This year, in association with USA Climbing, the White Mountain Climbing Camp awarded three talented young climbers full scholarships to the camp.
It’s no secret that The White Mountain School loves climbers. Our rock climbing program is often called the best program for high school students in the country. We were the first non-guide service in the country to be accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), our indoor climbing wall is state of the art, our instructors are world class, and, of course, we have our own summer climbing camp and a strong partnership with USA Climbing that allows us to expand our climbing experience in new and exciting ways. This year, in association with USA Climbing, the White Mountain Climbing Camp will welcome three incredible full-scholarship rock climbers to its accessible but challenging program.
Our contest encouraged climbers from throughout the nation to nominate their friends and teammates who inspire them to climb higher, who make climbing at the local gym more fun, and who always push other climbers to do their best. We received many inspiring nominations and eventually selected three incredible young people to join us this summer for our two-week session.
Ben Hanna, 14, of New Mexico is one of the top climbers of his age in the entire world. When competing at bouldering nationals last year, he fell and broke his leg, and while he could have taken a top ten finish based on his score, Ben instead withdrew to give other competitors the opportunity to climb in the finals. He recently took 3rd place in his class at the national level, and will go on to compete at the world championships in British Columbia later this summer.
PJ McEligot, 14, of Minnesota received several recommendations that spoke to his care for his teammates as well as his substantial abilities. He is a skilled indoor climber with a great attitude who spreads positive energy wherever he goes. He seems to constantly be sharing his passion for the sport and he brings new people into the sport of competitive climbing. He is also a Boy Scout and a high achieving academic performer – all while maintaining a great sense of humor.
Rhianna Orton was the original winner of the third scholarship, but due to a bad knee injury incurred while bouldering, she will unfortunately be unable to join us. Rhianna will receive her full scholarship next year, and in the meantime we’ll be joined by Shelby Crook, 13. Shelby only became known to us after our contest, but she is a strong competitive climber who draws strength and inspiration from her father, a veteran injured in Iraq. Shelby’s friends and parents of teammates nominated her because of her constant positivity despite the difficulties she has faced in her life.
As White Mountain Climbing Camp prepares to begin another exciting summer, we know that with this group of talented young people at the core of our camp, the summer ahead will be fun, challenging, and totally amazing!