Summertime means summer camps. Things were no different in Cottage Grove when this summer, South Valley Athletics has put on camps for volleyball, soccer and cheerleading and have a tennis camp later this month.
The turnouts at the camps this year were higher than they were last year. This year saw the return of cheer camp which 19 girls attended and the start of soccer camp that saw 44 campers. Volleyball camp grew from 17 campers to 23 this year and tennis camp is currently at 23 individuals, which is the same amount as last year.
The focus of these camps is to get students primarily between third to sixth grade, active and excited about athletics.
“It sets them up early for success and gets them involved with sports and wanting to do other things,” said cheer coach Treselle Emery. While Emery said that in high school cheerleading was everything to her, she acknowledged the importance of trying all sorts of different sports.
Courtney McGowen who is in charge of volleyball at South Lane and ran the camp last week, touched on the same ideas and further emphasized the importance of team work that these programs bring to the table.
“I think they learn how to be a team. I think they learn how to be better on a personal level and not just at volleyball but how to work with others and how to listen to their coaches,” said McGowen.
More than anything else, McGowen likes to see how her campers progress throughout the week.
“I had this one girl that came up to me and said, ‘I’m not very good. I can’t get my serve over.’ And I said, ‘Well that’s why we practice,’” said McGowen. After some continued practice and some success, the same girl came up to McGowen and told her that she was “definitely” going to be playing this season.
“I love those moments,” said McGowen.