Over dinner and beers last month, I had the chance to learn about Shiloh NYC, a Christian not-for-profit organization dedicated to equipping New York City at-risk youth and their families with tools that build hope, confidence and the skills to attain their goals. Through Michael Kidder, a mutual friend, I was introduced to Ryan French, the director of their summer camp. Ryan’s a climber, a home brewer and a hockey fan, so needless to say we became fast friends. As he told me about the ministry and the camp’s fundraising efforts to build a climbing tower, I knew that this was something The Crag was going to be working on. I asked Ryan to write a few words about the camp and why they’re building the tower.
“Shiloh NYC has been creating programs that equip young people with tools to reach their potential as confident, capable and competent community members for over 60 years. Shiloh’s history is filled with stories of young people that come to camp every summer in need of a place to be a kid in a peaceful place filled with compassion. Throughout the summer, Camp Shiloh serves 500 underserved New Yorkers from ages 9-18. With the help of The Crag community, we are integrating a climbing tower into the routine at Camp this year.
Shiloh believes this climbing tower will solidify the understanding of key concepts we work year-round to promote. As each camper steps up the wall and hears the cheering voices of their peers below, we believe the lesson of the power of positive encouragement will be easier to grasp. When they reach heights that surpass their fears, we believe that confidence will demand the space where doubt dwelled. The moment they put their trust in themselves and their belay buddy below, we believe will make it easier to understand why their counselors tell them everyday, “I believe in you.”
Every individual has to challenge the walls that fight to confine them, and this summer at Camp Shiloh we want to give youth a visual reference for overcoming them.”
You’ll learn more about Shiloh and how The Crag is going to be partnering with them over the coming months. In the meantime, check out this camp video.