Is going away to a Summer Camp beneficial for New Gymnast?

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Mar 5, 2008
North America
My 9 year old daughter is interested in taking some time off cheer and doing gymnastics full time starting in April. She has been cheering since she was 6 yrs old and just started taking gymnastics classes. Would it be beneficial for her to go away to camp--I was thinking about Woodward in PA. Her gym where she is taking classes and will be training for gymnastics at has an all day summer camp that I plan to put her in during the summer. I'm just wondering if she is "too new" to the sport to go somewhere as prestigeous and pricy as Woodward. I've heard great things about it and think it would be an awesome experience for her, I'm just not sure she is ready for something that intense. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated!!!
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My daughter went to camp after she competed level 5 last summer. She loved it and they taught her so much and made many new friends from the other gyms. I was told that camp is good for people that have been in gym a while and will really take in everything they learn. The lowest level they taught was I believe level 5 at camp.
I really think that it depends on the camp. AT the camp my girls go to they have beginners through national level, everyone has a great time. However camps like Woodward and IGC seem to really only cater to the competitive gymnast.

Not sure where you live, but you can always make some phone calls and just ask all the right questions. You daughter is a beginner, but not in every way.
My opinion would be to have her attend the local gym camp for this summer while she gets used to beam, bars and vault. Once she's had a year of competition then an away camp might be a good idea. There is alot to learn about each event---not just tricks and I think a year or so of solid basics will benefit her at this point.
Our head coach encourages new/pre-Team kids to attend his camp to learn & practice the "basics".

My DD and her teammates have been going to ICG and I only know competitive gymnasts that go there, however, one of my DD's best friends from school is NOT a gymnast, and has attended gymnastics camp at Woodward for 2 yrs and loves it there.
My daughter went to IGC the summer before last (and had a blast!) after her level 7 year. There were at least two rec gymnasts in the cabin.

Now that my daughter does almost 30 hours of gymnastics a week, my daughter will attend a "traditional" summer camp this year. I want her to experience a week of fun camp activities. It seems that this sport can take over every aspect of a child's life!
I would say it depends on the camp. If she is going to a fun camp probably it wouldn't help. But if shes somewhere hard core gymnastics camp It would do good.
Woodward I have heard only does gymnastics 3 hours a day or some really low amount a day.
IMHO the newer you are to gymnastics, the more benefit you get from a summer camp. Conversely, the older and more advanced you are, the less benefit you get. Think about it -- if you are a gymnast, are you going to let a new coach try and teach you a new and potentially spine-shattering skill over the course of a week?

Naturally, this does not apply to the teaching of basics, at which camps excel. At the compulsory level, even traditional road-block skills, like back handsprings on beam, really aren't that dangerous.

Basically the goals of any summer camp are (in no particular order): to reinforce the "fun" aspect of gymnastics, to make new friends, to pick up a new perspective on some skills, to make connections within the gymnastics community. One of the coaches at a summer camp started following dd's career and offered her a full ride scholarship as a result.
Hmmm, if she interested then that's a possibility. My dd goes to IGC, she's a L6 and has done 1 year of cheerleading.

Woodward does both cheerleading and gymnastics with a lax schedule of 3 hours either am or pm, campers choice.

IGC has a rigid schedule and only gymnastics.

All levels are welcomed at both camps.

You might want to try a local camp, if available.
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