Learning New Skills :: Fort Drum

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The Fort Drum Child and Youth Services’ Sports and Fitness Summer Camps program offered a variety of activities to keep youths active and having fun all summer. The camps were designed to introduce children to new skills, engage in physical fitness activities and practice fundamental in preparation for fall sports leagues. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

Child and Youth Services’ Summer Camps deliver assortment of fun activities for students 

Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Sept. 6, 2022) – “Did you do anything fun this summer?”

Answering the perennial back-to-school question will be easy for dozens of Fort Drum youths who participated in the Child and Youth Services’ Sports and Fitness Summer Camps program.

Tania Spann, CYS Sports and Fitness director, said that the camps were meant to keep children active throughout the summer and to have fun playing games.

“With the different types of camps we offer, there is a variety of activities and sports for children to choose from,” she said. “Our focus is on getting the kids outside while the weather is nice, being active and trying multiple sporting activities.”

The camps kicked off early in July with lots of outdoor fun in the sun. At the Recreational Sports Camp, children were treated to a variety of games and friendly competitions – including kickball, dodgeball, freeze tag, an obstacle course and relay races.

During Archery Camp, Fort Drum youths learned the different parts that make up a bow and arrow, and how archery skills can be used for hunting, recreation and competition. They practiced shooting at targets at different distances – as well as uphill and downhill – and then they engaged in skills competitions.

Kids explored the great outdoors during Adventure Camp, which included a hike at Salmon River Falls, swimming at Sandy Pond State Park, mountain biking at Selkirk Shores State Park, fishing at Deer River and whitewater rafting on Black River.

To cap off a great month of activity, dozens of kids signed up for four days of soccer skills and drills. In addition to learning the fundamentals of kicking, passing and shooting, participants teamed up for scrimmages and had fun playing a round of soccer golf.

The CYS summer camp program continued into August with Fitness Bootcamp and Golf. The camp featured a cardio workout as participants demonstrated their speed and agility with outdoor drills.

They also were introduced to the fitness room inside the CYS Sports and Fitness Center, which offers a lot of what adults go to Magrath Sports Complex or Atkins Functional Fitness Facility for, but tailored for kids. The facility has a variety of dumbbells and kettlebells, smash balls and benches, a weighted sled and more. During a circuit training session, children rotated through box jumps and air squats, situps and planks, and other exercises for a full-body workout.

Outside, another group practiced chipping, putting, driving and other skills at Golf Camp, with a little competition in the mix for fun. They also learned about the different clubs found in a golf bag and their purposes.

At Basketball Camp, children dribbled, passed and shot baskets in the indoor court, with conditioning drills to improve their fitness. Finally, kids huddled up and took to the field for Flag Football Camp to learn offensive and defensive plays, which culminated in friendly scrimmages.

An enthusiastic and dedicated team of coaches led the camps. Edward Malinowski, Erica Zach, Elisa Gonzales and Josh Herzig made the activities even more fun by demonstrating each activity and participating alongside the kids.

“They were all dedicated to giving these kids the best experience this summer,” said Spann, who coached the basketball camp. “They made sure to emphasize all the essential values our kids need today – respect, leadership, confidence and the motivation to keep on trying.”

Spann said that most of the camps offered this summer had full participation, with some youths signed up for more than one camp. She said that a lot of the children use the summer camps to practice fundamentals leading into the fall sports leagues.

For more information about the 2022 CYS Sports and Fitness Fall Sports program, call (315) 772-6718 or 772-8675. To see photos from the CYS Summer Sports Camps, visit www.flickr.com/photos/drum10thmountain/albums/72177720301893221.