summer camp, worth the money?

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Oct 2, 2009
336
USA
We have thought about gymnastics camp for the last several years. The trouble is, it is very expensive and I'm not sure which to choose. We have coaches that prefer different camps, IGC or Woodward, both in PA.

I am wondering if anyone has a preference or can say that summer camp is definitely worth it.:confused: They do get a lot for the cost but it is still a lot to dish out, especially with two!
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
I have to say my girls have loved their camp experiences at IGC and at GymRep in Quebec. It is worth if if you can afford it, but not every kid loves camp.

My oldest has been going since she was 7 and in fact today we have just cancelled her week at IGC for next summer as she has decided that it's not what she wants to do, she is now 13. Youngest is now 10 and this will be her 4th year of camp and she is so excited about going back to IGC.

My girls come from a very small club with limited facilities, so getting to use the strap bar, tumble track and a pit is seomthing pretty exciting for them. If you are already at a club with these things it may not be as awesome for them.

Both girls have met so many great people and my oldest is still in touch with many girls from camp. It has been a great exercise in independance too.

If you use the search bar at the top you will find many threads about summer camp, it is a hot topic here in spring.
 
B

Billy

Boo went to Flip Fest in TN for the first time this year and she absolutely loved it. She's been talking about going again next summer since she got home from this year's. LOL
 
P

PlatinumGymnast

yes definately!
i loved, loved camp when i went to it
it's great to meet new people. i made lots of new friends
it was a great experience and i learned a lot
 
T

taximom

My daughter has also gone to IGC and Gymrep. She enjoyed both of them very much. We are from a small gym 5000 sq ft. My daughter met many wonderful people and had the chance to brush upon some "life skills" while away at camp. My daughter's coaches always say she comes back to practice a bit "out of shape" but very motivated!
 

Granny Smith

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
1,444
I think camp is a great idea for the experience of going away to camp, creating the memories that will live with them forever.

I do not think gymnastics camp is "definitely worth it" from a gymnastics standpoint. They might get to try some new skills and stuff, but I wouldn't for one moment consider sending my child so that she can learn a new skill. Even if she were to pick up something new at camp the likelyhood that she would be able to do it when she returned to her gym would probably be slim. Her coaches have their own agenda and if the newly learned skill from camp is not on it, then it wouldn't get worked on upon her return from camp.

My dd has been to IGC and had a great time and a great experience. She has memories that will last a lifetime - no new skills, that she gets from her own gym. ;)
 

gymmom14

Proud Parent
May 21, 2008
427
I completely agree with Granny on this one. It is a great life experience. Being on your own and having such freedom and opportunity to make friends who have the same interests as you. But if you are sending your dd just for the gymnastics, it is definietly not worth it. My dd has gone to igc for 2 years and loves it. But every skill is spotted and done into a pit. My dd is a l7 and even her robhs was spotted. That being said she did work on twisting into the pit and fun stuff to her. She loved the whole camp experience.
 

CoachTodd

Coach
Proud Parent
Nov 4, 2009
810
North Carolina
We usually go to Camp Woodward. I've found over the years that the camp's value depends on many different things.
First is obviously the camp. What type of instruction is given? Who do they have coaching? Do they have a goal system set up? etc.

Next is the kid. Is this kid driven enough to work on their own on their goals? What kind of goals do they have for camp? Are they going to camp to work on a specific skill or just to have fun? etc.

Next is their coach going with them? If this is an option at the camps you attend, the coach can try to help the gymnast focus on the goals they have set for camp.

Depending on the level of the gymnast and what skills are being worked on, one week may not be enough time to get the new skill. If they are higher level, they should at least come home with a new way of looking at the skills they are working on if they don't have the time needed to actually perfect the skills.

... My dd has gone to igc for 2 years and loves it. But every skill is spotted and done into a pit. My dd is a l7 and even her robhs was spotted. That being said she did work on twisting into the pit and fun stuff to her. She loved the whole camp experience.

As far as a level 7 being spotted on handspring, I'm not really sure why they would be doing this unless there was a flaw in the skill. I've actually worked at some camps as coaching staff and can't recall spotting any skills that didn't really need spotting. (Just a preference of mine. I don't like being an unneeded crutch. Too many kids go backward skill wise when they start getting spots when they aren't needed)
 
C

cathiann

We have thought about gymnastics camp for the last several years. The trouble is, it is very expensive and I'm not sure which to choose. We have coaches that prefer different camps, IGC or Woodward, both in PA.

I am wondering if anyone has a preference or can say that summer camp is definitely worth it.:confused: They do get a lot for the cost but it is still a lot to dish out, especially with two!
'
My girls went to Lake Owen this past summer and loved it (it's owned by the same company as Woodward, I think). I think it's worth it--if you have the money. My girls wanted to go for the second week at half price, but we just couldn't afford it--maybe this year we'll plan ahead of time for it!
 
Oct 2, 2009
336
USA
Thank you all for the good advice and putting camp in perspective. I guess if you go into it with the thought that it is for fun and the experience, then that is what they'll get out of it. The skills, if any are a bonus.
 

bookworm

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
My daughter has gone to Woodward (PA) in the past and has enjoyed it from a camp stand point. The Woodward staff was always great to her and she enjoyed being coached by different college coaches that were there. Her coaches always went with the girls and the gym would set a schedule for them at the camp so I always wondered why we even did this...did we need to travel a few hours away from home to be coached by our own coaches?! And pay for the camp and the week at the gym too?! The part that was not enjoyable was having their own coaches lurking around , checking what they were (or were not) doing and having a fit about it.

Woodward isn't cheap (around 800 a week) and if I had to do it again, I'd pick a week our coaches did not go. I agree with a prior poster who said that from a gymnastics stand point , it's not worth it but from a "have fun at sleep away camp" standpoint, it was a positive experience for my daughter.
 

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,525
My gymmie has gone to LO(yes, owned by Woodward) for 2 yrs. She does go with a group from her gym and usually several parents who work that week and a couple of coaches. I would say for her its 50-50 regarding having the camp experience and working with different coaches and taking some skills up a level. She loves the coaches she gets to work with(mainly college coaches) and meeting gymnasts from other states.

As others have said don't expect a brand new skill to be learned in the week at camp. What I've seen is gymmie works on a skills she is already doing drills/progressions on at home gym and has come home doing more of the skill---she went this past year doing double back timers off bars and came home doing double backs into the pit. She said for the 1st day, there is alot of 2 coach spotting and once the coaches get a better feel of what the gymmie can safely do on her own, they back off.

What each girl gets out of the camp is really individual and comes down to what she puts into it. Some go simply to do minimal training and spend max time at the lake or just "hanging out." Obviously, you wouldn't see much(if any) improvement in their gymnastics.
 
Oct 23, 2009
167
South Central US

You might want to consider the following gymnastics camps:
Bela Karolyi's Camp (near Houston, TX)
Oklahoma State University, Norman, OK (near Oklahoma City)
Texas Womens University, Denton, TX (near Dallas)

These are all residence camps. Karolyi's has cabins. Oklahoma State University and Texas Womens universities have dorms. Camps run for a week at a time. They all have excellent coaches and great facilities.

There are also non-residence weekend camps. Bart Conner Gymnastics camp in Norman, OK is one of them. You will get to meet Bart and Nadia if they are in town. A real thrill for my little gymmie was getting coached on bars by Bart.

They are all very reasonably priced!
 
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Nov 11, 2009
6
My daughter went to Woodward this summer. It was her first experience away from home and it was rough at first. As far as the value of camp, I would say that if your child is self directed and motiviated, it is worth it. I would encourage a group of children going together - it's more fun that way!! Another factor is your child's skill level. My daughter has only been in gymnastics for one year now (she is currently l5). She started at the rec. level and after 6 or 7 months they moved her to level 5. At the time of camp, though, her skills were limited. This summer will be much more productive. Hope this helps!!
 
F

flippersmom

DD has gone to IGC for 4 years - will go back this year for her 5th. At first it was with teammates, last year she went just her. She loves it. She actually pays the deposit from Christmas and birthday money (birthday is day after Christmas). That's how I know she really wants to go.

I do not expect her to learn new skills, but she does get to try some more advanced skills with spots. This helps keep her interested in the sport as she sees what is ahead. She is not always spotted on skills she has, but I will say she volunteered for a spot on a tuck into the pit this summer when Shawn Johnson was doing the spotting even though she didn't need it!!!

She was actually at a meet this weekend helping after she competed. I was timing on bars and she recognized two of the girls competing who were from a different gym/different state because they had been in her cabin this summer. That was fun for her. If the main goal was just gymnastics, I don't think I'd send her.
 
Sportyfam5 - My DD will experience her first "real" camp this coming year at IGC. Needless to say, mom and I are a little nevous, and will remain this way until the day we pick her up from camp.

The true selling point for us was that we have yet to read or hear about any truely bad experience with either IGC or Westward. IGC just happens to be in the Poconos (where I grew up) ...and less then 45 minutes from grand-parents. Otherwise either camps are excellent choices.

As far as value goes -- We think of it as a 30+ hours worth of semi-private lessons with some of the top coaches in the nation, PLUS a pool AND rock climbing AND meals, AND cabins, AND campfires, AND games. $1000 (camp plus canteen) doesn't seem so bad when you break it down. It's hard money for sure... but worth it? From what i've read so far (in the last year) definately!

FWIW: I've seen some non-gym summer camps that offer far less - for far more.
 
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
I have brought my athletes to both Woodward & IGC. Woodward was great, both from a gym standpoint, and w/ the activities. There was a lot of time where the kids had no direction or planned activities however- and unless they really do the open workouts- it was not enough gymnastics for the higher level optional level kids.

IGC spots EVERYTHING- its their policy. My kids spent soooo much time waiting in line b/c every kid got spotted on everything-then they get corrections, then the next kid goes, get spotted & gets their corrections-all while the others wait. . There were such big groups on top of that, and most coaches did not have the room or chose not to set up return stations. I would not go back, even if somone offered us to attend for free. The coaches program was a waste of time & a joke, if I had paid for that portion, I would have been even more upset.

Woodward was def. worth it for the fun, friendships & activites, as well as the guest olympians.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
Wow I am surprised about your experience at IGC. I asked both my girls and our head coach and they said they got to do lots of things unspotted and they really learned some new stuff.
 
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
wow, im not sure how that happened to us- we were all very frustrated. I was very excited to go, but it was a tr:cool:uly horrible experience- which is too bad.

I enjoyed woodward a lot,as did the gymnasts. Im glad your kids had such a good experience.
 
wow, im not sure how that happened to us- we were all very frustrated. I was very excited to go, but it was a tr:cool:uly horrible experience- which is too bad.

I enjoyed woodward a lot,as did the gymnasts. Im glad your kids had such a good experience.

Unfortunately, the same thing happened to my friend at IGC, she was either a L5 or a L6 at the time, but was not allowed to do even a cartwheel w/out a spot:eek:. Needless to say, she did not go back to that camp again.
 
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