Bouldering Gym at PAA
Approximately 250 friends and supporters of Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) met for the dedication and opening of the bouldering gym—a structure that allows participants to ascend climbing walls using various hand holds fastened to surfaces that simulate large boulders. This is in contrast to rock-climbing walls which are higher and require participants to be secured with belays and ropes. Pads and the vigilance of spotters are considered adequate for bouldering walls.
During the opening and dedication, Les Zollbrecht, PAA chaplain, detailed the benefits that the bouldering gym will bring to PAA. He pointed out that with most sports activities there are winners and losers, but in bouldering or rock climbing, everyone wins. Self-esteem, self-confidence, athletic ability, and setting and achieving personal goals are all important parts of this sport.
Mark Smith, computer teacher and club sponsor, feels that the bouldering gym will allow PAA to reach out to the home-school community and area Adventist elementary schools. Other Portland area youth are also invited to join the climbing club and utilize the gym as well.
Many donors and volunteers contributed nearly $12,800 to the project in time, materials and cash. No funds came directly from the academy.