Dana’s Aussie cousins were due to fly back to Melbourne this week so we specially arranged one last play date with them today. Instead of letting a bunch of active kids drive us (parents) crazy with their boundless energy, we conspired to drive them up the wall (literally) at The Rock School, Singapore.
Situated at Bedok Community Centre, The Rock School is Singapore’s first climbing centre designed, constructed and dedicated to kids of ages 4 to 14 years old, aimed at promoting the sport of rock climbing in a fun and safe environment. Singaporean kids partake in a wide variety of sports (i.e. swimming, taekwondo, badminton, cycling, marathon running, rollerblading even junior golf!) but not many have been exposed to rock climbing (which is a pity). In fact, rock climbing is a great sport to build fitness and mental strength.
Dana had a preview of what rock climbing feels like last December and she loved it! We are not very athletic folks but we like that rock climbing provides these benefits:
1. Improves physical fitness and flexibilty
2. Develops perseverance, resilience and self-confidence
3. Improves sense of balance and coordination
4. Enhances physical focus and concentration
5. Instills fun in sports
We turned up at The Rock School promptly at 1pm and were greeted by a team of enthusiastic, friendly Rock Guides (the instructors). They issued every child a name tag and encouraged the children to scale the boulders while waiting for the rest of the group to turn up.
|A dedicated team of Rock Guides is there to assist the kids…|
|Strong arms, strong legs and a stronger mind needed…|
|No need to teach: Children are natural climbers!|
Once everyone was present, Sam the affable Rock Guide rounded them up and played two simple games as a lead up to the actual climb. I found the interactivity and the warm rapport of the Rock Guides a pleasant contrast to our previous rock climbing experience at another school (which I shall not name).
|Fun warm up games set the kids in high spirits and warm their muscles for the climb!|
|Having a go at Bouldering…|
|You get to graffiti your name in chalk when you climb to the top. How cool!|
After the games, the children were ‘suited up’ and headed for the actual rock walls outdoors. The Rock Guides briefed the kids on safety rules, divided them into 3 groups and the climbing began. No guessing who volunteered to go first. With sheer determination and steady muscular strength, Dana reached the top of the 3-storey high rock wall, giving her cousins a big confidence boost! Another factor which we like about The Rock School is their ‘child-friendliness’. They sectioned the rock wall into 4 segments, naming them ‘Slope, Hill, Mountain and Peak’ to encourage the kids to reach for higher grounds. Every child was also issued a personalized ‘achievement card’ where they can place a sticker to indicate their achievement levels after each climb. We thought it’s an ingenious idea to use stickers to motivate and track the kids’ progress. The guide-to-student ratio at today’s session was also kept small at 1:3 (one Rock Guide to 3 kids) which was excellent.
|Step by Step, from ‘Slope’ to ‘Peak, 3-storeys high! Look who’s inching near the ‘Peak’…|
|All ready to conquer the Rock Walls!|
|Hey Buddy, I’m gonna aim for ‘mountain’ next, what about you?|
The rock walls look a tad daunting and to scale them require physical stamina and agility. But the consolation is that the the individual child sets the pace he/she is comfortable with. If they are tired, they can ask to take a rest mid-way up or choose to be hoisted down to catch a breather. The Rock School also offers Parent-Child tag team climb for those parents who are more athletic! We think it’s brilliant for families to bond over sports. What struck me today was how resilient the kids are. Most of them were new to the sport and some even had fear of heights but with the encouragement from the Rock Guides and parents, not a single one of them said they wanted to quit mid-way. Everyone persevered, overcame their inhibitions and tasted success as they got better with each climb. What a precious lesson this must be for the young ones. Apart from having fun, they experienced personal satisfaction at working hard towards a goal. These are life values worth acquiring from young!
|Ain’t no mountain high enough….|
|With her mind set on reaching the ‘Peak’!|
|A determined climber…|
|Displaying grit and resilience from a young age…|
|You climb up and then repel down…like a Commando!|
Soon, the two hours session came to an end. Their smiles say it all. “Mom, rock climbing is fun, let’s do it again!” No prizes too for guessing what is now Dana’s newest ambition. ‘I wanna be a Rock Climber when I grow up’, she proudly declared on our way home. We smiled…we can foresee more Outward Bound camp requests in the near future…
Our two hour fun climb session today costs only SGD24 per child (after 20% discount with PA card). That’s cheaper than many indoor playgrounds these days, yet so much more enriching 🙂 You need to gather a minimum of 8 kids to schedule your own fun climb session at a preferred time slot. If you would like to find out more about the wide range of programmes offered by The Rock School Singapore, do visit their webpage or Facebook fanpage. We’re in no way affiliated or sponsored by them, just genuinely won over by their great service and the awesome experience.
|The Rock School Singapore really rocks!|
|Well done little climbers for overcoming frontiers!|
|Where do they get the energy from? Still so energetic after the two hours’ climb!|