If you are New to On Belay we would love to make the process as easy as possible. Please check out the FAQ below to get an understanding of our program. If you still find the information confusing or your just want to get in touch with us, click here to go to our New Families page.

What does “On Belay” mean?

  • Belay means to secure or to hold fast. The phrase “On belay” is the traditional verbal agreement used by climbers to signal the start of a new challenge and a shared responsibility.  Our programs creates a sense of community in which participants learn what it means to be “on belay” for each other.

How old do you have to be to attend?

  • Our programs are for youth ages 8-18.

How much does On Belay cost?

  • Our programs are free thanks to generous community support and our board who is committed to keeping our programs available at no cost to families. For information about ways to support On Belay please click here.

Where do you offer programs?

  • Our programs are available to anyone who is able to come. Currently, we offer programs in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.

When do programs take place?

  • We offer several programs throughout the year. Please see our Program Calendar for the schedule for the year.

Does On Belay provide transportation?

  • No, however the On Belay Community is from all over New England and there are many opportunities to connect with other On Belay families to carpool to a program. Please contact us if you are interested in attending a program but are uncertain about being able to provide transportation for your child.

What happens at a program?

  • This varies depending on where the program is located. However, some of things you can expect at every program are lots of fun games and challenges, some sort of adventure activity like climbing and kayaking, a community style lunch, and opportunities for the group to reflect on the day.

Does my child need to be proficient or gifted at climbing?

  • Every person is welcome as they are. The goal of an adventure activity is not to reach some sort of end but to accomplish your own goals or the goals of your group. This varies for every person and group. The facilitators are trained in meeting every individuals needs.

How long is a typical program?

  • Our Challenge Course Programs are a full day,  generally from 9 am- 4pm. Our Indoor Climbing Programs are generally 3 hours and are either in the morning or evening.  Please see the Program Calender to view specific times for individual programs.

Is On Belay a therapeutic program?

  • No, we do not provide therapy. Our staff and volunteers are trained in the art of fun and adventure and our programs are aimed at giving kids a chance to take a “day off” from their families illness. While we do not offer traditional therapy, many of our participants find our programs a safe place to share their thoughts.

My child wants to know if someone is going to make them talk about how they feel. 

  • On Belay's goals are aimed at giving kids an opportunity to be kids and have fun during this difficult time. Our staff and volunteers are always available to listen but will never put a child on the spot by asking them to talk about how they feel. Our community of kids are kind and supportive and many kids will talk with each other and find it a safe place to share how they feel.