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Experience with gymnastics at NON-gymnastics summer camps?

superflipgirl

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This has nothing to do with me personally--it's just something I've been wondering as a former gymnast who knows a LOT about summer camps through both my experience/friends' experiences and is going into a career in which I may find myself at some point working in an administrative position at a summer camp. As a result, I have been researching a lot of overnight camps to see if there are any positions that might interest me, and while doing so I've had the natural urge to look at the activities that the camp offers, particularly, their gymnastics programs!

Does anyone have experience either going, being a parent of, or knowing someone at their gym who typically spends large portions of the summer--possibly even the ENTIRE summer--at an overnight camp that doesn't specialize in gymnastics?

I have come to realize that most camps in the Northeast (think the Poconos, Adirondacks, Maine, etc.) actually have a really advanced gymnastics program for a camp that doesn't specialize in gymnastics--if you look up any camp in the northeast, almost all of them have EXTREMELY equipped gymnastics facilities. One of my college friends went to an overnight camp for several years and showed me a picture of the gymnastics facility--I kid you not when I say that it was bigger than some of the gyms I remember competing in when I was a competitive gymnast!

Along this realization, it does not seem uncommon that these camps will actually attract many competitive gymnasts, some from what seem to be very high levels! My cousin, who spent many summers at an overnight camp with an intense gymnastics program, said that there were many high-level gymnasts there with extremely advanced skills.

So my question is--does anyone know of any high level gymnasts who have done this? AKA, take the entire summer off from their gym training to go to an overnight camp that does NOT specialize in gymnastics, but, I would presume spends a good portion of their time at the camp training in their gymnastics program? How do coaches feel about this? It seemed that at my gym growing up (not for me personally, since I did Xcel/Prep-op where the coaches were much more lenient about missing summer practices for vacation and stuff, but on the JO team), coaches really did not seem to want girls to take that much time off from practice. They were very understanding about taking SOME time off for vacations and stuff, don't get me wrong, but I cannot think of any girls I knew from my gym who ever took the entire summer off. How do coaches feel about this? Also, does anyone actually know about the gymnastics programs at these camps? Are they really advanced to the point where they could actually be a replacement for summer training at a gym? The idea of taking that much time off during the summer for something not related to gymnastics seems like a foreign concept to me! Does anyone know how coaches would react to gymnasts doing this? If they do take time off, are these gymnastics programs at these camps actually a good substitute for training in their home gym?
 

MILgymFAM

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My kids attended a fancy summer camp in the Poconos when they were younger- it is called camp island lake- and they had a great gymnastics facility there. Large, well equipped, and safe- but the coaches weren’t of a level to be teaching super hard skills. They were mostly college students who just wanted the summer job, many of them were international students. I can’t imagine it would be considered an acceptable substitute for summer uptraining in a gymnast’s home gym for a whole summer. My kids went for two weeks through a military program, but most kids stayed 4-6 weeks.

eta: they had fully equipped dance studios and an entire big top circus set-up too. My kids learned a fair bit of circus training there (silks, Lyra, and trapeze)
 

superflipgirl

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My kids attended a fancy summer camp in the Poconos when they were younger- it is called camp island lake- and they had a great gymnastics facility there. Large, well equipped, and safe- but the coaches weren’t of a level to be teaching super hard skills. They were mostly college students who just wanted the summer job, many of them were international students. I can’t imagine it would be considered an acceptable substitute for summer uptraining in a gymnast’s home gym for a whole summer. My kids went for two weeks through a military program, but most kids stayed 4-6 weeks.

eta: they had fully equipped dance studios and an entire big top circus set-up too. My kids learned a fair bit of circus training there (silks, Lyra, and trapeze)
I've heard of Island Lake Camp! Not surprising that they had a large gymnastics program there. Did there seem to be a lot of high-level gymnasts there?
 

MILgymFAM

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I've heard of Island Lake Camp! Not surprising that they had a large gymnastics program there. Did there seem to be a lot of high-level gymnasts there?
My daughter said there were a fair number of girls who were medium level- there was not any super high levels that she saw. Layouts were as far as things really went. She wasn’t a gymnast at the time, so it’s the her remembering looking back. At the time she was a total beginner- had never been in a gym before.
 

cogymmom2dd

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There are girls at our gym that take a week or 2 off from summer practice to go to camp Woodward. Their focus is gymnastics, but it’s not a dedicated gymnastics camp. I am not sure if they come back from camp with new or improved skills, but there is definitely a bind/sisterhood that is formed when that group goes together. My DD1 has been begging to go with the rest of the girls. I just don’t feel quite comfortable sending her that far to a week long camp at her age.
 

gymisforeveryone

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I've never heard of whole summer long camps! Must be an American thing? Are they sleep away camps? Do the kids really enjoy those or are they just for daycare, when there aren't any other options because the parents work? Or are we talking about older kids, who don't need daycare anymore?

I've never heard of any camps that last longer than 10 days! And the 10 day camps that I know of are church confirmation camps for 15 year olds. Can't imagine spending the whole summer on camp! Wouldn't that be super expensive too?

Sorry, I'm just curious and don't have any other input to offer.
 

MILgymFAM

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I've never heard of whole summer long camps! Must be an American thing? Are they sleep away camps? Do the kids really enjoy those or are they just for daycare, when there aren't any other options because the parents work? Or are we talking about older kids, who don't need daycare anymore?

I've never heard of any camps that last longer than 10 days! And the 10 day camps that I know of are church confirmation camps for 15 year olds. Can't imagine spending the whole summer on camp! Wouldn't that be super expensive too?

Sorry, I'm just curious and don't have any other input to offer.
These are typically for wealthy families and the age range at the one my kids attended (again, for free- this isn’t really our world) was wide- elementary school through high school. Many of the kids went back to the same camp every year for many years. The cost is astronomical, but the kids seemed to love the experience.
 

superflipgirl

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I've never heard of whole summer long camps! Must be an American thing? Are they sleep away camps? Do the kids really enjoy those or are they just for daycare, when there aren't any other options because the parents work? Or are we talking about older kids, who don't need daycare anymore?

I've never heard of any camps that last longer than 10 days! And the 10 day camps that I know of are church confirmation camps for 15 year olds. Can't imagine spending the whole summer on camp! Wouldn't that be super expensive too?

Sorry, I'm just curious and don't have any other input to offer.
Yes, it's very much an American thing. Many camps either go for 7/8 weeks or have 3/4 week sessions and kids who love it that much will stay for both sessions, therefore staying essentially the entire summer. The going to camp for a whole summer is very much an American Jewish tradition, from what I gather (I say this as a Jewish person who has many friends who used to go to camp for an entire summer, all of those I know who did it were Jewish). Camps where kids tend to go for that long are usually either Jewish camps or camps that pull a lot of children from predominantly Jewish areas (Long Island, etc.). My dad, growing up, went to an overnight camp for eight weeks for many summers of his childhood. And yes, it is SUPER expensive--families who tend to send their kids to camp summer after summer tend to be very wealthy, although I'm sure there are many that offer scholarships and such, and I would guess there are some families that aren't as wealthy but realize early on how much their kids love camp so they do a good job at setting aside savings to pay for camp every summer.

These are mostly sleepaway camps, although there are many day camps that run for the whole summer as well. I guess a while ago, overnight camps started realizing that they did not want kids to stop being able to come to camp because of intense sports training schedules, so many camps nowadays have very intense sports programs (i.e. gymnastics) where competitive athletes can continue to train for their sport during the summer while they're at camp.
 

katrid11

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I grew up on LI and everyone seemed to go to summer long camps. They run around $9-12k a kid for a summer depending - some are a bit more expensive. Around where I live now, some opt for this b/c both parents have careers and the cost of a nanny will run $20k for the summer so camp can be cheaper.

As for my DD, she does JO and her coaches are clear that summers are for uptraining and the less you attend, the greater chance you will be returning to your old level. DD will only attend a gymnastics camp (with coach permission) OR she will do some local day camps before/after practice. But she is 8 and still wants to do things like pottery, horseback riding, tennis, and be on the dive team.

Our JOGA and USAIG have less stringent requirements so they could have the chance to do something like that. My biggest concern would be the training of the coaches at a camp - making sure they are ready to handle the skill levels OR provide clear limitations.