Preparation for UP Training Camp has reached a fever pitch with campers due to arrive in mere hours. Folks around the campus are scurrying about, taking care of last minute tasks and getting ready to welcome the busses as they roll in through the gate. And there is excitement in the air, the anticipation of all the magic that will begin shortly. Returning coach Dani Glass talks shares her feelings about how one can never be fully prepared for UP Camp and how her experiences here have changed and affected her.
Ultimate Peace is underway once again. This is my fourth summer with UP, but my first training camp, and it is strange feeling as though I’m not sure what to expect. But I guess that’s the point – no matter how much we prepare for camp, it will always take us by surprise: the energy, the late nights, the fun, the exhaustion, the excitement, investment, exhilaration, and work ethic all around us from both coaches and campers. Most of all, though, nothing can prepare us for the love that will blossom and grow from the beginning to the end. As I said in our first “coach introduction,” the relationships are what keep me coming back. Not only my own, but those I have seen form, and last, in what to others might seem to be unlikely places.
Preparation Day #1 is in the books, and the UP staff, coaches, and CITs have spent an amazing day getting ready to welcome the buses of campers on Tuesday morning. We were interested in getting the perspective of a first-time UP coach, so these initial impressions come from Joey Shapiro.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I applied to participate as a coach at the Ultimate Peace Training Camp almost on a whim and was a little surprised when I got in. Excited, of course, but surprised. (I mean, building peace in the Middle East by teaching kids to play Ultimate? Sounded right up my alley.) I had clicked through reams of posted photos and watched video clips and interviews from the previous years of camp, read about the stated mission of the organization, and tried to piece together what participation entailed. Continue reading