Towers of Power

How the Alpine Towers Cultivate Enhanced Self Confidence and Teambuilding


thompson-island-alpine-tower-girl-web“My favorite experience was the Alpine Tower. It was a challenge but it was the best experience of my life.” Ari, 12 years old

Ari was one of the thousands of middle school students who climbed the Alpine Tower this season. A lofty 62 feet tall, the Alpine Tower, affectionately called the AT, has been the apex of character development on Thompson Island since 1995.

This past June, we added a second Alpine Tower so more Boston students could experience the challenge and thrill of conquering the high ropes structure. Climbing the Alpine Tower is simultaneously an individual feat and a team accomplishment. The fear of moving to the next step or handhold fades when the belayer is smiling up confidently and the spotter is shouting encouragements. While only one student reaches the top at a time, it requires a supportive team to get them to that breathtaking view of Boston.

Scaling the AT is, in its most basic form, an impressive physical achievement. In our Connections and Discovery course curriculums, the Alpine Tower functions as a culmination of the students’ entire experience and growth on Thompson Island. Prior to the AT, kids will have engaged in hands-on STEM lessons and teambuilding activities, constantly learning about themselves, their classmates, and the natural world around them. Once they start climbing, the bonds formed and confidence built are solidified as student after student literally steps out of their comfort zone to the emboldening cheers of their classmates.