Cheer Camp Inspires Youngsters


Katie Erickson, Staff Writer

Cheer coach Jessica Herndon hosted a cheerleading clinic for children under the age of 14 on November 5-7. The participants learned 3 routines and had the opportunity to perform at the Campolindo football game against Dublin on Friday, November 8.

Herndon and her high school cheerleaders facilitated the clinic.

“I think it has been going really well. All of the girls have been picking up the cheers and the dance really fast. They are really attentive and really interested in cheering,” said sophomore Brooke Finegold.

Ages ranged from 3 to 14 years. All of the participants were taught the same cheers. “We are doing it a little different this year. Before they were all split up into groups, and this year we decided to do it in one big group to encourage everyone and to make them feel like they were part of a team,” said Herndon.

“We taught ‘Got Spirit,’ a chant called ‘Go Cougars,’ and another cheer to the kids. The kids learned different jumps and basic motions for routines,” said Herndon.

“They learned 3 different cheers and a short dance. We are basically focused on their motions so they will be prepared to be cheerleaders in the future,” Herdon explained.

The fee to attend the clinic was $80 and all participants received t-shirts, bows, and pom-poms.

According to Herndon, the clinic was more than an opportunity to develop physical skills. “Little kids already have leadership and spirit skills, but now we can hone in on them and have them control it and be able to use it better,” said Herndon.

The high school cheerleaders were a vital resource. “We go over the motions of the dance really slow and we play games to keep them interested. We give them breaks and we go around and fix what they are doing. We tell them, patiently, how to do all of the right steps,” said Finegold.

At the football game on November 8, the youngsters joined the high school cheerleaders on the field. “We will be performing with the children on Friday night. We will be cheering on the sides and doing a half-time dance with them,” said Finegold, prior to the performance.

“For the game, I want them to know it’s ok to go out and make mistakes as long as you are having fun. The biggest thing is for them is to just enjoy themselves,” said Herndon.

According to Finegold, the clinic was a great way to bond with her teammates while helping the younger kids. “It is definitely a great experience for our team to be able to coach the kids together and be an authority figure to them,” said Finegold.

There will be another 3 day cheer camp, hosted by Campolindo, during the winter basketball season.

Herndon believes it is important for children to know that cheerleading is an entertaining and rewarding sport. “I want them to know cheerleading is fun and is respected by everybody. It’s not something that should be looked at differently than any other sport,” said Herndon. “I really want the kids to have fun. That’s most important. I want them to know that cheerleading is a really fun and encouraging sport.”