Saturday dawned beautifully with some low fog in the valley, but you could tell the sunshine was coming. The three days of torrential rains were now a memory. The boys dorm went to bed quietly and on time the night before, so they were able to sleep in until breakfast. The girls’ dorm, however, was another story. Two rooms were noisy past lights out (a little too much giggling and snorting) so they had to get up early for a run instead of sleeping in. But because they were out early doing exercises, they were also first in line for breakfast, so that made up for it.
The first hour after breakfast on Saturday is all about cleaning the dorms. Lots of spraying, wiping, scrubbing and vacuuming. Toilets are cleaned, showers are washed and floors are mopped. By 9:30am the dorms were spotless and the kids were in the ELITEAM woods getting in some last minute practice on the Obstacle course.
At 10:00, we announced the Olympic Teams and out to the field they went to come up with a team name and figure out who was doing which event. The parents were on time, so we had a big audience ready for some serious cheering. This year we had the following teams: The Cool Kids, the Fighting Irish, the Awesome People, Team Uber Hotness, Greased Lightening, and Team “I do tuck jumps in my sleep”.
The first event was a three-person relay with a biker and two agility course runners. The cheering was loud and the kids were fast! Except for some slips (Tasha forgot to sharpen her edges), and a couple of questionable gate & cone encounters, the runners kicked off the Olympics with a bang. After finishing the course they had to pull their biker in a sled across the finish line.
Next up was a Team event where some of the kids pulled their coach in the sled, while the rest figured out a huge wooden puzzle. The puzzles had words written on them. They spelled “Goals”, “Breathe”, and “Focus.”
Then it was inside for the Berg-Und-Tal event. Every athlete ripped it up with near-perfect runs. As we left for the Slalom course, there were a few families (Dads) hanging behind to determine if they still had any agility left in those 40+ year old legs.
The Slalom event was spectacular. Their speed and quickness was impressive, along with the exciting recoveries at the u-turn. Every camper made every gate and it was great to watch. Clearly all the time spent practicing during the week paid off. Congrats to Ryan who handled the pressure and really nailed a perfect run in front of the crowd.
Then it was off to the ELITEAM Woods for the final event, the Obstacle Course. This year it was a three-person event with the first athlete having to sprint up a 50 foot vertical hill that was wet and muddy and slippery from all the rain. Great action as every team nailed each section.
As we tallied the results it was time to show the parents the High Ropes Elements. Our demonstrator was Ali and she conquered the World Cup tightrope in front of the large crowd, filled with parents, families and friends. It was dead quiet as she walked across the 40 foot high wire over the ravine. One of the goals of the high ropes is to use breathing to calm down and focus. I had to remind the parents that they also needed to breathe, as I think most of them were holding their breath.
All that remained was performing the ELITEAM dance for the crowd. This year’s song was “Jungle Fever” and there were many of the usual moves including the Sprinkler, the Pencil Sharpener, CPR, the Shopping Cart, and Pulp Fiction. We did add in the Skateboard, and Fishing to mix it up.
The Awesome People won the top Olympic prize, but the experience of a challenging and fun week was everyone’s reward. The weather threw us a curve, but we switched it up and took advantage of it when we could. Epic mountain biking in the rain. An incredible Sandpit slalom course run by an Olympian alongside the kids. The Soccer Cup and Capture the Flag in the pouring rain made for slippery footing but lots of fun and action.
As the Hawthornes later wrote to us:
Eliteam Camp: $800
Bike Helmet: $40
Hiking Shoes: $50
Dry Socks: Priceless
Thank you to the athletes as well as the parents for being a part of ELITEAM. Hope to see you all next year.