Summer sports camps for kids shape the next generation of Hawks

Over the summer, Cosumnes River College sponsors a variety of community education classes in the form of sports camps for kids and young adults.

This summer volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis and swimming are all being offered. The campus will provide use of their athletic facilities for the camps.

The classes are organized by age and skill, and CRC head volleyball coach and summer volleyball camp director Cassie Baxter said participating in any camp gives youngsters a new experience and a chance to build their skill sets.

“This summer camp allows the youth in our area to enhance their skills while being on a college campus,”  Baxter said. “Being able to see our state of the art facilities and interacting with current CRC athletes gives the child an opportunity to envision themselves at that level.”

Summer swim lessons were the first program offered when CRC opened in 1970 and remain the most popular camp to this day, said athletic director Liz Belyea.

“We run about 1,400 kids through that every summer,” Belyea said.

Each camp has its own goals and activities, like volleyball which is offered to children ages 10 to 17 at the beginner/intermediate and intermediate/advance levels, Baxter said.

“These skills camps are designed to focus on all aspects of the game with an emphasis on fundamentals,” Baxter said. “Drills and games are geared toward specific age and ability groups.”

Baxter said that both individual and team training as well as practice and play repetitions are emphasized.

Head swim coach, and director of the swimming camp for the past seven years, Elizabeth Abrams said that teaching water safety is her program’s main focus.

“Water safety is our number one goal. We are a community with lakes, rivers and pools surrounding us,” Abrams said. “We hope that these campers will go away from our program with the knowledge and ability to safely swim independently. In addition to safety, teaching the proper techniques and strokes provide the swimmers with a skill set they can use as they expand their participation in other aquatic programs in the community.”

Swim lessons are offered from the toddler level to beginning adult classes and private lessons.

Some camps also reward participants for their hard work.

“Camp ends with an all-camp tournament and awards ceremony,” Baxter said. “Each day ends with a number one Attitude Award and number one Hustle Award from each team with a chance for a $5 Jamba Juice Award.”

Abrams said that the last day of the swim camp is the one the kids enjoy the most in her program.

“The best part of Summer Swim is the last day of each session,” Abrams said. “There is always a theme, staff dress up and fun games are a must. The kids love to see their swim instructor dressed up as their favorite Disney character.”

Prices vary by camp, but are very comparable to programs offered elsewhere, Belyea said.

“Our summer swim program goes five days a week for two weeks while a lot of the other ones are four days a week for two weeks and charge about the same amount, so we are pretty competitive,” Belyea said.

There are also discounts for enrolling siblings, according to the Hawks website.

While coaches and CRC faculty serve as directors, the program reaches into the community to find other staff.

“The people who teach, that we are really proud of, for summer swim that we have come in are a lot of kinesiology majors from Sac State,” Belyea said. “We really try to have good quality staff rather than just people who are marking time.”

Campers can show off their new skills at other community events held on campus during the break like the Volleynation volleyball two day doubles tournament for all ages and levels on Aug. 8 and 9.

For more information about the camps, enrollment or pricing visit: