December 9, 2015


Not even halfway through our planning session for our 2015 fall break trip – our Adventure Team had an epiphany. They realized that we were going on a serious rock climbing trip and that meant they needed to get serious about rock climbing – it was time to start training. We climb nearly every week with these guys, but it’s normally more of a community time than a true, physical training time. Over the course of their time at GOAT, many of them naturally progress in their climbing abilities – but when it comes time to translate those skills to outdoor rock climbing, they realize more serious training is needed. Training with intentionality and discipline.

While there’s certainly benefit in physical training and the health of our kids, there are countless added benefits and life lessons to be gleaned from the process. Beyond the obvious benefits of fighting sedentary lifestyles and forming fitness habits that are fun – these guys learned a lot about life.

1. Preparation is valuable

One of the biggest lessons learned was simply the fact that the planning process made them aware of the need to train. For so many of them, training had never crossed their mind until they were involved with the planning process. We included them in every aspect of the planning and as they were choosing what and where they wanted to climb, it became immediately obvious that they would need to train to meet some of their goals and maximize the trip.

2. Hard work makes a difference

A lot of our kids have yet to find anything that interests them enough to actually work for. Involving our guys on the planning of the trip helped them to own the experience and their desire to train for the trip helped them understand the value of putting in hard work beforehand to make the trip more enjoyable for them once they got there. Seeing their hard work all the way to fruition – both the planning and the training – showed them the value of their work.

3. Meeting goals is rewarding

Not just meeting goals, but seeing real, tangible results. Most of the guys have been climbing at least long enough to understand the various rating systems for the difficulty of certain climbs and were able to set goals for what they wanted to climb on the trip. Training for weeks before before the trip made meeting the goals all the more sweet when they finally got to try the climbs they were training for.

4. Falling short of goals is motivating

Some of the guys didn’t climb as well on the trip as they would like, or in comparison to their teammates. And it’s ok. We don’t always achieve every goal we set. Sometimes we come up short and have to go back to the drawing board. Maybe we need more training, maybe we need to plan farther in advance. Learning to handle this adversity and use it for motivation instead of quitting is a huge life lesson and something that our guys often times have never experienced or been encouraged to understand.


We hope you’ll keep following along with us in this four part series on our 2015 Fall Break Trip. We’re hoping to let you all take a glimpse “behind the curtain” of our programs and see how we use outdoor adventures to develop at-risk kids into leaders. Click here to see the rest of the posts from this series →



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *