The school year has ended, and we can’t help but feel the anticipation of summer camp. It’s kind of like celebrating New Year’s during the summertime – it’s a time for new beginnings, new habits, new skills and, of course, a new team.

What better way to kick off the season than cheer camp? Spirit chants fill the air. Banners are painted featuring school colors and mascots to adorn school campuses. Stunts are mastered, skills are debuted and cheers are showcased for the masses.

Ready for a successful camp experience? Here’s a quick list of everything you need to start your season on top.

A Good Attitude
In all situations, cheer life and day-to-day life, your attitude makes a difference. Come prepared to work hard with teammates and the staff, with your sights set on becoming the best cheerleader you can be. Obstacles are inevitable, but we promise that if you keep a positive attitude, those stunts, pyramids and tumbling passes are ten times more likely to hit.

Good Sportsmanship
True sportsmanship is knowing that win or lose, you’ll walk away with pride. Cheerleading teaches you to win with humility and lose with grace. There is nothing more rewarding than simply being proud of the work you put in, even if the outcome isn’t what you expected. So, while you’re enjoying the journey of camp, focus on being a good sport to your teammates and the other teams there.

Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither is a perfectly executed stunt. Mastering skills takes time, dedication and, most importantly, patience. Don’t let yourself become discouraged or frustrated if that pyramid doesn’t hit right away. Remember, patience is power. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Your Smile
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness and encouragement. If you notice someone being too hard on themselves, lend a smile and a word of reassurance. You never know who needs you. Your smile, a small compliment or a pat on the back can make all the difference to those around you. Smiling is contagious, so pass it on!

From bow to toe, be sure to pack all your uniform essentials. Cheer camp is supposed to be fun; you don’t need to waste energy stressing over whether you packed the right cheer shoes or makeup. Make a checklist the week before with every little thing you need to guarantee a successful camp experience.

Nutritious food choices are key for an evening pick-me-up or early morning kick start to refuel your body and keep energy levels high. Pick up some fruit and high protein goodies for a boost of natural energy when you start to feel tired or hungry between meals. And don’t forget to stay hydrated! Decorate team water bottles with your school logo and colors for hydration that’s as spirited as you.

Now that you know the secrets to a successful summer camp, you should know one thing that isn’t a secret at all: cheer camp is where your team will become a family. So get ready for a team-changing experience. Get ready to work hard, work together and cherish each and every moment with your new family.