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Climbing begins by carefully placing ropes over branches in tree crotches, providing strong anchor points. Each rope goes through a leather sleeve to protect the tree. Students then don a tree climber’s saddle and helmet. Participants also have the option to wear gloves, which improves grip and guards against rope burns.

Mott has a lot of outdoor experience and a master’s of education degree in adventure learning from Clemson University. Through his business, Adventure Tree, he has been teaching tree climbing and orchestrating ground-based outings for five years.

He organizes team-building activities for corporations, camps, schools and other groups.

Bill Henske, 42, is a teacher at Maplewood Richmond Heights School District whom Mott trained to work with his students. Tree-climbing, he said, “acts as a powerful metaphor teaching students to conquer challenges and their fears.”

Mott also provides training to entry-level arborists.

Mott started out as an electrical engineer but decided he wanted to direct his energy toward helping others directly.

By teaching tree-climbing and being an advocate for exploring the outdoors, Mott aspires to be a positive influence.

“My focus and mission is education and therapy,” he said.

©2013 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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