Use the links below to get a great idea of what happens at an On Belay program, download our brochure or the current calendar.

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.

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.