Kellen Morris


10 April 2018

Rock climbing is a sport with constant rising popularity over the years. Earth Treks, one of the most popular rock climbing gyms nationwide and was even started right here in Columbia in 1997, has had their sales increase by 20% each year since 2010. The NPD Group reported that climbing sales reached a four year high of $175.5 million in 2016, which is one of the “fastest growing retail-segments for any outdoor sport.” Rock climbing is also making its debut in the summer olympics in 2020, meaning that before long, rock climbing will be one of the many household sports in the United States.

This year, junior Kevin Scanlon decided to start a rock climbing club at Atholton, sponsored by science teacher Ms. Pappadia. Scanlon said that he started this club “to see if there were any other people who liked rock climbing in the school” and to help meet up with others who shared his interest in rock climbing.

He added that the club is not just for experienced climbers, with some member having little to no experience rock climbing. Scanlon feels the club “will be a really good platform for [new climbers] to have friends who can help them get into it.” For example, two members of the club, Nick Weber and Kevin Scanlon, both said that they started climbing no more than a year ago.

Ms. Pappadia said that the club will use Mr. Braun’s room (F186) for the club meetings, although Scanlon said the club has not had a meeting yet this year.

Scanlon added that the group will likely be going climbing outside of school hours due to pricing and insurance issues. Because of the insurance issues the club is “not allowed to rock climb under the Atholton name.” Thus, they will have to organize trips outside of school and pay for everything themselves.

Junior Nick Weber said that he joined this club because “Kevin [Scanlon] showed me climbing and how awesome it is to do.” Weber added that his favorite thing about climbing is “feeling free and dangerous.” Moreover, junior Zach Wallace said that his favorite part of rock climbing is the feeling when you get to the top of a climb, as well as being a fun outlet for exercise.

Although difficult to properly organize, the rock climbing club seems to be going good with Scanlon having a rock-solid plan for the club well before they even had their first meeting.


If you are interested in joining the club talk to Kevin Scanlon ( or Ms. Pappadia (

Posted by kmorris1030

Kellen Morris is an 12th grader at Atholton High School. He likes athletic activities such as playing basketball and going to the gym. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and basketball and listening to music. His favorite music artist is Mitis and plans on attending a college in the DelMarVa area.

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