Rock climbing

SRD continues its climbing partnerships and integrates into summer camps | local sports

SHERIDAN – Climbing and outdoor events abound throughout Sheridan County during the summer, and the Sheridan Recreation District calendar helps lead the charge for area youth.

Sheridan Recreation District works with Nicholas Flores of the Bighorn Mountain Guides and his climbing partner Brad Burns to organize summer climbing camps for young people before adventure camps that also incorporate rock climbing.

Attendance this summer was down a bit among 11-14-year-olds, SRD executive director Seth Uvestad said, potentially due to Sheridan County School District 2’s late exit from the school year. slightly lower numbers, younger age groups filled the camps and Uvestad believes all camp offerings will continue to see success and growth rates in the future.

“These have been popular and we hope to expand and add more eventually,” Ulvesstad said. “We’re looking to expand those outdoor education options.”

Ulvesstad introduced camps and summer outdoor activities when he started at SRD, starting with Fresh Air Friday outings, followed by the climbing partnership with Bighorn Mountain Guides and Adventure Clubs he about five years ago. He said he believes rock climbing has grown in popularity in Sheridan County with young people due to increased exposure to the non-traditional sport after it was added to the Olympics and increased awareness at festivals in local cinemas.

“Kids love being outside and doing things on the rocks,” Uvestad said.

SRD’s goal with the camps is not to duplicate anything that is already being done by other entities in the community – either through indoor climbing and adventure activities through the YMCA of Sheridan County or the Tongue River Valley Community Center, or through school districts providing indoor rock climbing opportunities – but to supplement and expand on these experiences. Partnerships with Bighorn Mountain Guides and Antelope Butte Foundation promote program growth and improve the logistics of transporting youth from Sheridan to the mountain and facilitating a suitable learning environment. After SRD gained access to the Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area yurt, the organization was able to settle on the mountain. Camp participants who attend four three-day sessions travel by bus to Antelope Butte from SRD at 8 a.m., perform rock climbing activities at rock climbing areas within 10 miles of the recreation area, return to the yurt for lunch and do science activities in the afternoon. .

Flores, also an educator for School District 2 in Sheridan County during the school year, said he especially enjoys the adventure camp themes that focus on survival skills like first aid, fire building and cooking. outside.

The offerings provided by SRD and its partnerships complement other adventure-themed offerings with the Sheridan County YMCA and TRVCC, as most fill up quickly. Ulvesstad said a few spots remain available for adventure camps through SRD.

Ashleigh Snoozy joined The Sheridan Press in October 2016 as a reporter before taking on the role of editor in November 2018. She is originally from Colorado and graduated from Biola University in Los Angeles.