Friday, February 6, 2009

Sprouts of Hope: Climbing In Celebration

By Risa

Each year, around this time, The Sprouts of Hope go rock climbing. Not outside, but on tall walls inside at MetroRock in Everett, MA. This is our way of celebrating another year of being together since we met as a group for the first time on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in 2007. It was because we were thinking about Dr. King and his life that day that we decided to put the words “Have a Dream, Make a Difference” on the t-shirts we designed. On that day we also came up with our name, The Sprouts of Hope.

You can watch a video of us climbing -- and encouraging each other as we climbed -- at:
Climbing up these walls is really fun, and this was our second year of doing it as a break from our hard work of planning and doing the activities we do in Roots & Shoots. This time was a different experience for us than it was last year when none of us had climbed before. After our first climbing afternoon, some of us decided to take some rock climbing lessons during the year, and Kaya went to camp there during the summer.

Being at different skill levels, however, didn’t effect or take away from the fun we had. It made it even better. This time we got to do more climbs because some of us could belay the others. Last year, we had to depend on Sarah and her assistant, who are instructors at MetroRock, to belay each of us. This year, Bryan helped us, but he didn’t need to belay everyone. We had a lot more fun because we could help each other.

When one of us was up on the wall, you could hear helpful words passed up to them. “Can you reach that one right there? Yeah great job.” We depended on each other to get up the wall, and then we had to also rely on each other to get down, as the person who was holding the rope had to let it out gradually as her friend bounced off the wall coming down.

We have photographs of some of us climbing, some belaying others, and some with us just having fun being there with each other.

After our climbing, we had a small meeting to talk about upcoming projects, like the one we are doing about energy efficiency. Each of us named some kind of energy use that we wanted to measure in our homes, and we’re going to do those experiments and write about them on this blog. During our meeting, we ate amazing cake that Maya and Melissa made and decorated with Sprouts of Hope written on the top. For her hard work and patience, the Sprouts kids and parents gave Melissa a pretty glass plate with a tree on it and we donated money so she can get things we need for our activities, like if she needs to print some fliers.

Going rock climbing with The Sprouts of Hope was really fun. All of us are eager to go together again next year.