This morning was a repeat of yesterday, with half the group focused intently up in the high ropes course, and the other half “suffering” out on the field, followed by agility work in the gym. Many complained of sore muscles this morning, but all rose to the challenge today. Every athlete I saw was pushing hard.
After lunch, we loaded the big yellow bus and headed off on the highly anticipated Sandpit adventure. It is always a camp favorite! We had a new course this year. The athletes started with a quick uphill, ran along the ridgeline, then blasted down the pits on a steep and turny course. Hair, shoes and shirts filled with sand in no time. Afterwards we all enjoyed some fruity popsicles and a dip in Folger’s Pond to cool off. Most opted for the “run and jump” technique, while other waded in slowly and looked for frogs along the bank.
Tonight Doug and Dan led the Crazy Relays. It’s always a great way to spend our last night together. Hands down it is filled with the most smiles, laughs, energy and fun.
The grand finale was the Jello Drop competition, which featured orange jello, wide mouths and plenty of close calls.
Before heading off to bed, the athletes were presented with their Dig Deep ELITEAM t-shirts. I would say every athlete earned their shirt this week. They’ll all be wearing them tomorrow at the “ELITEAM Olympics” which starts at 10am. See you there!
Thoughts from Coach Ben…
It’s amazing how Europa boys can be so ecstatic for the day to start that they are consistently 15 minutes early for morning run, but maybe the opportunity to hand out pushups to untimely girl campers helps motivate them to get their feet on the ground in the morning. Keeping with the theme of high energy levels the enthusiasm to do pushups during the morning run and stretch was at an all time high in my group today.
Upon finishing morning run and breakfast I had the pleasure of belaying some very determined campers on the vertical playpen towering 40 feet in the air! Support and encouragement came from the forest floor as the kids’ fellow campers made their way up between the two trees. However, some encouragement also came from within. Blythe repeatedly told herself that she could do it as she neared the top. After switching out belaying duties with coach Devon I was able to self-belay up some of the elements and take some great pictures of campers like Madison and Eve really pushing themselves and climbing above and past the goals they set for themselves.
Sandpits later in the day were a great success in accordance with the norm and the support from campers not on course remained at record heights. It’s been awesome watching campers sense of camaraderie develop throughout the week. You can see that they want their fellow campers to succeed just as much as they want themselves to.
I’m writing this section of the blog from the shade of a tree below the slalom course as Jane and Grace get in some last minute practice before the olympics in just another example of kids wanting to improve themselves. Well it is now 6:32 and the campers are telling me that if I don’t hurry over to field games I’ll be doing 30 pushups. They really do enjoy handing those out.
Thoughts from Coach Demi…
Just a quote: “Celery…my new favorite vegetable from ELITEAM.”-Saylor
Today was my first day of Sufferfest along with most of the older campers. Hearing little Blake M. lead the group in “One, two, three…SUFFERRRR!” was encouraging for anyone that thought they couldn’t dig any deeper.
This evening we are doing our second rotation of activities. As I write this, a large congregation of 4 ft tall campers bend at the waist as coach Dan yells, “Keep digging!!” followed by “Dig Deeeeep” and “You’re almost there–I can see the grass!” Meanwhile campers are communicating with each other saying, “you can do this” and “here, I’ll help you with this.”
I can’t help but appreciate the beautiful backdrop of mountains that overlook the ELITEAMers from our morning runs to our nightly yoga sessions. It’s great to see them growing as athletes and continuing to dig deep.
Coach Carter, at the pits…
The sandpits slalom course was a blast this afternoon. The sand was not the only thing flying as the kids ripped down the course. The course was packed with tight turns and pitch drops to fully challenge the kids agility and body awareness.
After an inspection run, and a couple of training runs, each camper had two timed runs on the course. Lindsay had the fastest run of the day, with a time of 17.54 seconds. Evan C. came in first for the boys with a 18.07 run, but everyone improved their time on the second run. It is great to see the campers continue to DIG DEEP in every challenge that they are presented.
Some early camper quotes from the boys…
So far, what has been the best part of ELITEAM and Why?
Weller – Digging Deep cause you push your limits.
Jabes – I like the morning stretch because you need to hit the ground running.
Ricky – The Sandpit slalom cause you can go FAST!
Charlie S – The agility course especially the tramp jump. Also the Slalom course cause I hold the record. First time I ran it I got 6.50, now it is 4.90.
Birken – Push-ups because they make you work hard.
Silas – The Slalom because it is fun to improve.
Justin – The Sufferfest because it is fun to SUFFER!
Will – The best part was the Sufferfest because it pushed me.
What do you think of the food here at camp? What was your favorite meal?
Will – French Toast
Charlie S. – I love the food here. I wish I could live here.
Jabes – The food is amazing. The chicken sandwiches.
Weller – I like the salads.
Cam – Amazing pancakes.
What did you think of Sandpits today? What is the key to having a good run?
Justin – Awesome. You have to lean into the turns.
Eli- The best Slalom I have ever run.
Charlie S. – They are tricky but you’ll get the hang of it. Second run I tripped on a gate, but kept going.
Jabes – The Sandpits were steep, but epic. The key is to have the inside line.
Weller – It was fun because it had sharp turns.
Weller – FUN!
Jabes – the best summer training program ever.
Ricky – Awesome. The Best.
Charlie S. – The best camp ever.
Will – Amazingly fun!