I Wanna Be A Climber

Rock Climbing Summer Camps for Kids

rock climbing summer camp for kids

Rock climbing is an excellent way for kids to move their bodies, but it can be more than that! Did you know that climbing can also help build essential life skills? Did you also know there are rock climbing camps for kids? Enrolling your child in a climbing camp can help them develop problem-solving skills, patience, and confidence. It even helps build their sociability!

The Benefits of Rock Climbing Camps for Kids: Skills, Friendships, and Confidence

Children should spend at least an hour a day doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and climbing is a perfect way to get a kid moving. Of course, it’s fun to scale a wall like Spiderman, but the sense of accomplishment of applying a new skill builds their confidence to try new things in other areas of their life!

  • Physical Activity

By pulling and pushing their little bodies up climbing walls, kids are experiencing a full-body workout without knowing it. While great for strengthening muscles and developing flexibility, climbing also improves endurance.

This activity can be as demanding as they want. By joining a rock climbing camp, kids can learn to push themselves to climb more challenging routes or just climb their little hearts out around the boulders and focus on having fun!

  • Motor Skills

We probably don’t remember learning how to move our bodies when we were younger, but we had to learn at some point, right? Climbing is an excellent way for kids to learn how to intentionally move their bodies and develop fine motor skills! It takes incredible focus to accurately reach out for the next handhold or shift their hips to step on that next foothold. By developing fine motor skills, kids are learning body awareness, or in other words, how to move!

  • Improves Confidence

rock climbing summer camp for kids

As a child (even as an adult), developing confidence is crucial when tackling new obstacles in life. By overcoming a challenging climbing problem, kids learn to believe in themselves to reach a goal. We’ll never make it off the ground if we don’t try! This translates to everyday life because they learn that trying something new takes confidence.

  • Problem-Solving Skills

Another skill fostered by climbing is the ability to problem-solve. For example, when a child is tasked with climbing a wall, they must figure out a way to do so that works for their body. This could be reaching up with their other hand, stepping onto that other foothold first, or turning their body ever so slightly to stay on the wall.

These small but significant acts work to develop children’s problem-solving skills. When we learn to think of new ways to accomplish a task, such as a climbing wall, we begin to think of new ways to accomplish other things in our life. As a bonus, experiencing the efforts of their problem-solving skills helps develop their confidence. This then cycles back and forth, providing them with the confidence to problem-solve any situation in life.

  • Social Aspect

Climbing is a great way for kids to make new friends! Kids engage in a collaborative exercise by encouraging each other to push their boundaries and overcome new obstacles, i.e., building friendships. By spending hours together reaching new heights and working toward a common goal is a great way to make friendships.

  • Being Okay with Failure

In climbing, one must be okay with failing. A climber will inevitably fall. But if every climber who fell off a problem, stopped climbing, no climbers would be left! When a child climbs a wall and doesn’t reach the top, they are forced to quit or try again. This ‘try again’ stage strengthens their problem-solving skills by making them look for a different way to finish a climb.

Rock climbing is a great way to keep kids active, strengthen their problem-solving and motor skills, improve their confidence and social skills, and is a great teacher of failure. However, the benefits of climbing for kids can be seen far from the climbing wall!

Choosing the Right Climbing Camp: Factors to Consider for an Unforgettable Experience

When choosing the right rock climbing camp for kids, look for its program focus. Will they learn to climb, or is it a daycare with a climbing wall? Many camps just let kids run wild without instruction, which may be fun, but it doesn’t help them learn essential life skills.

Look for the student-to-instructor ratio. This will tell you how much one-on-one your child will receive if they have any questions or trouble at camp. The smaller the ratio, the more engaged a camp counselor will be with a child.

Climbing Camps for All Skill Levels: Catering to Kids with Previous Climbing Experience

When I would run camps, I could quickly gauge which children either had previous climbing experience or if they had a knack for climbing. I would group the more experienced children together, then put the others in their own group. Doing so created a space for the children to learn together. It’s tough when you’re doing something new and see somebody more experienced than you easily overcome the obstacles you’re struggling with. By grouping the children separately, I could let them push each other to be better or just have fun together!

Fun Games and Team Building Activities: Engaging Young Climbers Beyond the Rock

Having fun games and team-building activities is an integral part of camp to build your children’s friendships and let them experience a sillier way of climbing!

Twister: This is a great game on the floor, but have you ever tried it on a wall? This is a rock climbing gym-only game because of the different colored holds on the wall. It’s like floor twister but played on a rock climbing wall!

Tag: I’m sure we’ve all played tag before, but now we’re doing it while climbing! This game of tag will look much slower than what your child is used to, but it will be just as fun! Forcing them to think about their body movements while getting away from whose ‘it’ will have them telling you all about their day after camp.

The Floor is Lava: Have you heard of the ‘the floor is lava’ game? By taping off specific holds, a climbing wall can become lava! Having children traverse from one side of a wall to the other while avoiding specific holds is a great way to challenge their minds. Adding more tape after every child has succeeded is a great way to make this game more difficult!

Indoor and Outdoor Climbing Camps: Exploring Diverse Climbing Areas and Experiences


rock climbing summer camp for kids

Indoor and outdoor rock climbing camps each have their pros and cons. For instance, playing some games I mentioned while on real rock is harder, but having the outdoors to run around gives children a sense of freedom.


Indoor Climbing Camp


  • Pros:

– Not weather dependent.

– Colored walls make learning how to climb a little easier.

– Plenty of games to play on the wall!


  • Cons:

– Less room to run wild.

– Must climb around other gym-goers meaning less time climbing.

– Most of their time is spent indoors


Outdoor Climbing Camp


  • Pros:

– More room to run around.

– Coexisting with nature.

– Climbs can be higher than indoors.


  • Cons:

– Weather dependent.

– Rock is sharp!

– Allergies can be more present.


When deciding which kind of rock climbing camp to enroll your child in, consider some of these pros and cons. While an outdoor camp can build your child’s relationship with nature, their climbing is weather-dependent. An indoor climbing camp will allow your child to climb all day, but they won’t have the same space to run around.

Preparing for Camp: Essential Gear and Water Bottles to Ensure a Safe and Fun Adventure

All your child really needs to have a good time at a rock climbing camp are stretchy clothing and a good attitude! If they’re enrolled in an overnight camp, they may need a few more belongings… Below is a checklist to ensure your child has a great time at camp!


(Pick and choose from this list depending on if your child is enrolled in an indoor day-time camp or overnight/outdoor camp)


  • Athletic clothes + extra clothes
  • Athletic shoes
  • Water Bottle
  • Sandals
  • Rock climbing shoes (camp will provide a pair if they don’t have any!)
  • Sunscreen
  • A memento from home (being home-sick is natural!)
  • Toiletries
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping bag

School Break and Weekly Camps: Flexible Options to Fit Your Family’s Schedule

Rock climbing camps have plenty of different scheduling options. An outdoor camp will likely only occur in the summer, but plenty of rock climbing gyms offer camps for young climbers throughout the year. These camps typically coincide with their breaks from school, and can be enrolled for a half or full day! Flexible options are perfect for families with busy schedules or planned vacations to get their kids climbing!

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