Published: Jun 20, 2012 01:19 PM
Modified: Jun 20, 2012 01:20 PM
Parents looking for something fun for kids to do this summer don’t need to look to the North Carolina mountains or coast to find a day camp.
Hundreds of preteens and teenagers will be taking part in the next six weeks at locally run sports camps in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Most are run by local middle school and high school coaches.
Coaches and athletes alike can benefit, said Chapel Hill High School coach Randy Trumbower.
“I do camps so that I can develop relationship with my future students,” he said.
“And it allows my current players the opportunity to give back and teach someone else. Plus, I enjoy working with kids, helping them experience success and learning to play at a higher level.”
Trumbower leads a staff of CHHS coaches and former players who are teaching this week at the Carolina Baseball Club’s annual Blue Sox Camp at Chapel Hill High School,
Trumbower helps with the CBC camps while simultaneously running Chapel Hill High’s teams in the Scholastic Summer League.
It’s enough work to make one wonder why teachers and coaches would take time away from their summer vacations – oner of the few perks for public school teachers – to run a camp.
“The soccer camps here at Chapel Hill High have always been fun for the coaches and the players. The camp setting gives players a chance to learn and try new things without fear of making mistakes," CHHS soccer coach Rob Benson said. ”After a month off from soccer we are all ready to get back to the beautiful game.”
Camps provide something else that’s rare for high school athletics: a cash boost. “The CHHS soccer camps help fund the CHHS soccer teams," Benson noted.
Most programs, like Benson's, need outside sources to supplement public funding.
”Money-making is a big reason to host camps, but it's not why we do it at Carrboro,” said Carrboro High School baseball coach Nat Tyndall. “We don't have the space needed to run a large camp, so we limit ours to 40 campers. I think that they get a lot of individual attention. Our focus is on teaching the fundamentals and on learning to play the game with confidence.”
Camps provide a lot more than just something to do, said Tyndall, whose Jaguar Baseball Camp runs July 23-27.
“I see a lot of kids that just don't believe in themselves. I really believe that you cannot play the game to the best of your ability when you're worried about striking out or having the ball hit to you,” Tyndall said.
Carrboro football head coach Jason Tudryn is keeping up with his players during off-season drills and seven-on-seven football games, and will host a summer camp.
“I didn’t know we got a summer vacation,” quipped Tudryn. “We are still hosting our camp in July, and we have found that it is a great way for our Carrboro High School kids to connect with the kids from the community,” Tudryn said.
The fourth annual Jaguar Football Camp will run July 16-19 on the high school’s campus. The camp serves grades 3 through 8. “Our campers light up like Christmas trees when they get the opportunity to play with the same guys they see play on Friday nights,” Tudryn said.
Chapel Hill High School coach Issac Marsh always hosts a free mini-camp in July for students who want to get ready for preseason football practice and tryouts, which begin this year on July 30.
East Chapel Hill, currently open for weight training and workouts for all athletes, doesn’t host a football camp but will take part in a series of seven-on-seven games with schools from around central North Carolina. East Chapel Hill is also home to one of the most complete basketball camps: the 16th annual “Hoops at East” Summer Basketball Academy. The camp is held annually at East Chapel Hill High School.
Basketball is by far the most popular sports camp in the area, with CHHS, East Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Woods Charter, Smith Middle School and UNC all hosting sessions. The oldest in the district is the 4-Cs Basketball Camp run by Coach Frank Camp at Smith Middle. It’s in its 25th year. W.E. Warnock
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