On Friday, Chris and I were privileged to attend the San Mateo Youth Ultimate camp. The Bay Area Disc Associate hosts five such camps for youth aged 8-14 throughout the summer. Each camp runs for a full week from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon.
Youth Director Valerio Iani explained that he designed the curriculum to teach kids the basics of the game while mixing in other activities to keep them interested. The kids run drills and scrimmage frequently, but they also play games like disc golf and frisbee tag. We even got to join in ln a few of the activities since there were only 15-20 kids this weeks. Other camps in the area have drawn as many as 45 participants.
Whatever the curriculum entails, its clear that it is working for a number of kids. Maggie Ruden, the San Mateo Head Counselor, says that the kids improve a lot throughout the week and they really enjoy the camp. In her third year as a counselor, she has seen a number of kids return for a second or third year. This year, she even has a former camp participant on her counseling staff.
Val, Maggie, and the Bay Area Disc Association have done a great job in creating an outlet for young children to learn to play Ultimate. We wish them the best of luck in continuing to inspire kids to pick up this sport. As you can see, some of this kids are going to become really good, spirited Ultimate players.
For more information on these youth camps, visit bayareadisc.org.