Camp with North Miami started off our summer for 2016 with absolutely no disappointments! This was a new camp for Distinxion with two new staffers and the first ever cheer camp for many of our campers. Although this was a camp of firsts for many people, it could not have gone any better. From the moment we met the girls it was easy to tell the camp was going to be a blast!
North Miami proved to be positively different, but in a rare way. Unlike any other camp I’ve ever been to, I never would have been able to tell apart the middle school squad from the high school with these campers without asking. All the girls were so supportive of each other no matter their age and everyone was mixed all together across the gym floor. Not only everyone mixed together for learning material, but I also noticed during water breaks and lunch they were all still together. Whether girls from different grades were working together on material or just being goofballs all dancing and playing games together. It was so great to see a group of teenage girls come together as a school for a new experience like Distinxion cheer camp and not split off into any small friend groups within the squad.
On the first day of our two day camp the girls opened right up and we could quickly see that they loved to just have fun, yet they were ready to make improvements and work hard! We jumped into learning material fast, but even after learning the line dance, two dances, cheers, and chants the squad not once complained or showed us they weren’t ready to keep moving. The girls also learned to perfect their stunting skills. High school was able to put together two solid halves and middle school did a solid thigh stand and a half. I worked with the high school for stunt class and this first day they were all eager to try EVERY position. It was so awesome to see the girls so willing to try new stunting skills and ready to learn. Even the flyers wanted to learn to base and through it all everybody just continued to cheer each other on!
Coming in for day two of camp everyone was tired; however, that did not mean the girls were not still ready to learn new material and review from the day before. We learned another new cheer, chants, stunts, and individual team routines. As we continued to give pointers in learning material the girls were great about making corrections on day two and really focusing on hitting sharp motions with confidence! Both middle school and high school wowed us with their stunting. Both groups were able to further improve their halves and perform awesome flyer kicks for their team routines!
Character sessions during camp are always my favorite part and with North Miami the sessions were great! Personally in my small group of the high school I was able to talk to the girls about enduring through tough obstacles thrown our way in life, including everything from injuries, illness, and losing experienced team members. These girls didn’t see the gaining of new members as a bad obstacle and that was great to see! Instead, the returners were super enthusiastic to see how far they will be able to come this year. I learned a lot about how the girls feel about their squad and school. Almost every girl is also involved in another sport, but they all love to come together and work hard at cheer. While many of them have good friends outside of cheer they still all act like best friends when they were together for cheerleading. Each of the girls I spoke with at camp was just excited for this year of cheerleading because they were all confident that everyone would be supportive of each other and have fun, which is exactly what the staffers saw!
One extra special thing we found out during a character session was the common passion for their faith. Although being at a public school the girls immediately answered our question of “what is something that brings you all together and you all have in common?” with “religion.” They were all completely confident in answering that they all feel very strongly about their faith and it was incredible to see high school girls feel so deeply about this. As Distinxion is a program with Christ in the middle of it, I was incredibly happy to hear these girls not only appreciated the lessons of building their character, but also how it strengthened their faith.
By the last character session on day two I was so sad to think the camp was almost over! Within two short days I had grown to love each and every one of the campers and I think it’s safe for me to speak for the other staffers saying they too were sad to leave the girls. I can only hope that North Miami has a FANTASTIC year cheering for both football and cheerleading and I’ll be thinking about them as they work hard to be even better and prove to their school how talented they are!
-Molly, DistinXion Cheer Staff