There are a myriad of options for Kitsap area youth and teens to spend their free time this summer.
The first week of June kicked off the start of the summer sports season as area high school coaches held camps from volleyball to basketball, just to name a few. It’s a chance for teammates to get back on the courts to continue building relationships and making new ones. Later this month the Olympic League summer volleyball and basketball seasons commence.
Sailing, gymnastics, softball, as well as art, drama and more are all offered, and of course, the teenage and pre-teen rite-of-passage, summer camp, is right around the corner. (Click here to check out the Kitsap Macaroni Kid link to the 2018 summer offerings).
North Kitsap volleyball held its annual camp this week at the high school. The two sessions, an earlier one for grades 9-12 and an evening session for grades 5-8, are the booster club’s main fundraiser for the volleyball program, NK volleyball coach Tim French said.
It’s also more relaxed than one of the varsity’s in-season practices during the fall season. The older players typically stick around for the later session and work with the young girls, helping them with their fundamentals.
French’s goal is for all the participants to have fun. That’s No. 1.
Second? Get them hooked on the game so they can find something they love to play.
“Just have fun and make friends and have a good time,” French said. “If they come and don’t have fun then it’s like ‘ugh.’
It’s a very informal camp.
“It’s on purpose,” he said. “Low key. I want them to have a lot of fun.”
— Annette Griffus (@AnnetteWSSports) June 7, 2018
Of course, there is a benefit to getting the team back together before school is finished.
“The older girls, they’re off playing club all the time so they’re split up,” he said. “The sooner I can get them playing on the same court at the same time it’s really beneficial for the program.”
For new players like Aayana Johnson, a freshman, she learned the camp is less intimidating as she’s still learning to play the game.
“This is the first time I’ve been to camp and I actually like it,” Johnson said. “It’s so exciting and everybody gives you great encouragement and teach you how to do stuff.”
Johnson said she started playing a little bit in eighth grade, but now with the camp under her belt she’s already decided to tryout for the team this fall as she starts her sophomore year. A big win for Johnson was to learn to serve overhand — which she accomplished.
Johnson had tried multiple other sports but nothing clicked until volleyball.
“I’m going to join the team next year, I’m ready,” she said. “This is a team I want to be on for a long time. And you can make friends just fast.”
North Kitsap junior Taylyn Boop, who came in first in points in tournament play on Thursday, has participated in the camp last year as well. Any chance she has to play with her friends, she enjoys.
“It’s definitely a lot (about) building the team together,” she said. “It helps with skills and stuff but in order to have a good team you have to work well together.”