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Sender One Youth Team: Lock-In at LAX

Sender One Youth Team: Lock-In at LAX

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Words by Jane Chin, Photos by Cass Chin
Sender One Santa Ana (SNA) and Los Angeles (LAX) both have competitive ("comp") teams that practice at their respective "home gyms". Given the distance between the two gyms, Sender One coaches hold monthly full team practices and an early season "all team lock-in" event. This encourages bonding between comp team members and fosters cohesion for Team Sender One. For the 2018 sport and speed climbing season, the all team lock-in event took place at Sender One LAX on February 17, 2018.
While the Sender One Youth team trained together, coaches Christian and Nate held a parent orientation to discuss team goals and important information about USA Climbing membership requirements for competitors. Many parents were new to the comp team, and climbing in general, and welcomed a forum where they asked the coaches questions about training methods, safety, and USA Climbing rules. Coach Christian Mercene, the SNA youth head coach, really listened and addressed new parents' questions and concerns. Coach Nate Withey, who has extensive personal competition experience, was able to answer technical questions about USA Climbing's rules. Parents are encouraged to visit USA Climbing's rules page and watch the short video explaining its competition rules.
After training and dinner, Team Sender One visited Sender City. Parents were welcome to try out the obstacles, some of which were quite challenging! My husband won the "speed climbing challenge", but I was able to pass his high-point on the the "moving cog-wheel" climbing problem. Many of the challenges required leaps of faith, such as jumping off high objects or platforms into the air, which are wonderful exercises in "trust" and made these obstacles popular in adult team-building/confidence events.
 Groups began to form, with some kids heading to the party room to watch the climbing movie, featuring world class climbers Chris Sharma, Alex Honnold, and Margo Hayes. Others hung out with coach Melanie (who seemed to be exercising for hours at a time!) at the fitness area. The rest of us headed to the climbing walls to work off the dessert we ate! At 10pm, the gym doors were locked and all the other guests had left. Team Sender One and their families were locked in. A few parents collectively took a breath as Team Sender One took over LAX!
Kids ran all over the place, playing hide and seek, clamoring upstairs and downstairs. The main lights turned off, leaving the spot lights shining on the iconic Torch and the other big walls. Those who brought head-lamps did some "head-lamp climbing".Coaches also rigged up a "King Swing" in the middle of the lead climb arch. This was a long rope that required the swinger to climb up the wall, then jump off, for a long fall and wide swing.
By this time, it was past midnight. Many parents were exhausted since it was past our bedtime! People began staking sleeping spots around the bouldering areas. We set up the ground sheet and sleeping bags/pillows, and as things wound down, we settled to sleep. It was quite a pleasant experience to sleep in the dark and quiet building, with the occasional sound of an airliner taking off or landing at LAX.
The next morning Team Sender One campers woke up, packed up, and met for potluck breakfast. Coaches Toby and Christian greeted everyone and asked about favorite parts of the lock-in. King swing, Sender City, Rope swings, the (climbing) movie, "everything" were answers, followed by the next question: "When are we going to do this again?" Looks like the lock-in was a success!
Kids Climbing Gym Los Angeles & Santa Ana, CA

Kids Climbing Gym Los Angeles & Santa Ana, CA

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Rock climbing is an awesome sport for kids. It's fun, it teaches problem solving and practical skills, and it's also an excellent full-body workout that promotes "real strength" – it develops muscles naturally, the way they were designed to be used within the body. At Sender One Climbing, we're proud to be a leading kid-friendly climbing gym in the Los Angeles area. But what, exactly, makes a climbing gym great for kids? Here are a few of the features that any kid-friendly climbing gym should have.

A Variety of Skill Levels

Some kids may enter a climbing gym having never climbed before, while others may be experienced pros in their own right. A great kids climbing gym should have a little something for everyone – and ideally, each wall should have sections or routes that provide varying degrees of difficulty. This makes it easy and fun for kids to push themselves and improve their climbing skills without feeling intimidated.

 

The youth program is a great way to get started!

An Engaged, Committed Staff

When it comes to a child's climbing experience, the staff at the gym play a major role. Having an engaged and dedicated staff is critical for a children's climbing gym, as the staff members can observe kids and guide them through the activities and exercises where they'll have the most fun.

 

 

 

Sender City offers a variety of climbing challenges!

More Than Just Rock Walls

Traditional climbing gym walls are fun, but kids get bored easily – and some kids may not like something that difficult, to begin with. Ideally, a kids climbing gym should feature a variety of different activities and climbing walls that offer different approaches to climbing. In addition to traditional walls, things like tire climbs, rope climbing, trapeze, and other fun climbing activities should be available.

 

 

Challenges for kids of all ages.

A Fun, Supportive Environment

Above all, a climbing gym that serves children should foster a supportive, nurturing, and encouraging environment. Climbing isn't about competition and finding out who's better than who – it's a fun activity where any kid can challenge themselves, learn more about their body, and have a great time.

 

 

Visit Sender One Climbing in Los Angeles, CA

Any kids climbing gym worth its salt should have features like these – and thankfully, at Sender One Climbing in Los Angeles, we check every box. Our climbing gym specializes in helping kids from all over Los Angeles have an awesome experience while climbing, and if you're interested in finding out for yourself, we'd love to help. Book a session online today or plan your next party to find out what a top-notch Los Angeles kids climbing gym really looks like. We can't wait to hear from you!

Climbing for Kids: Fun, Friends, and Functional Development!

Climbing for Kids: Fun, Friends, and Functional Development!

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Words by Lauren Irvine
Photos by Eunice Ho

With the holidays just around the corner, families are already wondering what the perfect gift might be for their favorite energetic munchkins. If you’re looking for an experience that’s thrilling, educational, and developmentally valuable, why not give the healthy excitement of one of Sender’s many great rock climbing offerings for kids?

Indoor rock climbing is fast becoming mainstream, whether you have aspirations to climb outdoors or not. For kids, it’s an incredible way to get valuable exercise--both physical and mental--in the guise of total fun. Plastic kiddie walls have long been a mainstay at carnivals or in playgrounds, but a commercial climbing gym is an entirely different animal: hundreds of colorful holds set into intricate puzzles across thousands of square feet of undulating terrain, a vertical wonderland begging to be explored.

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With an experienced coach on hand to belay and guide, kids can learn a variety of useful skills on the wall. Working up a route with proper climbing technique--including technical footwork and body positioning--not only assists with strength, flexibility, and coordination, but also tests problem solving, decision making, and critical thinking. Overcoming challenges, from fear of heights to frustration over difficult moves, builds self-discipline and confidence. And, when you’re on the wall, it all feels just like an exciting game: piecing together the proper sequences to unlock your way to the top!

At Sender One, our youth climbing programs provide kids of all ages with the chance to discover climbing and connect with their bodies, minds, and peers in a safe, social, physically active environment. From hourlong courses to multi-day climbing camps to recreational and competitive teams, there are options for every schedule and budget. Reserve a slot for your spunky monkey at www.sender.one today!

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One-Hour Experiences

  • Sender City (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • All ages (must weigh at least 40 pounds)/no experience necessary
    • $25/hour (all gear included)
    • Sender City’s unique, colorful climbing activities present a smorgasbord of fun possibilities for imaginative kids. Race up and leap across a jump catch tower! Plummet down our towering slide! Ascend the terrifying trembling towers! Navigate walls filled with gears, faces, disappearing holds, and more! Helmets, auto-belays, and Sender City’s trained supervisory staff mean you can safely relax and just enjoy their joy.
  • Kids Climb (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • Ages 5-13/no experience necessary
    • $25/hour (all gear included)
    • Supervised top-rope climbing + a Sender coach on belay + kid-friendly routes on shorter slab walls = worry-free fun for everyone! Kids can scramble all over our easier routes with this casual introduction to rock climbing as we literally show them the ropes. It’s sure to get them hooked--and wear them out.
  • Aerial Silks (SNA)
    • Ages 8-17/no experience necessary
    • $25/hour (members)
    • If you’ve ever felt like your kids should run off and join the circus--here’s their chance! Our experienced instructors teach kids the basics of aerial silk gymnastics, developing strength and flexibility as they soar, flip, and twist like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

Day Camps & Extended Programs

  • Parents’ Night Out (SNA)
    • Ages 5-13/no experience necessary
    • Half night (6pm-8pm): $30 / Full night (6pm-10pm): $60
    • Every other Friday, treat your kids (and by proxy, yourself) to an awesome night of open-ended fun! While you enjoy your me time, kids get to explore Sender One and Sender City in a safe, supervised environment complete with activities and games throughout the night. The full-night package includes dinner and a movie to bring them back down to Earth, just in time for parental pickup.
  • Climbing Camp (SNA)
    • Ages 5-13/no experience necessary
    • Half day (9am-2pm): $350 / Full day (9am-5pm): $480 (all equipment included)
    • Offered seasonally (spring, summer, winter)
    • This high-energy weeklong day camp introduces kids to climbing fundamentals through a ton of action-packed fun. It’s so much more than top roping: test balance as you wibble-wobble on a slackline, fly through the gym on a zipline, and navigate agile obstacle courses. A great option for keeping kids healthy and social during those long school vacations!
  • Climbing Academy (SNA)
    • Ages 6-9 and 10-13/no experience necessary
    • $129 for four two-hour sessions (one/week) plus a free Intro to Climbing class for parents! (All equipment included.)
    • Next academy starts: November 29
    • Dive into the fundamentals of climbing with this immersive four-week program, tailored for kids both 6-9 and 10+. Sender One instructors teach kids climbing technique, gear checking, problem solving, self-discipline, and more as each participant learns how to climb both harder and safer. Older kids also learn how to properly belay their peers with supervised guidance. And at the end of the program, if they really get into it...

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Youth Climbing Teams

  • Recreational Youth Team (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • Ages 6-17 (must have completed our Climbing Academy)
    • Practice fees: $134 (1x/week), $184 (2x/week), $234 (3x/week)
    • All the fantastic camaraderie of a team without the competitive edge, Sender One’s recreational youth teams get kids climbing and learning with peers in a relaxed atmosphere that encourages socialization and teamwork. From Mighty Monkeys (6-9) to Super Senders (10-13) to the High School Club (14-17), kids of all ages will discover a sport they love and connect with new friends as they grow and improve together.
      • As a bonus, climbing team members get full gym memberships, discounted memberships for family members, pro shop discounts, and complimentary equipment rentals.
  • Team Sender One (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • Ages 6-17 (must participate in tryouts)
    • Practice fees: $214 (2x/week), $264 (3x/week)
    • Next tryouts: January 2017
    • For young climbers ready to ascend to the next level of projects, the USA Climbing Championship-winning Team Sender One gives them the competitive environment they crave. This is a serious commitment that requires dedicated training multiple days a week, self-discipline, and travelling for local and national competitions. But for our coaches and participants, every season of hard work pays off with unforgettable memories and lasting friendships.
      • As a bonus, climbing team members get full gym memberships, discounted memberships for family members, pro shop discounts, and complimentary equipment rentals.

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