TCA values the ability to give and receive an education far beyond the normal high school curriculum by visiting extraordinary settings with driven people. Our graduates benefit from a program that provides an education preparing them far better than the average students upon entering college. Key aspects of this preparation lie in the small class sizes and the ability to adapt learning situations to the surrounding environment. Education and experience are connected to allow students to walk away with the fundamentals they would get from a more traditional institution plus have experience to back up these concepts. Our teachers love creating an individualized approach to a more global education, focused on active student participation in the educational process.
The TCA staff is composed of professional educators who have climbed around the world. We\\\\\\\\\'ve learned the skills needed to get along with each other, take care of ourselves, leave a minimal impact on the Earth, and progress as climbers. Maintaining the health and motivation to climb requires more than just passion; it\\\\\\\\\'s hard work. As mentors, we want to show our students how to balance the work needed to be a student, with the work needed to be an athlete. It\\\\\\\\\'s possible when the appropriate sacrifices are made, but it\\\\\\\\\'s not easy, when the modern world keeps asking more and more of its inhabitants.
TCA makes safety a priority in all aspects of climbing, daily activities, and travel. The inherent dangers associated with climbing are always a misjudgment away. We prepare our students for potentially high risk situations with the tools to respond quickly and efficiently to scenarios, while also adhering to daily protocol and safety policies. In the end, we are family and want to protect our loved ones by working hard to give them the tools to look out for each other and to make sound decisions in an unpredictable world.
TCA views climbing as an individualized sport with a team approach. There is important experience and insight gained from such commitment: responsibility (self-reliance) and the importance of "team". This process is facilitated by the wish to surround oneself with a group of people passionate about life and what they chose to do with it. This attitude is contagious and inspiring. Ultimately, the formation of a tight knit group that comes from close interaction and living together for four months engenders respect and acceptance of differences. To be part of such a team through a sport as great as climbing helps participants see the value of having to work for something – to sacrifice for something greater. The result is to see leadership emerge from unlikely sources and in unlikely ways.
Being an athlete is a core part of what it means to become a climber and is a fundamental aspect of our program. The chance to take a sport you are passionate about and to truly dedicate yourself to becoming the best you can be is a privilege that not many people get in their lifetime. To be pushed to expand your limits by healthy competition and to learn sportsmanship in this way brings our school together. Participants are able to train in a supportive setting where safe practices are taught and reinforced. Through this daily challenge, climbing gives us confidence to solve problems we are confronted with in all other aspects of life and provides an opportunity for talented young athletes to train while receiving a high school education.
Travel to remote locations provides that indescribable feeling. The experience was incredible at the time, but also difficult—cultural issues, discomforts of travel, the unpleasant hike, the classes, the cold, the epic… Having experienced these adventures safely, both on and off the rock is to have created and adhered to procedure and customs. On the other hand, quick thinking is inherent in these experiences and is necessary in certain moments when one has to respond immediately. The same goes for logistics; we are on the move and surroundings change every day. New problems arise at the most unexpected—and sometimes inconvenient—times.
Exposure to a wholly different culture and economic situation is fundamental to the TCA experience. It motivates people to travel together and to learn about human differences and similarities. Meeting people who live in huts and who are willing to trade crafts for clothes because they cannot be obtained any other way is important. Bearing witness to and being able to contribute to communities in these areas gives a whole new perspective to what we have and expect from life. Encouraging young people to explore and to extend their boundaries of comfort helps them gain a deeper understanding of the world and its natural wonder – we believe great things will come of this. Every person who is involved with the school will experience a totally unique cultural impression that will be imprinted onto the character of that individual for his or her entire life. Whatever perspective gained through traveling the globe, climbing, and building life-long relationships, it is an important thing that The Climbing Academy gives its participants.
The sense community in climbing provides leadership, positive role modeling, safety, and stewardship. A positive interaction with the local climbing communities of our destinations will help preserve access for all. Because our "home base" can be a climbing crag on the far ends of the earth, making a positive contribution to the life of a community will inspire support during times of need and a sense of ownership in success. The Climbing Academy will use our Service Learning projects as a core part of the program and a definitive way to give back to the areas where we gain so much.
World Class students and teachers seek immersion in other cultures – not to just live as tourists. A key component of this belief is to give back when we visit instead of taking advantage of what destinations have to offer without reciprocation. By having a positive impact on the social and ecological environment World Class is able to demonstrate this commitment while also raising awareness of important issues facing these communities. This ideology furthermore creates a balance between the focus of self-interest and an awareness of the needs of our destination communities. By doing so we strive to provide an important example, whereby the possibility to do something you love and to still fulfill an obligation to society is recognized.