When you’re a kid…summer is the best! No school means sleeping in and having plenty of time to catch up on non-scholarly pursuits. Whether it’s playing video games, watching TV or going to skateboard camp, it’s easily every kid’s favorite time of the year. However, today is July 15th…and, with July almost being half over, most kids in the metro Atlanta are will be back in school in a couple weeks. With that being said, one of our favorite things about summer is being able to host a skateboard camp at Swift-Cantrell through the city of Kennesaw. What skateboarder doesn’t enjoy sharing the love of skateboarding with the next generation of rippers?
The camp has been going strong for a few summers now and it’s great to see some of shop’s riders braving the heat to teach. Not only are the campers stoked to learn the basics of skating but equally they are excited to learn about the culture. Here’s a glimpse into life as a camper:
Also, since camp is so awesome, I wanted to get some perspective on the camp from the instructors on what they love and hate about camp.
The best part about skate camp is the kids and how fast they progress. It blows my mind every week how new and clueless most of the kids are to skateboarding and how by the end of the week they know how to do all the basics and even a few tricks. Some of the best highlights are the different ways each kid celebrates when they do something new and have been trying to learn for a awhile, that they never thought they would ever land. For example, one camper always wanted to drop in on a quarter pipe and once he landed one and rolled away he just screamed, with his hands doing rock on fist in the air.
Skate Camp is awesome because my friends and I get the opportunity to literally cultivate the upcoming generation of skateboarders. I love getting to be hands on with each kid, and try to push them to try things that they maybe never thought they could do. The worst part is the heat. Everybody feels it, but I love just encouraging everyone to stay hydrated, to drink water, and to work at their own pace. Every kid is unique, and can offer something different to the camp experience. Between seeing new faces and old from week to week. I can easily say that skate camp is one of my favorite things that I get to be a part of.
Teaching skate camp at Swift Cantrell park has been a blast for me. It gives me a nostalgic feeling from when i was younger going to Progressive Skate Park camps in canton. Most of the kids that enroll genuinely want to learn and keep skating after the camp is done. I’d have to say the best part about skate camp is running into the kids later on and seeing how much they’ve progressed since the last time you skated with them. It makes you feel like you’ve made a positive difference in they’re life. A lot of cool kids have come through and even a few teenagers. No matter how old they are, it’s always awesome to see kids slam super hard and get right back up to try again. That’s what skating is all about. It’s about pushing yourself just over your comfort level and seeing what you’re really capable of. There have been many memorable moments during the time we’ve been doing the camps but honestly the most memorable ones are when they finally land what they’ve been working on and realize that as long as you want it you can do anything.
Now i can only name a couple of downsides to skate camp. Obviously the summer heat would take the energy out of most people, but for some reason it feels like the heat is magnified at that park haha.
The only other thing that kind of ticks me off is when parents sign they’re kids up just to get them out of the house. I get it. You don’t want your kid to be a couch potato, but that doesn’t mean skateboarding is what they want to do. Skating involves repeatedly slamming, getting back up and trying again. I feel like skateboarding is for athletic people who don’t quite fit into or don’t wanna be involved in other sports. So when a kid shows up and clearly has no intention on trying and acts like they’re being forced into it, its a bummer. Either way, we try to stoke them up as much as we can but in the end, it all depends on how much they want it.