Summer Skills Camps kick off for Salamanca youngsters
Starting this week, young Salamanca students are getting a chance to work with the coaches they might play for one day at the high school level.
Monday kicked off the first of five weeks of Athletic Skills Summer Camps hosted by the district’s athletic department. These camps are open to any Salamanca students who will be entering grades 2-6 in the fall. Camps run from Monday-Thursday, with different sports available each week, from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Up first were football and boys and girls soccer on the grass fields outside of the high school.
Dates for offered camps include:
July 11-14: football, boys and girls soccer
July 18-21: girls basketball (HS gym), boys lacrosse (HS grass field)
July 25-28: girls softball (Vets Park), boys basketball (HS gym)
August 1-4: baseball (Vets Park), girls lacrosse (Vets Park)
August 8-11: Track and Field (HS track)
Initially scheduled for Vets Park, the first camps were moved to the grass fields due to set up for the Pow Wow this week.
“It's always a little tricky getting into the flow of things,” football coach and athletic director Chad Bartoszek said after the first camp on Monday. “I'd say the first hour was a little slow. But we've got two big camps going (football and soccer), 30-plus kids at each. So our district community members are stepping up and giving their kids an opportunity to participate in a fun camp.”
The camps are each run by the sport’s respective high school coaches, with some help from varsity athletes.
“If we didn't have them, we wouldn't be able to run this,” Bartoszek said of the coaches. “Right now they're stepping up, giving up time during their summer to make sure this goes smoothly and that kids are given an opportunity. It's not always easy because coaches have different schedules, but so far each program has stepped up. Everyone runs it a little different. The goal is participation and fun with skill development as a nice way to kind of finish the day to day program. But really we just want these kids to come out, compete and have fun.”
The district started the skills camp programs during the summer school day last summer. This year, with the athletic calendar back to a normal schedule after changing COVID restrictions in 2020-21, coaches had more time to plan and more time to inform the public about the camps’ availability.
“This year we were out ahead of the logistical stuff, scheduling and registrations,” Bartoszek said. “The community's had much more time to digest when these things are taking place. But the setup in terms of our coaches running their own little mini-camps is the same. We had good feedback from the community last year and good feedback from the coaches. The only downfall is being mid-day, it gets a little hot. So we're cognizant of that, we're always making sure we've got extra water and shade but we'll be inside, we'll be at Vets later in the year and different coaches will run it their own little way.”
Bartoszek said the camps have already seen increased registration “by a few” over last summer’s.
“It's a free camp to the community members, our district kids, so we want them to come out and they're still able to register, they can come up 'til the moment of camp, they can come in as long as we get a parent or guardian to sign up and we want kids to try new things,” he said. “That was our message today, I'm proud to see some kids trying some new things. That's how we want it to run. We want it to run as open to our student-athletes, our students who want to come try, see if you like soccer or lacrosse or basketball. That's the best way for our community members to get involved with our athletic programs is to have them and their kids come in and just try it.”
Anyone with questions about the camps may email Bartoszek, CBartoszek@salamancany.org. To register, visit https://forms.office.com/r/PaFC8QHr1u.
Additionally, summer swim lessons began this week with the first of two three-week sessions hosted by the district. The first session is set for July 11-29 and the second session is held from Aug. 1-18. Sign-ups may be made at https://forms.office.com/r/03eJWMqBZ6.
Additional questions may be directed to Water Safety Instructor Anna Gifford, AGifford@salamancany.org, or to Bartoszek, CBartoszek@salamancany.org.