Badger youth camp provides sampling of 12 sports

editor@sierrastar.comJune 24, 2014 

Yosemite High School hosted its second Yosemite Badger Youth Sports Camp June 16-19, attracting nearly 80 boys and girls between third and eighth grade. Last year's camp had 59 participants.

Held on the Yosemite High campus, the camp is designed to give every camper the opportunity to learn the basics of a variety of sports in a fun and encouraging atmosphere.

Four sessions were held each morning to teach the fundamentals of football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, swimming, golf, soccer, softball, baseball, tennis, track, cross country, and pep and cheer.

Isaac Rumohr, a 14-year-old incoming freshman to Yosemite, said the four day camp was a great experience.

"We got the feel of a lot of different sports," Rumohr said. "The camp helps everyone decide what sports they want to go out for when they get to high school. I already know I want to be on the cross country and track teams, but after camp, now I'm thinking about also playing soccer.

Volunteer Peggy Myers, who led group activities and games such as relay races and hula hoop, said all the children enjoyed the variety of activities.

"Whatever level of skill the children had on the first day, they all showed improvement by the end of camp," Myers said. "It was perfect week weather-wise and the only injury was a bee sting."

The students were provided lunch and nutritional snacks each day along with a variety of fun games. After lunch, all the camp participants headed to the Yosemite High pool where the swim coaches met them and worked with the campers on their swim strokes.

Yosemite cross country coach Ellen Peterson said the coaching staff at the camp received great feedback from all the students who participated as well as the parents.

Pat Lynch, JV football coach and Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader on campus, came up with the idea to create an all sports camp for Mountain Area children to enjoy, while raising some fund for Badger athletics. YHS Athletic Director Michelle Chenowith, oversees the program.

"The vision of the camp was to give each camper the opportunity to learn a new sport that Yosemite High has to offer and to connect with the students," said Lynch.

Lynch greeted the campers each morning at 8 a.m.

"We spent a half hour before the sports sessions to talk about life skills, play games and stretch," Lynch said. "Life skills such as being kind to others, how to be the best competitor you can be, how to be a great teammate and showing your pride toward your school."

Lynch explained that children may not be good at all the sports that were presented at camp.

"But that's OK — It was about them trying something new and possibly discovering something new about themselves," Lynch said.

Team effort

Yosemite High coaches who participated in the camp were Lynch (football), Ellen Peterson (cross country), Brandon Brokaw (swimming), Dan Larson (wrestling), Rick Lemberg and Vanessa Jasper (soccer), Gary Blate (basketball), McKenzie Cox (volleyball), Suzette Combs (softball/baseball), Rusty Oetinger (golf), Richard Pastoria (tennis), and Jennifer Lincoln and Rachele Chenowith (pep-cheer).

Yosemite High athletes served as camp leaders with additional athletes assisting in specific sports.

"All the YHS students did an exceptional job assisting with the camp," said YHS Athletic Director Michelle Chenowith. "We could not have done this camp without them. The camp was an excellent experience for everyone involved."

Some of the Yosemite athletes who assisted included Quentin Lawrence, Aaron Mulkey, Kevin Kirk, Jonathan Mulkey, Elyse Espe, Heather Edwards, Ellen Saunders, Jewel Crosson, Brandy DiFiore, Jessica Tanoury, Lynette Combs, Kattie Thompson, Natalie Chamberlain, Jasmine Matoud, Courtney Herrera, Kyra Cole, Russell Warmerdam, Diamond McNally, Autum Mitchell, Hannah Morrison, Tracy Robesky,Taylor Burrall, Kailei Gould, Dainya DeBock, Jessica Fine, Alli Stearns, Tristen Eames, Brandon Thacker, Ryan Miller, Rose Curley, Hunter Murphy, Clare Oetinger, Mia Bullock, Brooke Veater, Jennifer Springer, Mataya Brown, Georgie Royse, Cassie Salisburn, Mariah Lincoln, Ally Alm, Sophie Faulkner, Katrina Borough,

Yosemite athletic trainer Cari Rumhor also volunteered her time throughout the four-day camp.

The camp, that raised $4,000 for the YHS athletic program, concluded with a talent show.

Chenowith said she received nothing but positive feedback from camp participants and parents and is already thinking about how to make next year's camp better.

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