Kaylah Rappelling in Philly

Do not attempt to adjust your screens. That really is Summer Search Philadelphia high school junior Kaylah about to rappel 31 stories down the side of a building!

That photo was taken during a fundraising event for our partners at the Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) called Building Adventure. You might remember that Philly mentor Colin Marlowe participated in this same event last year, and took a similarly epic photo.

We asked Kaylah what made her want to follow in Colin’s (vertical) footsteps to take on this challenge.

“I decided to try the rappel because it reminded me of my summer trip, where for a few days we rappelled and ‘multi-pitch climbed’ a mountain.”

The trip she is referring to was a three-week backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting trip with the North Carolina Outward Bound School this past summer, where she honed her ropes skills. Kaylah also took part in Philly’s yearly fitness event in April, called Outward Bound Day, which is sponsored by POBS. This event gives students the chance to train on a ropes course before they go off on their summer programs.

So even though she had a solid base of rope/rappelling experience from the spring and summer, as the time to actually step off the side of the skyscraper in downtown Philadelphia drew closer, Kaylah was still a little nervous.

“At first, I was very excited. Then as it got closer to being my turn, I became a little apprehensive, yet still anxious to go.”

Once she went for it, she relied on her past experiences to help stay in the moment, even taking time to enjoy the scenery from her unique perspective.

“While rappelling I was able to take in the intriguing city view, and it was amazing! Through the experience I was reminded of who I was and who I said I wanted to be on my summer trip. I also learned how necessary and great it is to appreciate the special things around you that you might not even notice.”

Well, we definitely notice and appreciate you Kaylah for taking on such an incredible challenge, and we thank our friends at Outward Bound for making it happen!