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Maclay Rocks!


Griffen Unger, Rising 8th Grader 

I was with a couple of friends after swim practice one night, and we all decided to do something. None of us really cared what we did, as long as we got some cool Instagram pictures. I don’t remember who, but someone suggested we go to the Tallahassee Rock Gym. It wasn’t my first time there, but definitely the most enjoyable.

While there, I realized that Maclay School, the school I attend, allows students to start clubs if you have a teacher-sponsor and a minimum of eight members. The only person I wanted to sponsor was the varsity swim coach and art teacher in the high school, Kaitlyn Dressel. She is only twenty-four years old and is in phenomenal physical shape. Coach Kaitlyn immediately agreed to sponsor.

We started with just eight members at our first meeting but got up to twelve by our first climb. The first few months we barely had enough members to qualify as a club, and I was terrified that we would drop below the eight needed. I kept begging people to join to ensure that we have the mandatory eight members.

Now, we have twenty-two members who are all very enthusiastic about the club. We have had a bake sale to raise money for the Leon County Humane Society and were the only first-year club that got a booth at the third annual Celebration of The Arts. Next year we will be expanding into high school so high schoolers can also join in on the club as well as competing against other clubs around the state.

We have grown a lot as a club from our first climb, and are excited about what next year holds.

Every meeting we have, I think of that one moment when I realized what I could do, and all it took was passion.