Not Your Average Summer Camp
"Welcome to Leadership Camp... We are not your camp counselors, We are your coaches". That's how my morning started when asked by an athlete why everything was on a schedule. I often catch myself making odd statements like that throughout the day at Steve's Club Leadeship Camp. As my 3rd Camp progressed I realized what my purpose was, and why I return year after year.
Structure is a large part of Camp. Something the athletes eventually appreciate by the end. In the beginning, not so much. They don't appreciate being woken up at 0730 by 5 coaches working out in thier barracks. They don't appreciate lights out at 2200, or meals when they are served ... not when they are hungry. In thier every day life they often lack structure and support at home. Most of the kids admit to getting up, going to bed, and eating when they want. Without beds to sleep on or food to eat, some of the athletes have no nessecity to schedule sleep time or meals. Each athlete coming from a different home life, but now living the same camp life.
Each day is full of various levels of "coaching". Everyday the coaches compare CrossFit to real life goals and situations. As coaches we are not here to babysit them or coral them from one activity to the next. We encourage them, support them, workout with them, educate them about nutrition and injury prevention, teach them how to handle negative situations, provide positive reinforcement or deploy consequences, open ourselves to them and be available for them to open up to us... 24 hours a day for 5 days. We are leading them down a path to lead others. We are coaches.
At the close of camp each year we are asked to leave a quote. My quote is "Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle". One of the most rewarding parts of Camp is listening to kids from all over the US talk to each other and help each other get through the challenge of Leadership Camp, 5 burpees at a time. The other is acceptance. A battle becomes easier to fight when you have a "battle buddy". Tonight after sharing my story of growing up as an "at risk youth" I promised each of the 28 kids one thing... They are going to leave camp with more than the luggage they came with.
Sarah N. Sabella