Dartmouth hosts variety of summer sports camps
By Greg O'sullivan, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, June 29, 2007
Since the end of Spring term on Monday, June 4, those in Hanover have seen a collection of new faces on the Dartmouth campus. First there were the parents of seniors visiting for graduation, then alumni from all different decades coming back to relive their glory days and in addition students from the Tuck Bridge Program arriving to test their postgraduate mettle.
The most noticeable newcomers to campus, however, are the youngest, as summer sports camps have taken over the Dartmouth athletic facilities and will continue to do so throughout the summer.
The Dartmouth College Athletic Department will help coordinate 16 camps for 13 different sports throughout the summer. These camps will be held in tandem with the regular off-season practice schedules of many varsity sports and numerous club sports.
The College does not officially sponsor any of these camps, they merely use Dartmouth facilities. Individual head coaches from most Big Green varsity programs run camps for athletes of their respective sports. These coaches are responsible entirely for the marketing, staffing and overall athletic and social experience associated with their camps.
Varsity student-athletes, inlcuding sophomores who are on campus for sophomore summer, sometimes act as counselors and assist their coaches in these camps.
For most participants, who tend to be middle school and high school students, their camp experience includes many of the same activities as a traditional summer camp. But instead of canoeing and rock climbing, they practice and play their sport constantly.
For boarding campers, the experience includes living in Dartmouth dorms, such as tennis campers living in the now-defunct Lodge, and eating in Dartmouth dining facilities. Home Plate, which is an essential lunch or dinner stop for undergraduates during the traditional academic year, has been transformed into the so-called Camp Dartmouth for the Summer term. Meals are only open to campers and include breakfast, lunch and dinner with items like hot dogs and hamburgers available daily.
Two camps that recently took place on campus include The Classic Lacrosse Camp for women's lacrosse and the co-ed Hedera Swim Camp.
The Classic Lacrosse Camp, run by women's lacrosse head coach Amy Patton, is a camp designated for high school girls from around the country who come to Dartmouth to develop their skills and perhaps draw the attention of college coaches in attendance. Coaches for the camp came from numerous NCAA Division I schools, including Columbia, Duke and Harvard along with Dartmouth.
Jim Wilson, head coach of the men and women's swim teams, runs the Hedera Swim Camp, which is open to athletes from 10 to 18 years old. This camp included intense swim training, along with some traditional summer camp activities such as a night at the movies and a picnic at Storrs Pond.
Men's swim team members Chris Koppel '09 and Andrew Ballentine '09 helped coach these youngsters at the camp.
"Most of the kids were really excited to be there and eager to learn, so they were easy to teach," Koppel said. "There was a great feeling of satisfaction in seeing such dramatic improvements to the campers' stroke techniques in only four days."
The campers were not the only ones who benefited according to the counselors.
"[Coaching] was a great experience that any athlete would benefit from," Koppel said.
This past week, football, baseball, men's hockey, tennis and squash camps all held sessions on campus. These camps vary in length. The Buddy Teevens Football School lasted only three days, while in contrast the Kinyon/Jones Tennis Camp will continue on for the next six weeks.
For the most part, athletes will stay for only one week, although Dartmouth students who coach the camp will be here for the entire Summer term.
Matt Wang '10, who is living in Hanover this summer coaching at the tennis camp, said that this term is quite a change from the standard school year.
"It is different being in Hanover not taking classes, and the camp is really tiring. But it is a lot of fun playing tennis all day, and meeting all these kids is sick," Wang said.
Campers at the tennis camp have also had positive things to say about their experience at Dartmouth.
"It's really a great facility and they give us lots of individual attention," Marley Kleiman, a camper at the tennis camp, said. "We really have some great instructors."
"The camp is really run well," John Steines, another tennis camper, said.
Over the remainder of the summer, other camps will be coming into town including the All Star Basketball Camp, the North Country Rowing Camp and Nike General Skills Volleyball Camps.