providers.

If we want volunteer provision of sport to youth it has to come from the adults in the relevant sports clubs. Football and rugby clubs seem to manage it, some running clubs manage it but I'm not aware of any climbing clubs that offer that provision?

Scouting works when youth members and adult volunteers work together to provide the activities that the youth want.  As a volunteer leader the youth can take you in some very different and interesting directions but I cannot see it working if you had to provide activities at the behest of school staff.

In reply to mike123:

I can't get the link to post but read the crib Goch post. 

 OG 10 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

“He was useless at football and basketball. This meant he never quite had the respect of the other boys in the year. He was never picked for teams at break time, so would often stand at the sides and watch.”

This really resonated. Probably does for lots of other climbers. I wish I’d got into it sooner, climbing changed my life. While I was lucky to have an intro from family in my teens I never picked it up seriously until late 20s as I didn’t have anyone my age to do it with. That would have been different if it had been something you could do at school.

Post edited at 21:50
 DaveHK 10 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

I think we've accidentally happened on a thread juxto solution to this problem:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/the_soloist_vr-747296

Invest in some of these for every school and all the kids can enjoy the big wall experience. 

In reply to john arran:

> Yes, unintended consequences indeed!

> But on further reflection, many of those at the centre of the scene at that time I do believe started climbing ... at school! 😂

That’s absolutely true. This is just my hazy recollection from hanging about the Hunter House Road area at the time, but a lot of those kids that had climbed at school were a bit ‘posh’. However, that might have been down to me coming from inner city Brum.😒

Post edited at 08:09
2
In reply to UKC Articles:

School budgets are in a very needy state, the left leaning community of ukc is very aware of this.

Offering schoolkids the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary is laudable but must be prioritised.

A sub set of climbers feathering their own nests through plundering limited resources seems wrong to me. 

What would you cut from a school's budget to fund these climbing trips? 

9
 Offwidth 11 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

>However, climbing has boomed massively over the last few decades, and this takes its toll on the rock in polish, erosion and damage. You only have to look at the footfall scars on the Lakeland fells to realise that.

I think you live in a parallel universe. Footfall scars on climbs?? Participation stats for climbing outdoors haven't boomed except in bouldering and pretty much all the trad polish was there when I started climbing (it is different for sports climbs and boulders), three and a half decades ago; on Stanage the old men back then told me the polish was there decades before that, mainly from nailed boot damage. Equitable access to climbing for kids groups have declined due to austerity,  as others have reported. Quiet trad crags have  got quieter.

>As one poster said above, there's a difference between actively promoting and catering for youngsters that are interested.

How do you ever find out if any activity inspires you if you never get to try it?

1
 Offwidth 11 May 2022
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

I'd argue they were mostly 'posh' from the perspective of Thatcher's left behind. Poor students rarely went to university and once there they had nearly always joined the middle classes. Living on the dole back then was bearable...many of the  modern unemployed on Universal Credit are forced to rely on foodbanks

 Offwidth 11 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Making money from guidebooks... that made me laugh. Every modern climbing guidebook involves a huge labour of volunteer love built on similar past labours. They generate some income but nothing like the true cost of production (ie if all the work was paid). Some can lose money (if costs are badly managed, say an overenthusiastic print run).

One of my best ever days climbing involved a busy day at Stanage. I was frustrated by a left foot problem that meant I couldn't wear a climbing shoe and the forecast was great but my planned partner had to pull out late the evening before. Inspired by some banter on the forums here I got up early and decided to climb a hundred routes solo at the Popular End. I looked a bit odd climbing fast with one climbing shoe and one approach shoe, so raised some interest. Every party I met asked what I was doing and insisted I go before them, and shared their joy of what they had done and wanted to do. I never queued once despite doing all the routes below severe and everyone I met that day without exception was lovely.

 Howard J 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> If we want volunteer provision of sport to youth it has to come from the adults in the relevant sports clubs. Football and rugby clubs seem to manage it, some running clubs manage it but I'm not aware of any climbing clubs that offer that provision?

I think a lot of climbing clubs have been put off by the safeguarding requirements.  That was certainly the position of my own club when these were introduced. Football and rugby have well-developed junior leagues and a lot of youngsters wanting to participate, so they can justify the additional measures. My club decided that as we'd never actually had a minor want to join the club in their own right (although we've had kids attend with their parents) it would be disproportionately onerous to put the required safeguarding obligations in place in case someone wanted to join, and it was decided to make the club adult-only.

 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to Howard J:

The problem seems to be that clubs all too often see youth members as an inconvenience to the adults rather than the future of the sport that need to be nurtured and are worthy of their own provision.

How many volunteers instructors and youth coaches are there in climbing compared to other sports?

Are the volunteers that do cater for youth attached to climbing clubs or do we expect schools and other voluntary organisations to do the work for us?

1
In reply to Offwidth:

I take your point on traditional volunteer written guides but I doubt rockfax would exist if there wasn't profit in it. 

 Offwidth 11 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Where do you think their guidebook information comes from? Who pays for  the logbooks and the forums? Even the critics of Rockfax/UKC have to acknowledge it is a business built on massive community support, and in return contributes massively to the climbing community.

 ExiledScot 11 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I take your point on traditional volunteer written guides but I doubt rockfax would exist if there wasn't profit in it. 

No, but if you worked out an hourly rate it wouldn't be very good. 

It's arguably easier now, the work put into books in the 90s was vast, multiple visits just for a photograph so the sun or shadows didn’t kill the features, kayaking out for sea cliff images... now you can just fly a drone and or digitally stitch images together and most description have been done, there is still masses of tweaking rotten pegs gone, trees absent, spikes no longer there, descent routes now tied to access agreements. 

No one retires off the back of a guidebook, even the cc produced ogwen and llanberis relies on much goodwill, and they must be two of the biggest sellers along with langdale or borrowdale.

Post edited at 11:09
 farhi 11 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> As one poster said above, there's a difference between actively promoting and catering for youngsters that are interested.

I was a tiny kid and piss poor at team sports which seem to be the only ones that were actively promoted in my school.  Always one of the last picked.  Never enjoyed it and never  even considered that there'd be an actual sport that I could be passionate about.  I knew about climbing vaguely but never thought it was something you "did".  I actively avoided everything that wasn't science and mathematics, until I discovered climbing in my early 20s and regretted (and still do regret) the time lost.  The benefits it would have made to my self esteem, physical health and mental health would have been immeasurable.

If climbing was even remotely actively promoted as much as football/rugby/netball/tennis in schools then you'd probably find a whole lot more kids and adults finding something active that they can be passionate about... which can only be a good thing for humanity.

Post edited at 11:18
 Howard J 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> The problem seems to be that clubs all too often see youth members as an inconvenience to the adults rather than the future of the sport that need to be nurtured and are worthy of their own provision.

That's fair criticism. However, taking on junior members is a considerable responsibility for both the club and whoever it appoints as a Youth Officer, who must be DBS checked and be willing to undergo training.  A club will only commit to that if it expects to attract sufficient young members to justify it. 

In the case of my own club, in its ten years or so before safeguarding rules were (quite rightly) introduced we had never had an application from a junior to join.  Some members occasionally brought their kids along (in which case the club is not required to comply with BMC safeguarding guidelines) but I don't think any of them later went on to join when they became adults. For us to have undertaken all the safeguarding obligations in the hope that we might attract the occasional junior member would have been disproportionate and onerous.

Unlike other sports where clubs are the mainstay and where training and coaching are at their core, climbing clubs are just one of many ways into climbing and are mainly social.  Anyone with a climbing club in their area can probably also get to a climbing wall, which are far better geared up (and incentivised) than clubs to offer professional instruction in a structured manner.

I see no shortage of opportunities for kids around here.  The local walls are busy with kids' clubs and youth groups.  Neither do I see any evidence, either indoors or outside, that climbing is failing to attract new people, quite the opposite. The future of the sport is not at risk.

 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to Howard J:

> I see no shortage of opportunities for kids around here.  The local walls are busy with kids' clubs and youth groups.  Neither do I see any evidence, either indoors or outside, that climbing is failing to attract new people, quite the opposite. The future of the sport is not at risk.

The future of the sport may not be at risk but if we defer the responsibility for youth provision to commercial operations we may deprive  many youngsters who quite simply cannot afford commercial rates of the opportunity to try our sport.

I understand what you are saying at an individual club level but for the sport as a whole I think it is pretty shoddy to expect other voluntary organisations or schools to shoulder the load when it comes to providing affordable tasters for youth.

1
 GrahamD 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> The problem seems to be that clubs all too often see youth members as an inconvenience to the adults rather than the future of the sport that need to be nurtured and are worthy of their own provision.

That isn't a club problem. Why would you expect other people with limited climbing time to look after someone else's kids ?

2
 Howard J 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> for the sport as a whole I think it is pretty shoddy to expect other voluntary organisations or schools to shoulder the load when it comes to providing affordable tasters for youth.

Fair enough.  I happen to take the opposite view. It is precisely the role of schools and voluntary youth organisations to provide affordable tasters for those who cannot afford it, or who are otherwise disadvantaged.  They generally have the skills, the qualifications and the motivation to achieve this, and are able to raise the funding to support it.

Clubs are not training or coaching bodies.  It is no more (or less) their responsibility to nurture the next generation of climbers than it is that of individual climbers outside the clubs.  Of course many individuals, both in and outside clubs, are happy to introduce both adults and children to climbing but this is on an entirely ad hoc basis.

1
 Ramblin dave 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> The problem seems to be that clubs all too often see youth members as an inconvenience to the adults rather than the future of the sport that need to be nurtured and are worthy of their own provision.

> How many volunteers instructors and youth coaches are there in climbing compared to other sports?

The difference with other sports is that climbing has historically been something that most people get into as adults. Almost all climbers I know are more than happy to spend time helping out new climbers on club novice meets or at wall sessions (and to imply that they're somehow selfish for not running kids sessions is pretty rude, to be honest), but there isn't that cycle that you get with other sports or with organizations like the Scouts where people who benefited from volunteer help as kids want to volunteer themselves as adults to "put something back in".

1
 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to Howard J:

> Fair enough.  I happen to take the opposite view. It is precisely the role of schools and voluntary youth organisations to provide affordable tasters for those who cannot afford it, or who are otherwise disadvantaged.  They generally have the skills, the qualifications and the motivation to achieve this, and are able to raise the funding to support it.

> Clubs are not training or coaching bodies.  It is no more (or less) their responsibility to nurture the next generation of climbers than it is that of individual climbers outside the clubs.  Of course many individuals, both in and outside clubs, are happy to introduce both adults and children to climbing but this is on an entirely ad hoc basis.

That is a valid viewpoint and one that I would have a fair deal of sympathy with.

However, if we go down that line then we cannot expect schools and voluntary organisations to specifically choose to introduce their pupils or members to our sport.

 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

> That isn't a club problem. Why would you expect other people with limited climbing time to look after someone else's kids ?

I don't expect anyone to "look after someone else's kids" as you view it.

I also don't expect schools or voluntary organisations to introduce children to my chosen sports,

 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> The difference with other sports is that climbing has historically been something that most people get into as adults. Almost all climbers I know are more than happy to spend time helping out new climbers on club novice meets or at wall sessions (and to imply that they're somehow selfish for not running kids sessions is pretty rude, to be honest), but there isn't that cycle that you get with other sports or with organizations like the Scouts where people who benefited from volunteer help as kids want to volunteer themselves as adults to "put something back in".

I don't see it as selfish,  I do think that if we are not prepared to initiate a cycle where those who have benefitted put something back in then we cannot complain if other organisations don't push our own chosen sports.

I guess that my answer to the original question is that it is not the job of schools to promote cllimbing.

Post edited at 14:02
 Ramblin dave 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> I also don't expect schools or voluntary organisations to introduce children to my chosen sports,

I don't expect schools or voluntary organisations to introduce children to "my chosen sports" either, I just expect them to introduce children to things that they might enjoy and/or benefit from - that being, on some level, why they exist. It's not about promoting climbing to secure "the future of climbing", it's about giving kids who might not be interested in traditional team sports or athletics a different opportunity to find something they love doing while also getting some exercise.

In reply to Ramblin dave:

>It's about giving kids who might not be interested in traditional team sports or athletics a different opportunity to find something they love doing while also getting some exercise.

I've been taking an informal group of school boys and girls to the wall for many years. They have always been an eclectic bunch, definitely not the team sports players and often there as much for the social as anything else (though there has been the odd keen and talented one). It was also once pointed out to me what a big overlap there was with the school LGBT+ discussion group which I found interesting.

 GrahamD 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> I don't see it as selfish,  I do think that if we are not prepared to initiate a cycle

But why do you single out climbers who are in clubs as opposed to those that don't choose to join clubs ?

> we cannot complain if other organisations don't push our own chosen sports.

I don't want my chosen sport 'pushed'.  If someone is keen to get into it, I'm more than happy to give up my time to help them but they have to want to be doing it.

> I guess that my answer to the original question is that it is not the job of schools to promote cllimbing.

I don't think its anyone's job to promote climbing.

 duncan 11 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

Here is some data for you. Last year I climbed at:

Gogarth Main Cliff (deserted), Horseshoe Quarry (deserted!), Careg Y Barcud (deserted), Culver Cove (deserted), Wintour's Leap (deserted), Mowing Word (deserted), The Nudey Cliff Torquay (deserted), Portland Coastguard (deserted), Portland Lighthouse (deserted), Craig Ddu (a team arrived as we were leaving), Curbar eliminates area (one other team who promptly left), Sally in the Woods (one other team), Avon Sea Walls (one other team), Llanymenych quarry (one other team), Uphill quarry (one other team), St Govan's East (one other team), Mother Carey's (one other team), Rhoscolyn (one other team), Dinas Cromlech (two or three other teams on a different part of the crag), Haytor (two or three other teams on a different part of the crag), Scafell Crag (two or three other teams on a different part of the crag), Hound Tor (two or three other teams), Dunkeld (two or three other teams), Wilton One (two or three other teams), Portland Blacknor (four or five other teams), Portland Godnor (four or five other teams), Froggatt (four or five other teams), Stanage North (four or five other teams), Portland Neddyfields (four or five other teams), Raven Tor (very busy), and the Cheedale Cornice (three times, always very busy).

The great majority of these places are mainstream. Only Culver Cove and The Nudey Cliff are properly esoteric.

Most places were quiet and many deserted. The only busy spots were entirely predictable: popular grit, easy parts of Portland, and the best Peak sport. I'll admit to being surprised at Horseshoe but that was a case of getting out despite the forecast which is a lesson in itself. 

Reports of the overcrowding of British crags are grossly exaggerated. If you want peace and quiet it's easy to find and you don't need to walk very far or eschew quality. 

 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I would stringly agree that schoos should introduce pupils to a good range of sports away from ball sports and athletics, although some schools dont seem to give athletics enough focus either.

However, they cannot cover all sports and it may be that climbing won't always be included.

 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

> But why do you single out climbers who are in clubs as opposed to those that don't choose to join clubs ?

I'm not singling out anybody, but if we dont have the structure to do this within clubs I'm not sure where else it can exist.

> I don't want my chosen sport 'pushed'.  If someone is keen to get into it, I'm more than happy to give up my time to help them but they have to want to be doing it.

Exactly, so if a child wants to take up climbing where do we provide for them to do so?

> I don't think its anyone's job to promote climbing.

Agreed, but it would be nice to think that we had the structure to offer the opportunity where it is needed.

Check out the websites of the FA, RFU and English Athletics and you can easily find links to youth provision.

Sadly I cannot say the same for the BMC website.

 RobAJones 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> I would stringly agree that schoos should introduce pupils to a good range of sports away from ball sports and athletics,

There has definitely been a shift on this direction over my time in education. I can't guarantee that it doesn't happen anywhere, but in the schools I've worked in, the days of just playing football/rugby every lesson are over. 

>although some schools dont seem to give athletics enough focus either.

The summer term is quite short, when you factor in the kids missing PE lessons for pesky things like exams, sports day, DoE, geography field trips, end of year residential/activities etc. I would be surprised if the number of PE lessons some kids get is in single figures. I am actually waiting for someone to come in and say how much they like doing the odd park run and moan about a lack of cross county at school. 

> However, they cannot cover all sports and it may be that climbing won't always be included.

Due to circumstances, school I've worked in have always included climbing. Having read this thread I'm thinking perhaps we should have included other sports at climbing expense. 

 timjones 11 May 2022
In reply to RobAJones:

> There has definitely been a shift on this direction over my time in education. I can't guarantee that it doesn't happen anywhere, but in the schools I've worked in, the days of just playing football/rugby every lesson are over. 

I challenged the PE staff at our daughters school over this when their contribution at parents evening was that they wished she did some of the extra curricular sports which at the time were limited to ball sports. Their only reply was that they would get the chance to do DofE later on.

To be fair they have now got an archery club that she attends and enjoys, but this is provided in partnership with a local archery club which brings me back to my point about the club structure being the logical way to provide a wider range of sports.

 RobAJones 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> I challenged the PE staff at our daughters school over this when their contribution at parents evening was that they wished she did some of the extra curricular sports

Some one said upthead, why would they give up valuable climbing time to look after someone else's kids. Just as well not everyone has that attitude. 

>which at the time were limited to ball sports.

Just luck really what are staff interested in and are they prepared to give up the time. Probably one advantage of bigger schools. 

>Their only reply was that they would get the chance to do DofE later on.

Again most if not all will be giving up their weekends for free. 

> To be fair they have now got an archery club that she attends and enjoys, but this is provided in partnership with a local archery club which brings me back to my point about the club structure being the logical way to provide a wider range of sports.

Yep, It seems sensible to prioritise, for tasters, sports that kids have the opportunity to continue with outside school. 

 Howard J 11 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

>  if we dont have the structure to do this within clubs I'm not sure where else it can exist.

There are numerous voluntary organisations specifically aimed at helping people into climbing, some are listed here: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-climbing-charity-fundraiser-2020

You also have the Scouts, Outward Bound etc

> Agreed, but it would be nice to think that we had the structure to offer the opportunity where it is needed. Check out the websites of the FA, RFU and English Athletics and you can easily find links to youth provision.

The difference being that those are organised sports with competitions and leagues for young players, and which are centred on clubs.  Clubs can expect enough young players to justify having to comply with safeguarding obligations, and these teams feed directly into adult teams.  Climbing is an individual activity and climbing clubs function completely differently from clubs in more organised sports.  It is not unusual for those wanting to learn individual activities to be directed to commercial providers for instruction.

There is ample opportunity through climbing walls, albeit that not all parts of the country are equally served.  True there is a cost for this, but all climbing comes at a cost whether to use indoor walls or to travel to crags, plus of course the cost of equipment.  If someone cannot afford that then maybe climbing isn't sustainable for them.

1
 jimtitt 11 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

As an enthusiatic off-road motorcyclist I don't understand why schools don't offer this to the kids, the UK used to lead the world and nowadays are nearly nowhere. Lewis Hamilton can also tell you about the difficulties in his chosen sport, especially coming from an under-priveleged minority group.

1
In reply to jimtitt:

 mike123 11 May 2022
In reply to paul__in_sheffield: I think people on here are maybe forgetting / or don’t know quiet how posh some of   that bunch were ? ( I was going to say “ many of that bunch “ but I nether know or for that matter care . I have ve climbed with and am  friends with very posh people and very not posh people.  I do think that naming a particular one was a mistake ,as posh kids at posh schools will generally get the chance to do anything they want . Many inner city kids will still  have access to schemes and projects that if they choose to do they can access the outdoors . Of course many will not .For several years I did many many hours of voluntary work for one such and enjoyed most of it immensely I’m pretty sure the project is still going and is well funded ( I accept that this may not be the case in all inner cities / rough areas . Does the odd and unlikely idea that a  few posh kids might miss out a bit  and not go on to be climbers ( world class or not ) bother me at all ? No . Do I think the loss of the LEA centres and the opportunities they offered to the great unwashed is a bad thing ? Very much so , but that not so they can go climbing and kayaking , shoot arrows at targets etc . 

 halo 11 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

My early background in the outdoors stems from being in the armed forces. The first time I went skiing I took to it like a duck to water, having been a skateboarder when I was a kid. The opportunities the outdoors gave me after leaving the forces was so rewarding, I managed to get out of London to become an activities instructor in Llanberis, Wales. 

It was a rewarding occupation, I developed other skills in working with children and adults who either had learning difficulties or were diagnosed with autism. The teachers who were with the children stated that the children never seemed happier, and in all honesty I was too. I had learned that the outdoors gave these children a chance. Admittedly, some schools that were repeat business shall we say, were obviously well funded. Dulwich Preparatory School, was one I recall. However, all the children had a similar approach to the tasks set, building a raft, climbing, abseil etc. Real team building and character building stuff. 

Education should not just be focused on the same old boring curriculum, but have other aspects in order for children to learn and grow. Being an instructor taught me how to live with experiences in the forces, it helped me heal. Seeing other people, literally enjoy the outdoors you have a passion for is actually incredibly rewarding. 

Post edited at 19:52
 birdie num num 11 May 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

Well it was just an analogy really. But you might consider the state of the Right Unconquerable or other cam damage on grit. I realise this is just a snapshot.
But in the end, I'm just giving my thoughts on the question in the title of this thread. I realise it was always going to be a 'non compliant' opinion.. one that would predictably attract a lot of vitriol.
Some folk even seem to think I'm complaining about youngsters being allowed opportunities in the outdoors.
Anyway, it got things going at least. Nothing like a lively exchange of opinions.

3
In reply to farhi:

> If climbing was even remotely actively promoted as much as football/rugby/netball/tennis in schools then you'd probably find a whole lot more kids and adults finding something active that they can be passionate about... which can only be a good thing for humanity.

I'm not sure. The thing I like about running, backpacking and climbing is they aren't organised or team sports.  My school made us do cross country running and I hated it. I didn't get into running until I was at Uni and it was going for a run on my own and doing a few marathons, not organised. My daughter did climbing outside of school and it was great for her, I don't think she'd have got nearly as involved if it had been a school activity with teachers and classmates,

Also with outdoor activities I think there's a danger of the establishment / military trying to get involved in order to push another agenda. I'm talking about cadets, Duke of Edinburgh, Boys Brigade and to a lesser extent Scouts. I really don't like that association and if I saw it, I personally would keep my kids away.

Personally, I kind of like the idea of schools having bouldering traverse walls and even like in Austria proper climbing walls as part of the playground equipment, or as an optional after school activity with climbing wall staff, and councils putting concrete boulders in parks where there's no natural rock to climb in the city. Let climbing, like running, be a leisure activity you do because you feel like it, not something 'owned' by the school.

In reply to birdie num num:

Yeah, stand in the way of the wheels of the climbing industry and you will.get run over.

Schools are frequently proposed as solutions to all manner of problems without a thought for the workload and budgetary pressures they are experiencing.

I will repeat my question to the thread from.above which remains unanswered other than a clutch of dislikes.

"what would you choose not to deliver in order to provide climbing opportunities?" 

3
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I will repeat my question to the thread from.above which remains unanswered other than a clutch of dislikes.

> "what would you choose not to deliver in order to provide climbing opportunities?" 

Climbing can be chosen as an option within GCSE PE/Sports Studies. I've taught it on occasion at the local wall where I do the odd bit of work. This doesn't necessitate sacrificing something from elsewhere in the curriculum. However, how many students can take up the opportunity obviously depends on how the school has chosen to offer PE/Sports Studies within the Key Stage 4 curriculum structure. We used to put the whole year group in for the Short Course and offer the full as a top-up within the Options. I think some Short Courses are being withdrawn so unfortunately this may not be possible in the future.

In reply to Presley Whippet:

> what would you choose not to deliver in order to provide climbing opportunities?

From my own school experience 25 years ago... any of the rest of the PE "curriculum" which was mostly aimless running around in the freezing cold on wet muddy fields being overseen by sadistic bastards moonlighting from their actual specialist subjects.

In reply to pancakeandchips:

Mine too.

However not using existing staff and buying in instructor provision, transport etc plus the knock on effects for other subject areas as kids are removed from lessons to enable the time requirements may all prove intolerable.

Quite a large investment required for a small return.

Of course the real answer is effective funding of schools, however that is decided at the ballot box and there are areas in greater need of funding repair than education. 

 climbingpixie 12 May 2022
In reply to duncan:

From my experience climbing Dales limestone trad over the last few years it's pretty unusual to find another team at the crag. Even Twistleton, the jewel of low grade trad lime, is often deserted. Other crags I've had to myself in the last 12 months include Steel Knotts, Goat Crag, Neckband, Stonestar, Quayfoot, Binnein Shuas, Denham, Baildon Bank, Wilton 2, Anglezarke and Grey Crag. And Craig y Rhaeadr and Trwyn y Gorlech but they are definitely on the more obscure end of things. Obviously loads more if I was to go further back in my logbook.

I'm struggling to think of an occasion where I've found myself on a trad crag that felt too busy and it's impacted on my climbing. Maybe back in 2013 when I found myself on Craig Ddu with 3 other parties, all climbing the same 2 routes that share a belay, though it was all very friendly and sociable and ultimately it's a positive thing to see these crags getting traffic.

 RobAJones 12 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> We used to put the whole year group in for the Short Course

On how much time a week? Going back to PW's question many school only have one lesson a week in KS4, I'm not saying it is wrong/right , but if you do more you are taking that time away from another area. I'm surprised that making it an exam subject, for all, with the restrictions and theory fits in with the idea of introducing kids to a number of different sports. 

In reply to RobAJones:

> On how much time a week? Going back to PW's question many school only have one lesson a week in KS4, I'm not saying it is wrong/right , but if you do more you are taking that time away from another area. I'm surprised that making it an exam subject, for all, with the restrictions and theory fits in with the idea of introducing kids to a number of different sports. 

I've been retired a good few years and can't remember the time allocations now but I'm guessing it was 90 minutes a week. Sport was very important to us as a school and we wanted it to have the status of other GCSE subjects. We did the same with Short Course Religious Studies for all. Both of these were pretty popular and successful. As I said upthread, an extensive extra-curricular programme was one of my three key aims for the school and this enabled us to introduce kids to a wider variety of sports and activities. I'm well aware that this depends on having a highly motivated staff willing to give up their free time. It asks a lot of everyone.

 Offwidth 12 May 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

Well for all your hundreds of retro 'humourous' posts that's the first time you gave me a belly laugh. The cam damage on Right Unconquerable eh? Are you Rip van Winkle?

Cam damage is a serious ongoing issue on gritstone: anyone who knows me will have heard my decades of campaigning on where it is happening and  how to avoid it ..... but since we are talking about your dodgy allegations of trad climbing becoming busier right now because people are promoting it (and the impact of that), is that really the best you can do?

I do get puzzled about people who claim they are all for lively exchanges of opinions, but seem to struggle when faced with it.

 RobAJones 12 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

>  We did the same with Short Course Religious Studies for all.

Now you have reminded me I think that was quite common at the time. I know the area I've worked in is probably and exception, but when you brought up exams I couldn't help thinking that climbing is actually extremely common as an option in GCSE PE. I'm wondering if this is partly due to the fact that it lends itself easily to assessment. 

>As I said upthread, an extensive extra-curricular programme was one of my three key aims for the school and this enabled us to introduce kids to a wider variety of sports and activities. I'm well aware that this depends on having a highly motivated staff willing to give up their free time. It asks a lot of everyone.

Again different areas, many of the schools I worked in had over half the kids bussed in, often from a long way away. In order to take part in extra curricular activities after school they needed parents with the time and means to pick them up later, not characteristics associated with disadvantaged kids, some schools  did have a very long lunchtime, but there is a limit as to what you can do in that time. 

Post edited at 09:45
 timjones 12 May 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

If it also covered the build and maintenance of bikes then it would link in with physics and maths and bring a more practical focus to 2 rather dry subjects.

I have taught myself more about physics whilst working in our farm workshop and helping Scouts build for robot wars than I ever learnt in theory laden school lessons.

 timjones 12 May 2022
In reply to RobAJones:

> Some one said upthead, why would they give up valuable climbing time to look after someone else's kids. Just as well not everyone has that attitude. 

I regard the time that I have spent helping kids through Scouting as both a privilege and a pleasure.

A few will only be there because their parents want to palm them off on someone else for a while but others will really engage and get a lot put of the activities.

There are foster kids that we only had as members for a brief time that I still remember.

> Just luck really what are staff interested in and are they prepared to give up the time. Probably one advantage of bigger schools.

Maybe there is a flaw in the recruitment process if schools are emplying staff that don't have an interest in sport beyond ball games? 

> Again most if not all will be giving up their weekends for free. 

"Giving up weekends for free" is an interesting concept to someone who has only spent 2 months of their life in a job that involves anything less than a 6 day week

> Yep, It seems sensible to prioritise, for tasters, sports that kids have the opportunity to continue with outsid school.

That wasn't really my point and it doesn't seem hugely relevant when many will move away from our small rural market town.

1
In reply to timjones:

> Maybe there is a flaw in the recruitment process if schools are emplying staff that don't have an interest in sport beyond ball games? 

I guess you are not aware of how difficult it is to recruit teachers, let alone ones which fulfill your criteria

> "Giving up weekends for free" is an interesting concept to someone who has only spent 2 months of their life in a job that involves anything less than a 6 day week

That is race to the bottom stuff, OK, you have a blacker dog, it doesn't mean that everyone's should be as black. I also guess you are unaware of all the out of hours work teachers now do, preventing them from giving up weekends as they may have done when you were at school. 

 ExiledScot 12 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

All this talking about climbing, the priority above all else should be no kids reaching 13 or 14 years old being unable to swim at least 200 or 300m. It will save lives. 

1
 Holdtickler 12 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

I certainly agree that the broader range of experiences we can offer to children the better and I include sports and the arts in that.

I've taught in primary schools and delivered some PE lessons on the traverse wall in the playground but it was tricky with a full class. I worked it into a circuit training carousel with the kids doing the other activities mostly independently. You won't often have the luxury of an assistant in a PE lesson. A lot of schools now have traverse walls but, like many things in schools, they don't necessarily get that much use unless you have a keen staff member there to introduce the culture of the sport and the sorts of games you can play etc. 

The problem most primary schools face with any kind of school trip is the transport costs because unlike many secondary schools most don't have their own vehicles. With class sizes too big for a minibus yet too small for a coach (and 2 classes too big) it can be really hard to keep costs down. Staffing ratios are also a big factor both during activity and the journey.

With residential trips to outdoor centres the climbing related activities are more often run on artificial walls and structures. This is often a staffing issue too because whereas you can run many artificial sessions with one instructor for a group size of say 8-12, outdoor climbing sessions would need 2 instructors for the same group size. Despite being close to the crags, we didn't run many actual rock climbing sessions for this reason which was a shame. Roped outdoors sessions however can be a little on the slow side as a group activity compared to say weaseling, gill scrambling or caving.

 timjones 12 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I guess you are not aware of how difficult it is to recruit teachers, let alone ones which fulfill your criteria

Is it really so unrealistic to expect sports teachers to give sports beyond the usual ballgames a bit of an airing?

> That is race to the bottom stuff, OK, you have a blacker dog, it doesn't mean that everyone's should be as black. I also guess you are unaware of all the out of hours work teachers now do, preventing them from giving up weekends as they may have done when you were at school. 

Why do you perceive it as "black" or a "race to the bottom"?

My point was not that I have a "blacker dog", it was that everyone can fit in some volunteer work if they are prepared to make the effort.

 birdie num num 12 May 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

No, I'm not Rip Van Winkle. And yes, that's probably about the best I can do.

I'm not struggling though.

In reply to timjones:

> Is it really so unrealistic to expect sports teachers to give sports beyond the usual ballgames a bit of an airing?

The reality of teacher recruitment criteria is vaguely humanoid with a pulse. 

> Why do you perceive it as "black" or a "race to the bottom"?

"blacker dog" is a fairly common phrase used to describe one-upmanship particularly when used in martyrdom, as you did. "race to the bottom" because you are expecting others to accept the degraded working conditions that you do. 

I tend to find that to be refreshed and invigorated for the day job, a break doing something different is necessary for most. Expecting teaching staff to volunteer what is left of their free time to deliver more of the same will not be helpful. 

2
 RobAJones 12 May 2022
In reply to timjones:

> I regard the time that I have spent helping kids through Scouting as both a privilege and a pleasure.

Same here, although I think I've mentioned previously, I probably made the decision to stop leading and start helping at the right time. 

> A few will only be there because their parents want to palm them off on someone else for a while but others will really engage and get a lot put of the activities.

I always though about 12/13 was when kids stopped doing things because their parents made/wanted them to 

> There are foster kids that we only had as members for a brief time that I still remember.

I certainly remember the summer camp when we had four kids from a residential special school in our troop. 

> Maybe there is a flaw in the recruitment process if schools are emplying staff that don't have an interest in sport beyond ball games? 

You make it sound like I had a choice when making appointments. Although PE is probably the only subject where I didn't have too look overseas to fill vacancies. Having said that retention is IMO a much bigger problem than recruitment. If you want better teachers making the profession more attractive, to the right type of candidate, would be a start. 

While the majority of school lessons and matches are in traditional sports that is always where the priority is going to be. As a young maths teacher I would run just one school team and the district side, depending on how well we did in National County Cups that would usually be about 20 matches a season. Even with PE teachers specialising in these sports they were always desperate for help from other members of staff, but I'm really not sure that if I was starting now I would be able/prepared to help and run a Scout Troop. Perhaps there is an argument that these sports are well organised outside school and there isn't a need for schools to prioritise them, but I don't think that would be well received by a significant proportion of parents. 

> "Giving up weekends for free" is an interesting concept to someone who has only spent 2 months of their life in a job that involves anything less than a 6 day week

Yep, I should apologise to current teachers, I should have said giving up a weekend where they could catch up on marking, report writing, lesson prep. setting work for classes without teachers etc. I'm helping an old school with DoE this weekend, unusually for me I've got roped in to staying overnight due to some staff feeling they had school work to do on Sat. and Sun. evening. The change in workload outside of contact time has probably affected PE teachers more than most, the expectation that they supervised matches/practises 3/4 nights a week and sat. morning used to be offset by the fact they had no marking etc. 

In reply to RobAJones:

>  I know the area I've worked in is probably and exception, but when you brought up exams I couldn't help thinking that climbing is actually extremely common as an option in GCSE PE. I'm wondering if this is partly due to the fact that it lends itself easily to assessment. 

I've taught the Climbing module of GCSE PE a few times over the years. It not only lends itself easily to both teaching and assesment, but also to scoring good marks! Personally, I think it should be made more challenging, but it's not hard to see why it's popular.

Does this reflect the fact that climbing is intrinsically easy compared to a truly complex, multi-skill sport like football?

In reply to Andy Clarke:

Chapeaux

 RobAJones 12 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I've taught the Climbing module of GCSE PE a few times over the years. It not only lends itself easily to both teaching and assesment,

I've not taught it, but have been surprised at some PE staff who have chosen to. They have occasionally been climbing but I wouldn't describe them as climbers 

>but also to scoring good marks! Personally, I think it should be made more challenging, but it's not hard to see why it's popular.

So it's a soft option in a Particularly Easy GCSE (apologies to PE teachers).

There was a GCSE group at Kendal Wall for a full week earlier this year. I had, what I thought was, an interesting conversation with a couple of the girls, on the Friday. It was about the best 6c for them to attempt for their assessment. Although I'm not sure how beneficial it was as I'm  a foot taller and much less flexible. I didn't think 6c after a full week of climbing was too shabby, perhaps standards have risen? 

> Does this reflect the fact that climbing is intrinsically easy compared to a truly complex, multi-skill sport like football?

I was going to say “not for me“, but perhaps the hours I spent playing football as a kid has some bearing on that. 

 ExiledScot 12 May 2022
In reply to RobAJones:

6c isn’t bad at all, risking a flaming, but being young females they aren't likely climbing on gym gained strength and were probably using good technique. Think what they could do in 12 months time if they kept it, hopefully they had a sense of what they had achieved in such a short time.

 RobAJones 12 May 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> 6c isn’t bad at all, risking a flaming, but being young females they aren't likely climbing on gym gained strength and were probably using good technique.

Yep, I think it's been mentioned on another thread. They were dancers rather than Rugby players

>Think what they could do in 12 months time if they kept it,

I think they were from the Milnthorpe / Carnforth area. Without adult support I think it will be difficult. 

>hopefully they had a sense of what they had achieved in such a short time.

I might be wrong, but I did get a sense of quiet confidence/satisfaction from them. 

 gooberman-hill 12 May 2022
In reply to Howard J:

My kids climb. I've taken some of their friends from the wall climbing outside because they have non climbing parents. So I think I do my bit in helping young people get into climbing.

I think that one thing that is missed in the debate about young people / clubs etc, is that many young people look to clubs as an introduction to adult society. I remember when I was 13 or so and started youth hostelling with mates ( cycling - hadn't discovered climbing at that point). It felt like a huge step towards autonomy and becoming an adult. Similarly, I recall meeting up with the Anabasis club in a pub in Liverpool at the (under)age of just 17. Formative experiences.

My elder daughter (16) has an alpine CV that would qualify her as an aspirant member of the Alpine Club, but there is a minimum age of 18. She's not looking for instruction, or someone to look after her, but I know she would like to feel validated and accepted. Sadly it seems like this is no longer possible. It feels like my generation has drawn up the drawbridge behind us 😥.

1
In reply to RobAJones:

> There was a GCSE group at Kendal Wall for a full week earlier this year. I had, what I thought was, an interesting conversation with a couple of the girls, on the Friday. It was about the best 6c for them to attempt for their assessment. Although I'm not sure how beneficial it was as I'm  a foot taller and much less flexible. I didn't think 6c after a full week of climbing was too shabby, perhaps standards have risen? 

That's impressive progress - but as far as assessment goes, they wouldn't need to climb anywhere near 6c to score the marks required for grade 9. 6a/6a+ would be more than enough to satisfy the criteria.

 RobAJones 12 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> That's impressive progress - but as far as assessment goes, they wouldn't need to climb anywhere near 6c to score the marks required for grade 9. 6a/6a+ would be more than enough to satisfy the criteria.

So the idea that grade 9 is supposed to identify the top 3% of the population doesn't seem to have extended to climbing. No wonder it's popular. 

 rhudson 12 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> The reality of teacher recruitment criteria is vaguely humanoid with a pulse. 

Would you mind clarifying what you mean by this statement please?

In reply to rhudson:

It means the pool is rather shallow and one cannot be fussy.

Essentials trumping desirable again. 

2
 rhudson 12 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Well, you could have just said that but I understand. Thank you.

 Howard J 12 May 2022
In reply to gooberman-hill:

> My elder daughter (16) has an alpine CV that would qualify her as an aspirant member of the Alpine Club, but there is a minimum age of 18. She's not looking for instruction, or someone to look after her, but I know she would like to feel validated and accepted. Sadly it seems like this is no longer possible. It feels like my generation has drawn up the drawbridge behind us 😥.

Is it pulling up the drawbridge?  Or simply a realisation that, whether or not she feels she needs someone to look after her, it is perhaps not a good idea to let under-18s participate in activities with adults (especially ones which may involve sharing accommodation) without some safeguarding procedures in place?

The Alpine Club may not accept members under 18, but they are allowed to attend its meets if accompanied by a parent or a designated adult.  I believe many, if not most, clubs would probably do the same.  That allows them to become introduced to adult society and feel validated and accepted, without the onerous obligations that accepting unaccompanied under-18s as full members would require clubs to comply with.

In reply to UKC Articles:

A starter comment: this article relates to education in England. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have different education systems, and a differing set of values emerging.

In Scotland 'Learning for Sustainability' is the right of all children, and 'Outdoor learning should be a regular and progressive part of all children's learning'. In addition we have a curriculum which states 'learning outdoors is often better than indoors' and standards for teacher registration that require outdoor learning to be 'deployed on a regular basis when appropriate'. We also see it is the right of all children to be able to 'engage with nature on a daily basis' and that 'free play' is also a daily right. Finally, all our schools and nurseries are inspected on this and you cannot get a great report without demonstrating leadership for, practice in and quality of delivery of outdoor learning.

This then leads to a question: What is 'outdoor learning'? The article speaks about climbing. However outdoor learning / learning outdoors is so much more than our outdoor pursuits, adventure and residentials. Maths in school grounds, outdoor nurseries, John Muir Award, Duke of Edinburgh Award, growing food, engaging with farms, forestry and fisheries as possible careers, writing poetry, problem solving STEM challenges in the school grounds and more. 

In my experience schools need to build a culture of valuing outdoors as a place of learning, of restorative health and wellbeing, of challenge and opportunity for pupils and a shared responsibility. Outdoor learning becomes a context for learning, of good practice in teaching and learning. It is not the preserve of the one fleece wearing member of staff.

At which point, the complex and costly (time and money) adventurous or residential trips start happening - because schools value the learning and benefit. You don't make the argument any more, the argument is 'won'.

This though is a huge culture change. Even with our wonderful policies in Wales and Scotland, our practice lags our ambition. We need to train teachers to be confident and skilled in choosing when and how to deploy learning outdoors. We need pre-service and in-service training and support. It needs an education system and leadership who value and are held to account about providing outdoor learning experiences. 

This valuing of outdoor learning and culture of teaching and learning is the thing missing in England. So many leaders of education and individual teachers (Olivia in this article for example) 'get' it and fight tooth and nail to make it happen. There a many organisations, from LOtC and IOL, through to individual outdoor centres, Forest School Leaders, outdoor kindergartens and more working hard to keep alive the learning outdoor opportunity for as many children and young people as we can. And for that we should be grateful.

But they are 'pushing water uphill' in so many ways. 

We have spoken to DfE, Education Wales, Education NI & Education Scotland. We have spoken to Education Ministers and high level civil servants direct about this topic, in person and through various projects / emails / calls. In England, at the highest level, there is no appetite for learning outdoors in my opinion. It recently took over a year to get a response from Nick Gibb (ex education minister) over a project. Yet in Scotland we are expecting the Minister for Education and two other MSP's to attend in person an outdoor learning strategic event next month. The difference is stark I am afraid.

Examples of the difference:

Key policies in England for outdoor learning: https://www.ltl.org.uk/key-policies-england/

Key policies in Scotland for outdoor learning: https://www.ltl.org.uk/key-policies-scotland/

This then needs effort to change.

Across all areas of learning outdoors, we need to work together. Not split in to climbing vs sailing, residential vs school grounds. We need to come together and lobby at the highest level. Work with organisations such as LOtC, IOL, SAPOE, NNOL, AHOEC, LtL and more.

https://www.lotc.org.uk/

https://www.outdoor-learning.org/

https://www.sapoe.org.uk/

https://nnolscotland.blogspot.com/

https://www.walescouncilforoutdoorlearning.org/

https://ahoec.org/

https://www.johnmuirtrust.org/john-muir-award

https://www.ltl.org.uk/

(and more!)

My suggestion to Olivia: find more colleagues who 'get' outdoors. Build a vision and values, start small and prove to leadership the value and benefit of learning outdoors. And soon you will find climbing is 'a thing' that the school does, as part and parcel of a good education provision.

Matt

(Scotland director of national outdoor learning charity and steering group of National Network for Outdoor Learning Scotland)

 timjones 13 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> "blacker dog" is a fairly common phrase used to describe one-upmanship particularly when used in martyrdom, as you did. "race to the bottom" because you are expecting others to accept the degraded working conditions that you do. 

You may know the definitions the phrases that you use but your ability to judge the thoughts and motives of other people appears to be severely flawed.

Have even considered the possibility that I do not consider myself a "martyr" or as someone who suffers from "degraded working conditions"?

Maybe you would feel more refreshed and invigorated if took a less dark view of the world and other people?

> I tend to find that to be refreshed and invigorated for the day job, a break doing something different is necessary for most. Expecting teaching staff to volunteer what is left of their free time to deliver more of the same will not be helpful. 

I do not expect them to volunteer and I certainly don't expect them to volunteer in any specific roles, however I have met many teachers who do volunteer to work with kids in their spare time and enjoy doing so.

The world is a better place if we all give a little of our time to help others and there are many ways that we can choose to do that. Teachers do not have to volunteer to work with children.

 gooberman-hill 13 May 2022
In reply to Howard J:

It's not just the Alpine club - it is society in general. I happened across some old photos last weekend - me and a couple of mates cycling round the Pennines aged 14 or 15. We did a trip round the lakes aged 13, then one up the pennines the year after, all in Youth hostels. Nowdays, you can't stay in a YHA hostel on your own until you are 16.

We were just a bunch of kids doing what reasonably adventurous kids did - nothing special. And now our generation has removed those opportunities from our kids. Social services would get involved.

Sad really,

Steve

2
 Howard J 13 May 2022
In reply to gooberman-hill:

I agree. When I look back, I had an extraordinary amount of freedom by modern standards, far more than my kids and certainly today's young people. On the other hand, those were times when children's welfare was often not considered, and when the most appalling abuses were covered up or simply ignored.

I suspect there are now probably far more opportunities for kids to experience a much wider range of activities than when I was young, albeit more regulated and probably better managed. It is regrettable that there are fewer opportunities for independent adventures, but a balance has to be struck between freedom and safety. 

 0ldie 14 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

With decades of happy memories of introducing  teenagers to  climbing/mountaineering/ orienteering  and having the pleasure of seeing the seeds  grow into  committed life long  practitioners  I just don't understand the  question.
Teaching in Manchester   we had ODA on the timetable for 15 years olds and  the  superb  bus services at that time made access to   the many crags and quarries from Mottram  into the Chew  Valley. Weekends   saw  walking and climbing parties  throughout the year though  for many the   best was reserved for  Whitsuntide  when  two fifteen seater minibuses  plus cars took the committed down to  Penzance  Campsite  and climbing  at Sennen in the main.
A move to West Cumbria meant that  the age range was the same  and  there were staff with different interests  with canoeing and sailing  being rival  favourites for the  young  aspirants. 
Financing  activities of any kind involving  transport  is always a problem and it is one that must be really troublesome at this moment in time.

If you enjoy the activity and the  contact knowing  what you have enjoyed and  where it  can lead ( no pun intended) then just do it but make sure every one and everything is  insured to the hilt!

 

 Offwidth 14 May 2022
In reply to matt_outandabout:

Stonking post Matt.

 poison_pixie 19 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Interestingly, I am currently recruiting teachers to take part in a study that seeks to understand what motivates schools to incorporate climbing into their curriculum. I am specifically looking for teachers who work in alternative provision/SEMH schools. Eligible teachers will complete a 30 to 45-minute, 1-2-1 interview with a researcher on Microsoft Teams. As a thank you, participants will receive a £10 Amazon voucher. 

Given the opposing views that this article has generated I would be keen to talk to any UKC user who meets the criteria above. Please follow this link to find out more/register your interest https://forms.gle/X9r7D4x1ZLDdvxFh9 11  

 Ross McGibbon 20 May 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

I used to instruct school kids in climbing and caving, thirty years ago. What I saw happening and continuing to happen now, is youth groups and schools preferring the indoor experience because it was manageable and risk was devolved to the climbing wall.

The outdoors was increasingly considered too unpredictable. This removed all the good stuff and made it an adrenaline experience. I have great memories of kids outdoors being more excited about seeing a sheep than the climbing itself.

If I had a magic wand, I'd be making climbing in schools all about the outdoors, with an emphasis away from rock-climbing per-se, and instead on walking, moving over interesting and / or rough ground. Interacting with the actual outdoors. Climbing walls should be more for training, fitness, fun but not for outdoor ed (which some schools and youth groups consider it to be!)

In reply to UKC Articles:

Dear Sir, Madam,

I am outraged and replying in disgust to your politically incorrect and socially backwards article built on overly  challenging terminology with all the negative psychological effects to children that follow using these terms.

In the same way we've recently seen advice that "maths" is too frightening and difficult a word for children, with "numeracy" advised being a more comforting and ability inclusive term we should discontinue use of framing these activities as "indoor climbing" or "outdoor pursuits".

Far less intimidating would be to discuss "upwards progression, within a built structure" and "activities external to the built environment". Its 2022 and your continued use of those archaic terms beggars belief.

2
 Clip gate 27 May 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

I agree, having been lucky enough to to have experienced many sports through education, ( ice skating, horse ridding, martial arts , rugby plus the arts, in the 70’s in London, when funding was made available,  gave me and many other pupils at the time a broader outlook on what would have been otherwise a difficult time in a urban jungle. Having also seen how other countries utilise their clubs and feed into them at an early stage through the schools in an integrated system which support each other and provides an excellent network in which young people are able to experience many sports and have access to good facilities and coaching. I’m afraid once again the UK is getting left behind as a result, as Andy says, through poor leadership and lack of sustainable planning.

in the meantime it’s left up to the rest of us to try and engage with young people and show them what’s possible.


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