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Sebastian Pereria, 8, son of Jose Pereria, crafter, Marine Corps Exchange, gets a firm grip on a rock during the Climbing Wall Family Night at the Combat Center's West Gym, Jan. 17, 2014.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya

Service members, families find recreation with Climbing Wall

24 Jan 2014 | Lance. Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya

Service members and their families kicked off their long weekend by attending the Climbing Wall Family Night at the West Gym, Jan. 17, 2014. The Family Night is hosted by Marine Corps Community Services and gives families aboard the Combat Center a chance to spend an evening away from home.

“Before we started coming to the rock-climbing wall, we would usually just play video games,” said Sebastian Pereira, 8, son of Jose Pereira, crafter, plaque shop, Marine Corps Exchange. “Now we can have fun away from the television and have something to look forward to every week.”

The Climbing Wall Family Night is free of charge and is held every Friday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the West Gym. The wall is open to children from 5 to 15 years of age. The children must also weigh a minimum of 35 pounds for safety purposes.

“Safety always comes first,” said Daniel Campese, trainer, MCCS. “We want the families to have fun but not to get hurt in the process.”

Parents and children cannot be on the climbing wall at the same time.

All youth must also be directly supervised, be wearing protective head gear and a full body harness while on the wall. Safety gear including, head gear, shoes, and harnesses, are provided by MCCS.

Children immediately put on their gear and went to the climbing wall room. Once they were secured in their harness, they charged for the walls. Some children knew their limits and focused their attention on the easier sections of the wall while others enjoyed the challenge of trying to overcome the more difficult sections. After two hours of climbing, the children and parents left the gym excited for the next Climbing Wall Family Night.

“You don’t have to bring anything or pay anything,” said Jose Pereira. “I can spend time with my boys and get a work out for free, instead of sitting around the house doing nothing. It doesn’t get better than that.”

For more information on the Climbing Wall Family Night, call 830-6451.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms