Elliot Blumberg writes about the anticipation he and others feel for camp to start.
July the fourth brings a sense of pride and satisfaction for many Americans . It’s a day for fireworks, cookouts and contemplating the conquests of those gallant Americans who came before us.
For every Ultimate Peace administrator, coach and CIT, July the fourth, 2013 brings the arrival of our campers – all 121 of them. It will be a day for poster-board welcome signs, orientation, team-naming + building, dabke, horah, Cuban shuffle and (most importantly) layouts, layouts layouts.
We will have spent the last 48 hours together to prepare ourselves for these potential balls of butterfly energy, potential thick-shelled hermit crabs. 48 hours filled with icebreakers, team building, name games, skits, coaching skills, swimming, high fives, cheers, dancing, and of course: discs. We’ve rallied task and coaching teams, divied up responsibilities and locked down plans for that exciting and imminent first practice. Some of us make welcome posters. Others are in charge of music, down-time activities, tournament organization and dorm life. We’re a chaotic collaboration, a bushel of helping hands.
First-time coaches turn to sponges, our pores saturated to the corners. Power Points, speeches and practical demonstrations spill together in my memory like hot lava. Maybe there’s too much information to sift, but from what I gather (thanks to enthusiastic instruction) the following is the most important:
Remember the mantra: fun, integrity, mutual respect, friendship and non-violence.
Remember the three C’s: communication, collaboration and compassion.
Remember especially: embody the spirit of the game.
Bottom line: There’s nothing I’d rather do than welcome and sow the next crop of Middle Eastern ultimate discers (no offense, fireworks and charcoal grills). And I’m grateful to not be alone in that sentiment – this place is full of people on the balls of their feet, waiting for that moment to jump and say, “WELCOME! AHLAN WA SAHLAN! BRUCHIM HA’BAIM!”
The excitement and anticipation is tremendous – will the bus bring a wave of excitable, hard-core ultimate maniacs or uninterested introverts? Will they be shy, zealous, eager, obnoxious? How much English will they understand? Which teaching methods will they respond best to? Worrying is futile, so we bask in the unknowing.
But we’ll let you know – tune in tomorrow night.