‘Star Wars’-themed volleyball camp builds skills, program

By Gini Davis

The Creswell Chronicle

The ‘force’ was with 50 young volleyball players last week as the Creswell High School volleyball team hosted their annual youth camp June 21, 22 and 23 in the CHS gym.

“It was fantastic to see the up-and-coming talent for Creswell volleyball,” said CHS Head Volleyball Coach Anna Baltrusch. “I’m so excited for the future!”

This year’s camp, conducted by Baltrusch with CHS players serving as camp counselors, carried a “Star Wars” theme. The black-and-gold camp T-shirts read “May the Spike Be with You,” and Baltrusch and camp counselors took turns donning a Yoda backpack and Princess Leia braided hat.

“Star Wars” music played in the background, and a lightsaber and Darth Vader helmet were also on hand. The camp’s Shipwreck game was redubbed the Millennium Falcon Wreck.

“I wanted something fun and different for our theme this year, and the kids seemed to enjoy it,” Baltrusch said.

With 29 incoming fourth, fifth and sixth graders attending Kid Camp from 9 a.m. to noon and 18 incoming seventh, eighth and ninth graders participating in the afternoon Junior Camp, the number of campers was greater than past years.

“This was the first time I’ve ever almost run out of T-shirts,” Baltrusch said.

Campers learned fundamentals such as passing, setting, serving and hitting, position work and teamwork. A tournament held the final day allowed campers to put it all together and show their stuff.

A variety of fun skill-building games, including Shipwreck (Millennium Falcon Wreck), Shark and Super Splat rounded out the activities.

Campers also puzzled through daily clues to guess a Mystery Item located somewhere in the gym. The first Kid and Junior Camper to guess their Mystery Item won a volleyball signed by CHS players.

Paige Cranmer correctly guessed Baltrusch’s water bottle as the Kid Camp Mystery Item, while Harmony Goodman was first to identify Baltrusch’s old lanyard and keys as the Junior Camp Mystery Item.

The cost of camp was $35. Each camper received a T-shirt and a certificate. “Their certificates were really cute; they had Yoda on them and he is saying, ‘The volleyball force is strong in this one,’” Baltrusch said.

All proceeds help support the CHS volleyball program.