Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Should I Be A Cheerleader?

With all the local summer camp options in Loudoun, it's nice for kids to try various activities. It keeps the summer interesting and keeps them constantly learning, sampling different activities that may (or may not) be of longer term interest to them. After horseback riding camp, I enrolled my 6 year old daughter (Rachael) in a Cheerleading Camp with DMB Sports, which was held at the National Conference Center on the east side of Leesburg.

The first day, Rachael was a little apprehensive since she didn't know anyone there, but she quickly made new friends, and found a few kids that she knew from other local activities. And, she fell in love with her camp staffers, especially Lauren who she said reminded her of me. (Isn't that sweet?)

The two weeks there were ones she'll remember for a long time. Each day, they'd swim. They played games and had many activities other than cheerleading. DMB is careful to make sure that having fun is more important than someone learning whatever cheer or whatever they are teaching that day. But, they did, of course, practice cheers and gymnastics. They learned some stunts - mostly what Rachael learned was she was scared to do stunts, but at least she was making an educated decision having had the opportunity to learn.

DMB also brings in a professional athlete to each camp, and Rachael got to meet Katie and Ana from the Washington Redskin Cheerleaders, and has a bring home souvenir with autographs. she was THRILLED. After that experience, she has decided she will be a cheerleader when she grows up. I doubt that she will, but if I can just get her to sit down with us and watch a football game, I'll be thrilled.

On the last day of camp, they had a cheer show. We really made Rachael feel special...grandma, two of her brothers, dad and I all came to see her show her stuff. It was a nice show, and I know that all the girls felt very good about having learned something that they could show off.

Rachael took one of the later camps in the year, but I will be looking forward to signing her up again next year. DMB offers many summer and holiday camp programs in eastern Loudoun County. Camps include Art Camp, Echo Camp and many various sports camps. Check them out online at

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On a scary note: Rachael was in the pool with other campers when a 6 year old little boy had a terrible accident. He was noticed at the bottom of the deep end of the pool. He was not breathing and had no pulse. Emergency services were called and he was revived poolside, and then taken to Loudoun Hospital, where they quickly transferred him to Fairfax Hospital. Each update I've received is positive, but it was very scary and the little boy was in the hospital for many days as they drained the water from his lungs.
Throughout this, DMB communicated WELL with other parents. I do not know exactly what happened, it is so easy for an accident like this to take place with children. PLEASE, make sure your children know their limits and do not succumb to peer pressure and venture to a deeper end of the pool. And, teach your children how to swim early, or keep them out of the pool all together. Teach them how to react when they fall into the pool. Not panicking can be the difference between life and death. Our children are just too precious.
My prayers continue to be with that little boy and his family. I'd like to think DMB for being so quick to respond, and so proactive about their communication with other parents.

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