Cheer Eaglets camp keeps participants wanting more

Cheer Eaglets camp keeps participants wanting more

June 15th, 2011 by Emily Crisman in Community Signal mountain

SMHS Cheer Eaglets summer camper Francie Hunt, 8, a third-time participant this year, and SMHS cheerleader Mary Claire Culpepper take a break. The camp will be held in the SMHS gym Monday, June 20 through Friday, 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contributed photo

The entire Signal Mountain High School cheerleading squad will be busy leading the third annual Cheer Eaglets summer camp in the SMHS gym Monday, June 20 through Friday, 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Open to potty-trained campers from age 4 to rising fifth-graders, the camp is so popular with participants it has been lengthened from four to five days this year.

"We took a survey at the end of the year, and everyone said they would prefer a five-day camp," said SMHS cheerleading coach and camp director Laura Willingham.

The camp had 70 participants last year, and she said she recognizes many of the names on this year's registration forms as returning campers.

"We laugh a lot and play lots of games, and they get to hang out with the big cheerleaders," she said. "A lot of the girls they see on the sidelines at the games, and this way they get to know them personally."

The extra day will offer campers the opportunity to learn a few more cheers as well as giving them a longer length of time to practice the dance they will perform at the camp exhibition for parents.

"We show off what we've learned for the week," said Willingham, which in addition to cheers and a dance includes basic tumbling, jumps, a few chants, and basic stunting.

"It's fun doing stunts and learning cheers and meeting the high school cheerleaders," said 8-year-old Francie Hunt, a two-year veteran Eaglet who plans to return every year and eventually become a high school cheerleader.

The cost of the camp is $135 for one camper and $125 for each additional camper, and registration is open until the first day of camp.

For more information, contact Luane Culpepper at 432-3503.