What’s up? Mason is up!

Meet Mason– Future outdoor adventurer!

Mason is crazy about getting out there and getting dirty. Lucky for him, that’s one of Phil’s passions in life as well! Mason and Phil, instructor for the Explorer Club of Pittsburgh’s Mountaineering School, had their first excursion recently at ASCEND– a climbing gym on the South Side.

Phil helped Mason learn how to belay, top rope, and boulder. Mason was pretty overwhelmed in the beginning learning all the knots, but once he got on the wall he didn’t want to stop. His dad even took a shot at it too! Phil did a great job letting Mason do his thing while also teaching him different techniques.


One of Mason’s favorite parts of the adventure was “topping out,” when he could climb in the bouldering section to the very top of the wall — and then climb all the way on top of it. ​Mason asked his parents about 6 times if he could become a member at the climbing gym. He and Phil have some big plans ahead including going on hikes, overnights, and outdoor climbing! Mason gave Phil a hug (twice) before he left. It was truly inspiring to see Mason’s proud look of accomplishment as he conquered the wall and made it to the top. Mason was excited to learn some real skills that he and Phil can apply on some of their future adventures out into the wilderness.


Activity Kits

National Geographic Science Magic Kit

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

Reach Out to Us

Or contact Friendship@ConnectingChampions.org / 412.376.3755