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6th Grade

Indoor Climbing is included in the 6th grade Winter PE activity rotation at NCS. 6th grade students are introduced to indoor-climbing on the Voyageur climbing tower in the NCS Athletics Center with a focus on safety skills and care/use of climbing equipment. While climbing with the Voyageur Program students also learn valuable skills such as: fostering an encouraging environment, taking risks, trusting themselves and others, and setting goals.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What if my daughter doesn’t want to climb?

A: Don’t worry, climbing is not mandatory. If your daughter does not want to climb, she will not have to. We do ask that every 6th grader remain an active member of her climbing group. Non-climbers participate primarily in two ways; by encouraging other group members and by serving as “Safety Monitors” for the group. Safety monitors are responsible, along with the Voyageur Instructors, for double-checking everyone before they leave the ground. Many safety monitors become more comfortable with the climbing system or the idea of climbing and by the end of the course, change their mind and decide to give climbing a try.

Q: Who do I talk to regarding the Acknowledgment of Risks form?

A: Questions regarding the Acknowledgement of Risks form can be directed to either John Velosky or Dustin Sanderson reachable by phone at the Voyageur Program Office (202) 537-5545 or by e-mail at jvelosky@cathedral.org .

Q: Is it safe?

A: Climbing, by it’s very nature, involves a certain amount of inherent risk. Identifying this risk, on both an individual and group level, is a fundamental aspect of the Voyageur Climbing Program teaching plan. Individual hazard awareness is one aspect of understanding how to best manage these risks. The Voyageur Program strives to create an environment that is straightforward and open about the risks inherent in its activities. Parents are always welcome to contact us with questions and to observe all Voyageur activities.

Q: Can my daughter earn purple gold points?

A: Yes, she certainly can. As with all 6 th Grade sports, your daughter can earn purple gold points for her accomplishments on the Climbing wall. The system for calculating points will be explained on the first day of climbing during the Intro to Climbing and Wall Orientation session.

Q: Does my daughter need any special equipment?

A: The Voyageur Program will provide all specialized climbing and safety equipment; including shoes, harnesses and helmets. Students are permitted to use personal climbing equipment as long as it has been inspected and cleared by a Voyageur Instructor.

Q: Who will belay during 6 th grade climbing?

A: A Voyageur instructor, or a qualified assistant under the supervision of a Voyageur Instructor, will belay students in the 6th grade climbing program. Qualified assistants include coaches, teachers and Upper School students who have passed the Voyageur Program Tie-In and Belay Competency Test .