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Olympic Parks start summer camps

The Utah Olympic Park (UOP) has taken summer camp to the extreme. These camps aren’t of the average lanyard-making and graham-cracker-eating variety. Instead, people are invited to slide, jump and ride their way into a whole new summer camp experience with camps offered in everything from luge to freestyle and ski jumping. Some of the camps are even open to adults.

But the UOP camps are about more than just offering a new twist on the old camp experience. They are also part of larger vision to expand the scope of the park.

According to Utah Olympic Park Public Relations Director of Sport and Community Development Alison Butz, the park is focused on trying to bring more people up the hill to experience all that the venue has to offer.

"We’re starting to put our foot in the water," Butz said. "We want to get more people aware of the Park and involved in the sport programs."

She said that the focus of the park is expanding to showcase the world-class facilities as well as becoming a busy training ground for larger numbers of athletes. The summer camps are a vital part of this endeavor as they give people a place to try the various sports and learn more about them. With camps that require little or no prior experience, it’s a good opportunity to get a variety of kids involved.

"These programs are a perfect place for people to start," Butz said.

Even if people find that a sport isn’t for them, these camps help with overall exposure for the park’s resident sports programs.

"That’s the thing," Butz said. "If you find out it isn’t something for you, you can still be a part of the sport as a volunteer or official."

The National Sports Foundation (NSF) is leading the charge on trying to expand its scope at least geographically. According to small hills coach Jason "Crash" Jentzch, the NSF is taking the "show on the road," so to speak. This summer, it will send a van down to Salt Lake twice a day to take kids to and from a week-long camp. Jentzch said that by expanding the program and making it available around the Salt Lake Valley. They can introduce their sport to a much larger pool of athletes. And by using van transportation, the NSF hopes to make camp attendance feasible for as many kids as possible.

"We’re excited that Salt Lake kids will participate," Jentzch said. "I’m trying to do this and shoot for everyone."

The camp will also have some traditional components. One day the campers will do a tie-dye craft, another they will do team-building at the National Ability Center.

"You can’t ski jump all day," laughed Jentzch.

The rest of the time will be spent working on the smaller hills at the park and doing some tumbling work at Black Diamond Gymnastics.

Perhaps the best part of the camp is that kids need no prior experience. Jentzch said that some exposure to skiing is helpful but not absolutely necessary.

Axis Freeride and FLY Freestyle are also trying to open their doors to more people. All summer long, from June 9 through Aug. 24, they will offer a one-day introductory class that is open to anybody who is physically able to participate. The class allows visitors and curious locals the opportunity to give freestyle a try. The class takes little or no pre-planning. Axis Freeride director Chris "Hatch" Haslock said that people may sign-up for the class beforehand or even the day of the class. The class runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily and focuses primarily on the water ramps.

"Darn near everybody can do it that has reasonable physical ability and desire," Haslock said.

For those who want a more in-depth freestyle class, Axis offers Tri-Axis, a three-day camp, which introduces participants to both the water ramps and the trampoline. The camp runs from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. FLY Freestyle offers a similar camp that runs for two days during the week. For those who want to make their freestyle experience last all week, Axis has teamed up with FLY Freestyle’s two-day freestyle camp. Participants receive a 10-percent discount for taking a week-long camp. Haslock does recommend that only intermediate skiers and advanced snowboarders sign up for the longer camps. Snowboarders should also bring their own boards, but wetsuits and other equipment is provided.

The longer camps are open to adults and skiers ages six and up and riders age eight and up.

"This is for everybody," Haslock said. "A lot of families will come and do it."

Axis is also gearing up for its annual females-only ramp camp, the Roxy Pop Drop Camp. The three-day camp is coached entirely by women and allows females to learn and excel in a supportive, ladies-only environment. The camp is sponsored by Roxy, so participants will also receive a Roxy T-shirt and the chance to win Roxy-brand prizes. It will end with a jam session, where the girl campers can show off their skills.

"There will be lots of girl power going on," Haslock said.

Axis also offers 5- and 10-punch passes for people who want to drop in on regular freestyle training for a day.

According to FLY Freestyle Summer Program Manager Tim Preston, they will also be offering a multitude of freestyle camps from the very short to ones run all summer-long. Skiing experience is recommended for all FLY programs. They have a half-day introductory program with Axis. They also offer a two-day camp of their own. For more intensive training, their summer-long camp meets twice a week, June through August.

Wasatch Luge is also offering camps this summer for kids to get their feet wet in the fastest sport on ice. Within the Olympic Adventure Camps, kids can take a two-hour clinic that puts them on wheeled sleds and tests their skill and aptitude for the sport. This class will also be offered in a stand-alone format on Aug. 6 and Sept. 8 from 6-8 p.m. Western regional director for USA Luge Jon Owen explains that this clinic measures potential and is the same class that the organization has been running for years to find luge athletes. Olympian Brian Martin first started in the sport after a similar clinic in his hometown of Palo Alto, Calif.

"Almost our entire U.S. Luge Team came through this program," Owen said.

The stand-alone classes are free and designed for boys and girls ages 9-13 only. For more information on stand alone-clinics and other opportunities in luge, call Owen at 647-3800 or visit http://www.wasatchluge.org

For kids wanting to try a little bit of everything the park has to offer, an Olympic Legacy Camp will give youth a broad brush of 10 sports in four days at all three of the Olympic parks the UOP, Soldier Hollow and the Olympic Oval in Kearns.

For more information on all of the UOP camps, call 658-4208 or visit olyparks.com.

Box:

Utah Olympic Park is host to a wide variety of summer camps and clinics for

kids ages six and up. From one-day intro camps to summer-long programs, there are

plenty of opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Olympic Legacy Camp

10 Olympic winter sports in four days: biathlon, speed and figure Skating, curling, luge, bobsled, freestyle, skeleton, ski jumping and ice hockey

Ages 9-14

July 8-11, July 15-18, July 22-25, July 29-Aug.1, Aug. 5-8

$395 / session

_

Freestyle Camps

Air Intro

A half day camp for anyone interested in jumping into the pool.

Intro camps offer an introduction to the basics of freestyle and freeride aerials.

Ages 6 and up

June 9 through Aug. 24

Mondays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1p.m. daily

Aug. 27 through Sept. 1

Wednesdays through Mondays, 3-6 p.m. each day

$95 per person (includes equipment and Utah Olympic Park daily Pass)

FLYTE CAMP

Two-day camp Monday (2-8 p.m.)

and Tuesday (2-8 p.m.)

Sessions offered June 9-August 19

$365 per person

(Includes equipment, meal both days

and Utah Olympic Park daily passes)

Ages 8 & up

TRI-AXIS CAMP

Three-day camps Thursday (2-8 p.m.),

Friday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and

Saturday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Sessions offered June 19-21, June 26-28,

Roxy All Girls Camp, July 10-Aug. 23

$395 per person

(Includes equipment, meal all three days

and Utah Olympic Park daily passes)

Ages 8 & up

FLY-AXIS CAMP

Five-day camp Monday (2-8 p.m.)

Tuesday (2-8 p.m.), Thursday (2-8 p.m.),

Friday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and

Saturday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Sessions offered June 16-21, July 7-Aug. 23

$692 per person

(Includes equipment, meal all five days

and Utah Olympic Park daily passes)

Ages 8 & up

Roxy Pop Drop Water Ramp Camp Taught by an all female coaching staff, this three-day camp, co-sponsored by Axis Freeride and Roxy, will allow girls to perfect flips, spins, and grabs on water ramps and trampolines before taking them to the snow next winter. This camp is perfect for all ages and abilities, skiers and snowboarders. The camp includes entry into the Roxy Pop Drop Jam on the last camp day. June 26-28

Thursday 1-7:30 p.m.

Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (with the Roxy Pop Drop Jam from noon-1 p.m.)

FLY Private Lessons

Three-hour lessons tailored to exactly what you want to work on, or try, based on ability level. Ages 6 and up

Three hour lessons available seven days a week (unless pool is closed)

May 30 through Sept. 27

Request a three-hour time slot between 9:a.m. and 8 .m.

$250.00 (includes equipment and Utah Olympic Park daily passes.)

If more than one participant, add $85 dollars for each additional participant. Limit: 5 total.

FLY Summer-Long Programs

Fly Summer Camp

(new this season) Learn the fundamentals of freestyle aerials and new school.

Two mornings a week for 9 weeks.

Ages 6-12

Monday and Tuesday mornings (June 9-Aug. 13) 9 a.m.-noon

Ages 13 and up

Friday and Saturday mornings (June 9-Aug. 13) 9 a.m.-noon

$950.00 (includes equipment and Utah Olympic Park Daily passes)

Requirements: Current USSA membership is required for this program

For more information, contact Tim Preston at tim.preston@olyparks.com .

NORDIC ‘SUMMER’ SKI CAMP

This five-day camp introduces kids to the Nordic sports

of ski jumping and cross-country skiing.

Monday Friday (9 a.m.- 3 p.m.)

July 14-18 or Aug. 4-8

$350 per person

(Includes equipment rental and t-shirt)

Ages 7 – 12

VISA LEARN TO FLY CAMP

This half day (9 a.m.-noon) or

full day camp (9 a.m.- 3 p.m.) offers an

introduction to ski jumping on Fridays.

June 13, 20, 27, July 25, Aug. 15

$50 half day or $60 full day

(Both include equipment rental and T-shirt)

Ages 7-13

Summer luge, bobsled and skeleton

summer programs also available.

Information provided by the Utah Olympic Park


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