Teton Rock Gym: $1,000
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley is honored to award this $1,000 grant to the Teton Rock Gym (TRG) to support its climbing instructors taking a Single Pitch Instructor Course. The Foundation supports further accredited training and certification for TRG’s instructors to ensure the security and longevity of its outdoor climbing programs.
There is a community need for youth outdoor recreation in the Teton Valley. It becomes more urgent as the valley’s population grows and the options remain limited, particularly in summer. The Teton Rock Gym addresses this need by providing sustainable and safe outdoor climbing during the summer, spring, and fall.
The primary indicator for TRG that there is a need for outdoor climbing is the tangible increased demand for climbing opportunities year-round. More people want their kids to climb than ever before in the organization’s history, and that extends beyond after-school programs and winter sports.
The heightened demand for Teton Rock Gym’s climbing programs became apparent in 2020 when 200 summer camp spots and waitlists filled in several days. The organization has added or expanded programs every season for the last two years. Its after-school programs filled consistently in a matter of minutes. Last year, the school district informed the Rock Gym that rock climbing was the most popular winter sports option and asked if it could accommodate an increased demand again this year. In 2022, the organization expanded its program offerings substantially, adding a Junior, Summer, and Advanced Team. This fall, it introduced an Inclusive Teen Club program, which has resulted in the most significant number of teens climbing in TRG’s programs since the gym’s inception.
The increased demand for climbing has led TRG to increase the number of days its teams train, the trips it takes, and the outdoor climbing days it offers. The Teton Rock Gym will also seek to expand its team outdoor climbing opportunities this coming season. As a result, the TRG has made the strategic decision that a key factor in providing quality outdoor climbing programs for kids is to invest in its staff’s professional development to ensure that they are qualified to keep its programs running and contribute to filling this need.
This Community Foundation grant will support, in part, the certification of three Teton Rock Gym staff as Single Pitch Instructors in June 2023, before the start of its summer outdoor programming. This advanced training is strongly aligned with TRG’s mission to foster personal and community growth through the challenge of rock climbing. By increasing the number of certified outdoor climbing staff, the organization is ensuring the continuation of its outdoor programming and opening up the possibility of expanding existing outdoor climbing operations. The more lead guides TRG has, the more opportunities it can provide for kids to climb outdoors.
The Community Foundation commends the important work of the Teton Rock Gym by investing in its staff to expand its programs and fulfill the need for safe, quality climbing instruction.