Summer camps at Simpson

by Matt Bower

April is now upon us and that means summer is just around thecorner.

Some people use the summer to engage in internships and gainvaluable job experience while others work the nine to five buildingup funds for the next college year. Still others will use the timeto relax and get some sun. For some eager young athletes, thesummer provides them an opportunity to participate in camps so theycan work on their skills and become better team players.

Simpson will host several of these camps this summer right hereon campus. The camps run from June through August and there is onefor just about every sport. Basketball holds three camps throughoutthe summer and volleyball has three as well. Wrestling, soccer,swimming, and football also offer opportunities for both high andcollege athletes. The cost for a commuter camper is $150 and thecost for an overnight camper is $250.

According to head wrestling coach Ron Peterson, there are tworeasons for holding the camps.

“The number one reason is we use it as a fundraiser for ourprogram,” said Peterson. “The second reason is that it allowspotential recruits to get a preview of Simpson and see what it’slike.”

This is Peterson’s ninth year running the camps here at Simpson.He says the turnout usually involves 100-180 kids.

“We work on wrestling techniques and team competition,” saidPeterson. “We hope the kids learn to enjoy wrestling more and canpick up some solid techniques.”

Everything from teaching how to lift weights right down tosetting goals is covered throughout the camps.

“We want kids to get a better idea of what’s going on withwrestling,” said Peterson.

The commuter camp runs from July 12-16 while the team camp is insession from July 18-22.

Men’s head basketball coach Bruce Wilson also says the camps areused for program fundraising as well as an opportunity forpotential recruiting. The first camp is the Boys Big Man Shootingcamp and will run from June 4-6. This is the camp’s seventh yearand it usually generates 50-70 athletes. There are two costs forthe Big Man Shooting camp; commuters will pay $110 and overnightcampers will pay $135. The next camp is the Boys and Girls Daycamp. This camp runs from July 12-16 and only costs $75 for allcampers. The day camp is geared more towards younger players at theelementary and junior high levels and generates about 70-80athletes.

“The Big Man Shooting Camp and the day camp deal more with thefundamental development of the kids,” said Wilson. “They are veryindividualized camps.”

According to Wilson, these camps help the players adjust to thecompetitive level of other players.

“Most other similar camps will have one coach for every 15-20players,” said Wilson. “At our camps we try to have one coach forevery eight players. The smaller groups give the kids moreindividual attention allowing for a stronger focus and moreattention to details.”

The final basketball camp is the team camp and runs from July25-29. The cost for a commuter is $110 and the cost for anovernight camper is $220. Both the day camp and the team camp havebeen running for approximately 19 years.

Volleyball players also get a fair amount of opportunity topractice up before the season. The first camp is the VolleyballSpecialist camp and will be held June 25. This camp is used to workon many skills for the players with emphasis on individualattention. The other two camps are team camps.

“In the team camps, we work on skill and team concepts as wellas team chemistry,” said head women’s volleyball coach Lana Smith.”We incorporate new drills for teams playing with groups as well astrain for special positions.”

This is Smith’s sixth year here at Simpson and she has beenrunning the camps ever since she came. She estimates that about500-600 kids will show up to the camps this year.

It will be a busy summer this year at Simpson with all the campsgoing on, but the coaches wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The camps are developmentally great for kids to become better,”said Smith. “They also provide good outreach for getting kids oncampus.”