This past week, some of my best hockey friends and I got together for our annual week long conference where we practice tying skates and yelling at kids.
That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s the simplest explanation for how we spend the second week in August. After thinking about it, I realized that this past year was my 10th year with the camp, as either a camper, counselor, or coach. The camp has only been running for 11 years. I was reminiscing with some of the other old timers about how in the early days, some of the kids who lived further away would all bus into camp in the morning. After this past year, I think I’ve officially been every level that I could potentially be at this camp: started as a camper, went on to be a counselor, then a goalie coach, and this year I became an official coach and ran a few sessions during the week.
It’s always a ton of fun to be back with the old crew, which is sometimes filled with some new faces.
There are the Hackett’s of course, who run the camp along with my family and I.
Then there’s the Tomann’s, who are new to the camp but are always willing to do whatever it takes to help the campers.
Making her second straight appearance is Rachel, who is one of my best friends from home.
Brandon Harkin, who helped out with the goalies now that I graduated to full time coach.
I love all of them and I’m so glad that I got to spend all of that time with them. We really bond over those few days and become closer than we would normally have been. Yes, we sit around in the locker rooms and tie skates and yell at the kids for being too loud or taking too much time getting dressed, but at the end of the day we all do it because we love it, and because we all love each other.
- There was one day where I was in the sort of mood and wasn’t going to be taking anyones shit, and the kids were being really rowdy at lunch and the counselors couldn’t reign them in, so I stood up and put them in their place. Needless to say they listened for the rest of the day.
- One kid was a bit sad and when my brother asked him why, he said that no one appreciated him. A classic kid problem.
- One of the few girls at the camp was lying on the ice and when asked if she could take a knee, she asked if she could take a lie down instead.
- My team won (most of) the relay races that we competed in, and I almost crashed into the boards when they had to push me on the chair.