With one member, the Wilkes University Climbing Club is off to a rocky start. According to club president David Heinz, a freshman environmental engineering major at Wilkes University, the club is starting at square one and struggling to get a footing.
Although the club has been around more than a decade, it is entering another rebuilding stage. Jill Price, Adventure Education coordinator and adviser to the Climbing Club, says this is because the club recently had a lot of leaders who graduated. Now, there is new leadership in place and she is expecting growth to follow.
Another reason why the Climbing Club is struggling to gain new members is because people are not aware it exists. The Climbing Club was not present during Club Day, where students get a chance to review all the student-run, extra-curricular activities.
Despite the lack of members, the club is in a good position to take off at any time. Wilkes-Barre sports two different climbing walls, both of which have different qualities to offer climbers of all skill levels. The first climbing wall available to the club is in the campus’ UCOM gymnasium.
“Our wall is a great spot to learn basic skills,” Price said.
The best part is that the gym is free to Wilkes students. On the other hand, the Wilkes-Barre Rock Gym costs $9 per person for a day pass, but there are some benefits to that location.
“The other gym (Rock Gym) has a lot more to explore. It’s great for people to learn, and for people who know a lot, to challenge themselves,” she added.
Many people are unaware of how challenging rock climbing actually is.
“You will gain a new level of mental toughness and concentration,” said Heinz, adding, “you can go at your own pace or you can challenge yourself as much as you want.”
Currently, Heinz is trying to determine the level of interest people have in climbing as an activity. If it is determined that there is not enough interest to form a club, Heinz intends to go on rock climbing events that are sponsored by Adventure Education.
This means that in the future the Climbing Club and Adventure Education may eventually morph together.