Success Stories

How Brooklyn Boulders Won With Youth Programming for Virtual

Lindsay Mcclelland | September 9, 2020

Studio Spotlight: Brooklyn Boulders

What started as a pivot turned into a brand new revenue stream.

When Brooklyn Boulders (BKB) closed its five climbing gyms in New York, Chicago, and Boston due to the rise of COVID-19, the BKB team knew they had to find a way to keep their members engaged. It didn’t take long before they identified an opportunity to serve members in a unique way -- through youth programming.

We interviewed BKB’s Creative & Environments Director, Andrew Ching, to find out more about how they used FitGrid to facilitate their pivot from hands-on climbing gym to virtual day camp for kids. 

FitGrid: Why did you decide to start offering virtual day camps?
Andrew Ching: We already had a big youth market, and we knew that we have many working parents who were looking for creative ways to engage their kids at home.

FG: How did the classes work?
AC: We offered hour-long classes that were programmed by our youth program leaders and instructors. We really relied on the creativity of our instructors, and the kids loved it! They’d do activities like dance or make origami together through the screen.

FG: Were you worried that this approach wouldn’t work?
AC: Yes, we really didn’t know if this was going to stick, but they loved it and are now asking for more.

FG: How did you figure out what type of programming to try?
AC: We relied heavily on FitGrid’s client feedback tool to help us understand what programs and activities worked best. It was really important for us to make sure the kids were having fun and their parents were happy.

FG: How did you market your kid’s program?
AC: We ran social media ads to promote the program, but instead of sticking to the localities around our gyms, we targeted parents nationwide. We had kids from California and even outside of the U.S. join classes.

FG: Did you target a certain age range?
AC: We originally started out offering the program to kids from 5-12, but then we had parents ask us if their younger kids could join as well. So we adapted and opened it up to kids as young as three or four. 

FG: What’s one of the biggest differences between teaching adults and children virtually?
AC: The kids took to it really well and would talk to each other across the screen. They missed their friends and this was a great way for them to see each other again.

FG: Do you plan to continue offering virtual programs at BKB?
AC: Definitely. It was a huge success and something we’re really proud of. Now that school is back in session, both virtually and in person, we’re getting requests to offer virtual programs.

From virtual summer camp to live-streamed fitness classes, FitGrid has provided solutions for thousands of studios including Brooklyn Boulders. Join them and start your 30-day free trial of FitGrid today. 


Lindsay McClelland manages social media and influencer marketing for FitGrid. As a self-proclaimed "people person" who loves group fitness classes for the social aspect, she was immediately drawn to FitGrid for its innovation in keeping fitness communities together during a crisis. Her passion for fitness and wellness brands stems from her personal interests as a yoga teacher, competitive marathon runner, and former collegiate swimmer.

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