NNED Rock Climbing Wall

Dear Pastors, Commanders, and Friends of Royal Rangers,

If you haven’t been already, allow me to introduce you to the Northern New England District A/G  Royal Rangers portable rock climbing wall.  A little more than a year ago the ranger staff asked me about replacing a small 12 foot high obstacle wall that we used for our Maine Yukon Day event in Brooks, Maine.  I took the opportunity to reintroduce them to a vision that was birthed in my heart 6 or 7 years before for a 24 foot tall portable climbing wall that would serve as a dual purpose event adequate for our MYD event and other events including outpost and church related activities.  After some additional designing and budget estimating and a number of discussions, staff decided to invest in the idea I presented and we went to work.  Upon approval of the project we immediately were granted nearly $2000.00 from private donors to begin the project.  Along with additional fundraising and a couple other grants we were able to obtain all the funding required to assemble the wall structure, build a permanent trailer to attach the wall to, and the necessary equipment to run the event.  The Lord has blessed us with a fantastic piece of equipment and exciting event.  The cost of this equipment has totaled a little over $5,000.00 to date in materials and we have calculated total donated labor and misc. materials to be approximately $12.000.00.   If we were to purchase a climbing wall similar to this it would cost in excess of $35,000.00 before freight charges.

Last year the Rock Climbing wall made its debut at the district Men’s retreat and from that time forward traveled nearly 2100 miles, was featured at 11 different events, was estimated to be in use for 66+ hours, and challenged hundreds of climbers.  It was a Home Run!  At the New England Pow Wow in Garner, Mass the waiting line was  15-30 people long most of the day with 3 belayers busy for 8 hours and getting their only break at lunch time.  We saw nearly 200 climbers on the wall that day alone.  With our rooky year behind us and plans already in place for another busy summer and fall we are ready to make this event available to more of the churches and ministries in  Northern New England.  The equipment however does not come without it’s expense and we need to keep it maintained for the safety of the participants and to insure the continuing function of this awesome event for years to come.  In the brochure that accompanies this letter you will find the fee schedule that we have settled on for the coming season.  Our goal has been to keep the fees as reasonable as possible yet keep the equipment funded for all anticipated maintenance needs and even for possible unseen issues.

Last June we trained 7 individuals as certified wall attendees and this year our goal is to train 8 – 12 more.  If you have anyone in your church that you would identify as potential applicants for the belay certification course please encourage them to be a part of this year’s training.  I would encourage you to cover the cost of that training for them, which is estimated at approx $125.00.  It is a 1 ½  day training event in Bar Harbor, Maine that includes one day of hands on training and rock climbing on the cliffs along the shores of Beautiful Acadia National Park and a half day of training on the wall.  The cost includes the training, 1 night lodging, and a couple meals to boot.  It will benefit your church or group by providing you with a certified wall attendee for which you will not need to pay for your events and may be a means of them picking up a little extra cash on occasion as opportunities exist for them to supervise the wall for others events.

Now is the time to get your event on the calendar for the 2014 season.  I anticipate the calendar to fill quickly and it is on a first-come first-serve basis so you shouldn’t hesitate if you think this is something you would like to incorporate into one of your functions.

I and my team are excited about this summer and hope we will have the opportunity to serve you and the young people in your communities.  It’s exciting to watch a young boy or girl push beyond their comfort zone and reach the top of this challenging event and to see the look of satisfaction and confidence on their face as they stand back and take one last look before walking away from the obstacle they just conquered.  And what an opportunity we have to apply that experience to the spiritual truths of what it means to face and fight the many other obstacles life throws at us.  It becomes a great teaching tool in the ministries in which we serve and we hope you will take advantage of the blessing that our Lord has given us.

If you have any questions about either the training available or the use of the wall for your event please don’t delay in calling or emailing.  The training will take place the first of June and the wall will be available for use as soon as warm weather allows.

Blessings in Christ,

Kendall Sperrey – NNE Royal Ranger Climbing Program Administrator