Hannah joins the Girlguiding Bedfordshire climbing club in the peak district to conquer new heights
“I like climbing because it helps me overcome my fear of heights.”
I looked on in awe as the girl who had just shared this with me climbed without hesitation to the top of the highest route of the weekend.
Another girl had been terrified to rappel down after reaching the top of the cliff. On the final day of climbing, we all cheered as she casually abseiled down like a pro.
The Girlguiding Bedfordshire climbing club’s annual weekend in the Peak District wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows; there were tears, frustrations, and yes, rain. But the hurdles only amplified the moments of achievement and the rain only strengthened the visits from the sun. These inspiring moments have stuck with me and make this weekend stick out as one of the best I’ve had this year.
I was very lucky to tag along on this weekend away, which was planned by Moira, Bedfordshire Outdoor Activity Adviser, and Alison, our national outdoors team climbing specialist. We stayed at Glenbrook, a Girlguiding Derbyshire centre in the heart of the Peak District. The two days were packed full of exciting outdoor climbing, while in the evenings we played games, ate lots of good food, and laughed our heads off.
All of the girls immediately took to the challenge of outdoor climbing. One girl said she preferred it to indoor climbing because you have to use the rock’s features to find your own way up, there is no route set out for you. Teamwork helped us overcome this challenge. We would all share tips about a particular route, help the person climbing figure out the next step, and offer constant encouragement.
Conquering hunger and cold
While Moira and Alison made sure everyone was climbing safely, the other two star volunteers, Philippa and Julie, made sure everyone was happy, safe, and warm (they saved me with hand warmers – even in July!). They chatted with the girls, did crossword puzzles, went searching for Geocaches, and provided much-needed snacks.
Conquering with comradery
As the girls took a break, I took the opportunity to find out what they like most about outdoor climbing. Their responses were incredibly inspiring and put into words everything I had been experiencing that weekend.
Among them was the feeling of accomplishment when you get to the top, enjoying the beautiful views and fresh air, and most importantly the feeling of family and comradery with the whole group encouraging one another to try their best and reach new heights.
Thanks so much to this lovely group of leaders, guides, and members of The Senior Section for such a warm welcome and a wonderful weekend.
Get in touch
If you are a leader who serves as a climbing adviser, has run a similar event, or is interested in organising a climbing weekend or getting involved with new and exciting Girlguiding climbing initiatives, we want to hear from you!