On Belay builds community among youth ages 8-18 who have or have had a family member with cancer using adventure based programs that encourage participants to uncover their inner resilience. We utilize adventure activities such as challenge course activities and indoor climbing to create a metaphor for participants, teaching them that if they can find a way through these challenges, they can overcome anything. Through the support of being “On Belay”, we give participants a chance to connect with other children facing similar challenges, while learning to support others, ask for help and develop physical and emotional confidence.
On Belay offers 6 programs throughout the year in Southern New Hampshire, Southern Maine and the North Shore of Massachusetts. Every program offers an opportunity to play games, have fun, and to learn to climb and to belay, all while giving participants a chance to be kids in a supportive and caring environment. Once a part of the On Belay community, participants can return to as many programs as they wish and are never turned away because of a change in their family member’s treatment.
On Belays program aims to:
• Give participants the freedom to focus on themselves and have fun. This creates joy and happiness in an otherwise difficult time.
• Create an environment where participants feel comfortable and supported by each other as well as adults.
• Provide participants with a place to make new friends and build a support group to lean on when times are tough.
• Offer opportunities for participants to challenge themselves in new ways, helping them gain confidence to overcome the challenge of their family’s illness.
On Belay serves over 150 families from towns throughout New England. All participants are invited to attend programs at no cost to their families, thanks to generous community support.