It’s not often that we do something at ELITEAM that has never been done before on the Ropes Course. But today, with the older group, we combined the Tightrope and Incline Log into one element, and the campers loved it. They must first climb a 30 foot tree, which leads to a wire that spans 50 feet above a brook. They cross that wire using only 4 dangling ropes for balance. Next they climb down 10 feet to an incline log and walk across that with no railing or extra ropes to hold onto. After a few balance challenges on the log (one leg, jumps, tucks, etc) they jump off and swing safely down to the ground. It’s awesome. I was especially impressed by our first year ELITEAMers like Tyler, Ellie and Whitney.
While one group was in the trees, the other half was jumping up and down for about three hours. Whether it was the Berg Und Tal, Slalom Gates, Jump Tucks Leg Routine, or Agility Course, the athletes were focused on precision and power. The power will help them to ski stronger and to make that “power move” on the field in soccer and lacrosse, while the precision will help with footwork, rhythm, and coordination. Ask your kids to put you through a couple of one-legged tuck jumps one afternoon, when it is 80 degrees out. It’s a tough workout.
After a grilled cheese lunch and a notebook meeting in which we covered Sports Physiology, we switched groups for the afternoon. By 4:30pm we were all pretty hot, so we grabbed our swimsuits and hit the trail heading straight for Folger’s Pond. We have special permission to use this pond. It’s beautiful, it’s clean and very refreshing. It really hit the spot today. Everyone left with a smile on their face, feeling refreshed.
After dinner it was time to split into three groups and go separate ways. One group hit the kitchen to cook chocolate chip banana muffins, which we’ll eat tomorrow, so I hope they followed the recipe correctly. Oddly, each batch of muffins looks different, despite everyone following the same recipe. Another group was outside playing a very intense game of Capture the Flag. A lot of calories are burned every night trying to free your captured teammates from jail. The last group was on the rock wall climbing their hearts out. Madzie, one of our fourteen year olds, was learning how to belay under my watchful eye and guidance. She was super safe and the kids loved having her at the controls. Tyler and Ryan both made it up the far left wall, which is close to impossible to make. In glory, they both signed the wall at the top proving that they had made it.
Lastly, we did some yoga and relaxation. The kids were quiet and focused – probably because they are so tired. I think some of them actually fell asleep. We ended with a dorm meeting where they wrote the day’s activities in their training journals. Over in the Poundcake, Kelley challenged the girls to name each person in the room. Maggie, Sophie and Nicole were all courageous enough to give it a whirl. They did quite well, with only a few slip-ups… Audrey ended up as “Andrea” and Mary Clare as “Mary Catherine”, but all in all, a brave attempt! We’ll keep working at it. Perhaps tomorrow at dinner I’ll make everyone sit with someone they don’t yet know. I’m sure that will go over well.
Tuesdays are always huge days, and another big day awaits tomorrow with mountain biking, dance and a soccer tourney.