Every year at the start of the season, the one thing I look forward to the most is going to cheer camp. Everyone is eager and excited to start cheering again, and it’s a great way to bond your new team. Camp is full of memories just waiting to be made! Here are a few easy tips to help your team make the most out of your camp experience.

Get to know other teams.
Before you leave for camp, get together with your team and make inexpensive gifts for other squads. One year, my team bought Pop Rocks for the other teams. We attached notes that said, “Your team rocks!” and passed them out during the first day of camp. If you don’t want to spend money, ask another team if you can sit with them during lunch. Soon enough you’ll be chatting with the other squads and making a bunch of new friends. It’s always fun seeing them at competitions later in the year and getting to see how much they’ve progressed since camp. Plus, you’ll have more friends to cheer you on.

Let’s hear it for school spirit!
When my team goes to camp, we make posters with our mascot and school colors and hang them on the windows in our dorms. We also bring balloons and streamers to decorate. Don’t forget to  how off your spirit after your cheers and sidelines, and yell your favorite chant while you’re transitioning to a different class. Whatever you do, do it with a smile and you’ll definitely receive a spirit  tick and be in the running to win the Top Banana or other top spirit award!

Participate as much as possible.
Don’t sit out of a stunt class because you’re sore, and don’t skip the dance party at the end of the day because you want an extra hour of sleep. You only get to go to camp once during the year, so make the most out of every opportunity there. Who knows, maybe one of the stunt sequences you learn at camp will help your team make it to Nationals. Not only will you benefit from attending  all of the classes, but the more you participate, the more memories you’ll make.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll leave camp with new friends, new material and lots of great memories. Just don’t forget to capture some of those moments on camera!

by: Sarah Curran, as seen in the summer 2014 issue of American Cheerleader