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Dear Friend of Kismet,

I wish you warm greetings of spring and good fortune of health. I know 2020 has not gone according to plan for most of us, but I hope there has been at least one silver lining that has kept you in high spirits. Here is a general update on our season, which you may have already been able to guess, has been affected by COVID-19.

Throughout the winter I was fortunate enough to meet young individuals from across New England who exhibited character, spirit, and a deep willingness to try something different. We invited three new Kismet classes to the program with the anticipation of running a 7-week summer season and offering rock climbing scholarships to roughly 60 students in total.

At this time, Kismet has every intention of serving all of those students in some capacity. The youth that participate in our program often come from some of the most vulnerable home situations. To a lot of our students, the school year provides a source of food and hub of security; and during the summer, that place is Kismet. This summer we will be there addressing the needs of our students. People everywhere have experienced trauma as a result of months of social isolation, lack of schooling, and increased stress within the home. For our Kismet community, this season will be more relevant and necessary than ever.

That said, in order to do our part to keep our students, staff, and the community at large safe, we are adapting this season to meet the guidelines of the CDC and the state of New Hampshire. In July we will be running a virtual Kismet, where we will be connecting our students with one another in order to develop and nourish group bonds, inspiring a passion for rock climbing, and addressing any needs that are identified. If we are able to meet CDC guidelines, we hope to follow the summer with rock climbing gatherings throughout the fall either outside or in climbing gyms. In August, we are going to offer modified programming for our fourth-year groups who are graduating Kismet this summer. Depending on the current guidelines, this could include some form of in-person gathering with a graduation ceremony and rock climbing. The extent of August programming is to be determined.

This is a difficult time for all of us. We plan to support our students, engage them in the magnificent sport of rock climbing, and also keep them as safe as possible, so that we can continue offering this unique program to deserving youth for years to come.

If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved with our program in some capacity, please reach out! And of course, if you have any questions, you will find my email address as well as phone number below.

The entire Kismet team hopes you are able to sip in some sunshine, find serenity in the new green foliage, and stay healthy.

All my best,
Alyssa Riley
Executive Director

director@kismetrockfoundation.org
603.730.2715