Is JPSA Summer Soccer Camp different from years in the past?…Yes and no.
Our day begins at the JPSA facility at 8:00AM with staff arriving for daily preparations. The office staff is checking their lists, materials and necessities (PPE) for check-in, while the field staff is preparing tents with equipment followed by their daily discussion about the learning sessions that will take place throughout the day. We find ourselves greeting campers for the day around 8:45AM at our secluded facility.
One variance this summer is the drop off setup upon arrival. As you make your way to our entrance you will notice there is a separation between entry and exit by a row of yellow cones. The arriving path develops into 2 lanes so more cars can make their way in and prepare for the in car check-in process. This outdoor car side check-in procedure is one of our newly implemented procedures due to the Coronavirus. Once the cars reach the front of their lane, they are kindly received by our masked staff member! Parents are required to wear a mask and possess their own personal pen to sign our daily Coronavirus waiver. While the parent/guardian is signing the forms, our staff checks the temperature of the child to confirm they have no fever. Finally the camper is on his way for hand sanitizer and reporting to his/her designated tent! I want to thank all of the parents and campers for their cooperation with this procedure this week as it went smoother than expected for the first week of camp! The purpose of this method is to collect information and limit the amount of time people are gathering at the facility.
From here, our camp resumes a comparable agenda as many years before with a morning greeting before entering the first activities of the day. The morning greeting is delivered to each group separately as we are dividing our camp into smaller groups to keep distances between the campers and staff throughout the day. The feeling was more of 5 mini camps at the same location following a similar schedule and structure. Each group had their own stories throughout the week on and off the field. To be honest this is one of the biggest differences that we must get used to this summer. Without a large gathering we are missing the connection from younger campers to older, where often times there are moments of learning from one another. It is always helpful when you feel a part of something larger than yourself or just your group.
The core principles of the camp have remained and were reinforced throughout the week when it comes to responsibility, respect and individual improvement. Before our first day of camp there were concerns from staff and management about how potential issues would be resolved if they were to occur. After this first week, I must thank all of our campers for arriving with the right attitude and demonstrating our motto of skill, sportsmanship and self-discipline. You all impressed our staff by exceeding expectations in this area.
Next weeks blog will go deeper into the field sessions, off field activities and small-sided game details. To all campers, welcome back to your home away from home! We are looking forward to the weeks to come!
Yours in soccer,