Athletes and coaches have said GBS athletic summer camps have been a very effective and beneficial way for athletes to get in shape before tryouts and make an impression on the coaches. However, with the recent outbreak of coronavirus, Dr. Charles Johns, District 225 Superintendent, has announced that all camps scheduled for June have been canceled in accordance with the guidelines set by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, the current status of camps in July and August is still up in the air.
Kelly Dorn, girls’ varsity volleyball coach, has kept her camp time slot in mid-July. However, the dates of the camps were shortened, and are now scheduled to proceed from July 14 through July 20 instead of the originally scheduled dates of July 13 to July 23. So far, she fortunately has the same time slot for her camp as she has had in years past, but she still worries that they could be canceled.
“My camp is especially hard,” Dorn said. “The kids have found if they come to the camp, they’re better conditioned for tryouts. They then know what to expect and camp is a fun thing. A lot of kids go out to lunch afterwards or go play sand volleyball afterwards or they come from a sleepover the night before so it’s overall a bonding experience as well.”
Junior baseball player Danny Hood also enjoys the camps. He says they are a way to bond and get ready for the season, and players are able to practice different positions and overall get better.
“[The coaches] give you the opportunity to play positions that you’re interested in,” Hood said. “It’s less about focusing on improving as a whole team, it’s more like helping you as a player grow your skills.”
Sophmore football player Nolan Rachiele has attended the summer camps for the past two years and was upset when he heard about the possible cancellation of the camps.
“I was pretty upset because the whole summer camp is really to get to know your new teammates and start a bond with them, and if we won’t have a summer camp that takes that all away,” Rachiele said.
For now, there are still hopes that there will be camps this summer, though the exact schedule of them is still far from finalized, according to Johns. Athletes and coaches alike are anxious and hope the summer camps, even if shortened and altered can happen.
“The camps are important and honestly, we’re worried. I mean the coaches are really hoping and praying [the camps can go as scheduled].” Dorn said. “But like I said my hands are tied with this whole [COVID-19] thing and we just don’t know.”