On July 5 Yale’s National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) kicked off for its 16th consecutive year. The camp, which featured 200 campers from around New Haven, ran for the four weeks of July. The 200 campers were split up into eight different groups, named after states and grouped by age, such as “New York” for the eight-year-olds, and “New Jersey” for the thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds, with ages in the camp ranging from eight to fourteen. The campers participated in lots of sports and activities while having lots of fun!
Campers rotated around the different sports and activities with their groups, with every day consisting of four activity/sports periods and a lunch. The sports in which the campers received instruction were: basketball, dance, football, kickball, softball and swimming. The campers also received alcohol and drug awareness classes in addition to education classes where they participated in hands-on educational activities. One day the groups were taught how to make homemade ice cream in plastic baggies. Needless to say it was a big hit with the campers!
Another big hit with the campers was the boathouse. The oldest group got the opportunity to go out to Gilder Boathouse to learn how to row on several occasions. The lessons began in the tanks, and then concluded on the water. The campers thoroughly enjoyed their field trips!
The last week of camp featured many fun activities. First, on Wednesday of the last week was the annual talent/fashion show to showcase the talents of the campers.
The camp ended with a celebratory Camp Olympics on July 29 which included Olympic-style competitions such as an egg toss and an obstacle race. The eight different groups competed for best times in the different events and the Virginia group, which consisted of 10- and 11-year-olds, ended up victorious. The day also featured a barbeque where family and friends were invited to eat and watch the fierce competition amongst the groups. The competition was intense, with extra points being awarded to groups with extra spirit and groups who all wore the same color. After the Olympic events was an awards ceremony where each of the sports instructors honored three campers for “best participant” in his/her given sport. Additionally, the group counselors awarded prizes to the top male and female participants in each of their groups. The overall campers of the year were also awarded, with laptops going to the winners – Brianna Cummings and Brian Aparicio, both of the “New Jersey” group. The group of the year was also awarded, going to Florida, which was made up of 10-year-olds. They were overjoyed to hear the announcement that they had won. However, every camper came away a winner, having had fun and having learned new sporting techniques!