Where are you from, and how long have you worked at Petra Cliffs?
I am a born and raised Vermonter, from Colchester. I have worked for 2 and a half years at Petra, but started volunteering even earlier. When I was 14, my parents would drop me off and I completed small tasks around the gym, hopeful it would boost my chances of being hired when I was old enough to work.
What is your role at the gym?
When I started working I worked front desk and kids birthday parties. From then I have worked in a lot of youth programs, including recreational team coaching, as a SUMMAT counselor, Friday night kid’s club, and some time with the Mini Monkeys. I also work with group programs, helping them get started with climbing.
Do you have a favorite part about summer camp?
SUMMAT camp is how I was introduced to Petra, and I loved it so much I came every year until I was too old to attend. This camp introduced me to various outdoor activities I had never participated in: caving, outdoor ropes courses, etc. In this program I found friends which returned each year, on the same weeks that I was going to. The counselors were amazing, and a large reason I kept returning. Now I am able to be on the other side of the SUMMAT camp, becoming a counselor! My favorite part of summer camp is being able to reciprocate all the amazing experiences to the kids attending, and hopefully create a fun experience for them just as I had experienced.
Do you have a preferred climbing discipline (boulder/ropes)?
I prefer rope climbing, as I am a short human and I find the moves on rope climbs to be more short-friendly. My favorite part of rope climbing is the feeling of accomplishment when I get to the top of the climb, and embracing the beautiful view at the top.
Where is your favorite place to climb? It can be in Vermont or elsewhere!
I was backpacking in Maine and was able to climb in Acadia’s national park, and the climbing and scenery was beautiful! Climbing along the ocean was a great privilege. In the future I hope to climb outside of New England and experience all the different aspects of these climbing areas.
What is a fun fact about you?
I love music! Over the years I have picked up playing the violin, flute, clarinet, drums/percussion, and am now learning ukulele along with the guitar.
What's one thing you'd like to see at the gym as we upgrade to Petra 2.0?
I am very excited for the expansion of the climbing walls! The height of our walls being doubled makes me ecstatic for the new gym! Along with higher walls, there will be more areas to climb, including a speed wall! Aside from the expanded climbing, I am excited for the gender-neutral/family bathrooms, as we do not currently have space to add another bathroom. Along with myself and help from managers and coworkers, we have been able to switch the bathrooms to being gender-neutral currently, and it makes me very happy to add another addition of comfort for our large population of LGBTQ+ folks who climb at the gym.