Posted April 26, 2021
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It’s that time of year again! NCA is gearing up to take on camps because the summer of 2021 is right around the corner. This got me thinking just how unique and special our time at an NCA Summer Camp truly is. Here are some values that NCA instilled in me as a camper.
At camp we are tumbling, practicing jumps and stunts, and learning an endless amount of chants, cheers, and dances. We do this all day, for multiple days. If you have been to NCA Summer Camp before, you know that you are physically and mentally pushing yourself! This is incredible because not only are you learning tons of material and gaining new skills, but you are also developing a strong work ethic that will never leave you.
At camp, there are many team and individual competitions. Being competitive is a great trait to have and as campers you definitely get to show that side of you while participating in All-American and team competitions. Your performance ability increases during your time as camp as well! As fun as competing and performing is, our sportsmanship is equally as important. NCA Summer Camp creates an environment full of support, positivity, and encouragement. It becomes a fun habit to cheer on your friends during individual competitions and other teams throughout camp!
Something that is practiced heavily at camp is creating a true bond and trusting relationship with your team. Throughout NCA Summer Camp you realize that you are leaning on each other everyday. Maybe you need help with a dance you can’t fully memorize, you might need an energy boost, or words of encouragement. Maybe it’s another stunt group helping your group get that skill down. Whatever it looks like for you, you realize the importance of being close with your team.
During the day, you devote your time and energy into truly getting to know your teammates better. I remember getting into our squad huddles and really opening up to my team, as well as listening to them and their own personal strengths and weaknesses during Team Time. This special time helps you understand others more, and allows you to be there for them when you know what their weaknesses are. These were some of my favorite moments at camp because it started so many real authentic friendships. Not only do you gain new friendships but also the joy of celebrating a team victory together whenever you accomplish something.
While we are cheerleaders, I learned that we are also leaders of cheer. NCA Summer Camp is where I learned what being a leader on and off the field looks like. Learning my own strengths and weaknesses, how to effectively handle conflict, and finding my role on the team are a few of the many things I learned. One of the greatest personal values that really stuck with me through the years of attending NCA Summer Camps and beyond is my ability to self reflect. This allows me to check-in with myself and see where I can grow, and what goals I can set.
The most important part of camp is taking everything we learn and applying it into our daily lives. We work hard during the few days we get, but that whole time we are having a blast and making memories that will last a lifetime! I can’t wait to see you all this summer at NCA Camp! I’m ready for the journey! Are you!?
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Heading into summer, you may be starting practice with your new team, how exciting! However that may look like for you and your program, dance and cheer teams across the US have one thing in common, leadership roles. These roles might be captains or routine leaders or secretaries. Regardless, all teams have them.
Whether this is your first time at cheer camp or your senior year camp finale, cheer camp can be an exciting yet intimidating time.
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