Ike tradition | News, Sports, Jobs

Ike tradition | News, Sports, Jobs

This week’s camp draws 88 young cheerleaders

This week’s camp draws 88 young cheerleaders

Alaina Seymour practices during a cheer camp run this week by Eisenhower counselor Nikki Chapman. On the same subject : O-Zone: Perfect fit.

Photo credit: Steve Younger

It was the idea of ​​longtime Eisenhower cheerleading advisor Nikki Chapman to hold a small, fun cheerleading camp fundraiser for her team.

But after hundreds of kids over the past 10 years, it’s grown into a homecoming week tradition for Chapman and her varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders.

“When my daughter Cali was in kindergarten, I had the idea to use the (kindergarten through fifth grade) cheer camp as a fundraiser, and after she got to second grade, it became a tradition,” Chapman said. “I really thought it would be a great way to teach younger kids how much fun it is to support a football team through cheerleading.”

Ten-year-old Julianna Maze, who is attending her fourth camp and plans to one day be an Eisenhower cheerleader herself, says it’s “a lot of fun.”

“You learn a lot of cheers and dance routines,” she said, “and just being with your friends.”

Chapman, left, shares a moment with varsity cheerleader Abi Grunden.

Photo credit: Steve Younger

Over the years, the mini-camp has had a wide range of participants – from 30 campers one year to a high of 97 campers the second year, with 88 campers participating this year. A camp that ran Tuesday through Thursday, with camp cheerleaders able to help cheer at the Friday night varsity football game.

Eisenhower’s varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders take the lead during camp, and Chapman doesn’t lose it.

“The sweetest part is seeing the campers, or little ones as I like to call them, develop a relationship with the older girls,” she said. “They’re the ones the little ones look up to for hugs and look up to.”

For Chapman, whose daughter started at the camp as a kindergartner and is now a sophomore on the cheerleading squad at Eisenhower, she pauses to look at how he grew up and what he means to her.

“I just can’t believe it’s been ten years,” Chapman said. “I still have the drawings my kids gave me. I still get hugs and most of my cheerleaders on the team went through the camp at some point. Time flies so fast. When Cali is a senior, it will come full circle.”

Some of the 88 campers are working on a drill.

Photo credit: Steve Younger

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