April 29, 2014 by Ultiworld in Sponsored with 5 comments
The National Ultimate Training Camp, the country’s premier youth ultimate summer camp, is set for a bigger and better 2014. With camps running throughout July, and more offerings than ever before, we asked director Tiina Booth ten questions about NUTC and what players can expect.
1) Why should a player come to the National Ultimate Training Camp?
The number #1 reason is to spend a week in a temporary community that is 100% dedicated to ultimate. If you are a middle school or high school player, you are on the front line of the War Against Ultimate. College and club players can pretty much arrange their lives so they are not in direct contact with haters on a daily basis. Youth players do not have that luxury. At NUTC, we provide a solid environment where loving our sport is 100% normal. Making friends with ultimate players all over the country (and world) is also a benefit. When campers return home, they are much more confident in their skills, strategy, and, most importantly, knowledge that they are making a great choice to play ultimate.
2) What new programs are coming to NUTC this year?
As many of you know, we had some serious discussion about gender in ultimate via the article by Emily Baecher. In that spirit, we are offering, for the first time ever, a camp that is solely dedicated to girls who play (or want to play) ultimate. NUTC Girls runs from July 26-31 and counselors at this point include Sophie Herscu, Claire Chastain, and Leila Tunnell. So if you are a 14 year-old girl, you have three choices: regular NUTC, NUTC Prep for middle-schoolers, or NUTC Girls. And if you know of any female players, please tell them about these options.
3) What does a day at NUTC look like? What should players expect?
Players should expect to work hard during the day while having a lot of fun at night. Each day is divided into two 3-hour sessions, with a variety of lessons and drills. We spend lots of time scrimmaging and every Wednesday is dedicated to a day-long tournament. At the end of every day, we have access to the pool during Rec Hour. Campers can also play disc golf, learn how to play Pitch Nut, or just relax during that time. At night we have a Camper-Counselor Game or Trade Night or Game Night or anything else that the counselors dream up.
4) Who are some notable NUTC graduates?
Since we have been around since 2001, the list is pretty long. If you look at this year’s WJUC boys team, about a third of the players attended NUTC, many of them for three or four years. Sam Kanner, Emily Baecher, Amber Sinicrope, Will Neff, Leila Tunnell, Andrew Hollingworth, George/India/John Stubbs, Sophie/Misha/Jonah Herscu, Drake/Sam Greenwood, Kevin Riley, Joe Anderson, Jordan Taylor, Chris Kocher, Mark Vandenberg, Brice Dixon, Elliot Erickson, Jenny Fey, Michaela Meister, Chris Kosednar, Grant Lindsley, Christian Foster, Alex Evangelides, Logan Weiss, Tim Morrissey, Dylan Wolff, and many more in the last 14 years. Please feel free to name more in the comments below.
5) Who are some of the counselors at this year’s NUTC?
Here is a partial list of who will be working this summer: Brent Anderson, Joe Costello, Claire Chastain, Amos Adams, Leila Tunnell, Sam Greenwood, John Stubbs, Tim Bobrowski, Sophie Herscu, Wesley Chow, Russell Wallack, Micah Flynn, Claudia Dimick, Ryan Del Casino. I try to hire talented players who also have a strong background in teaching. Big names without big-time teaching skills do not make the best counselors.
6) There are a lot of youth ultimate camps emerging, from independent ones like NUTC to larger-scale organizations like Nike Ultimate Camps. Are you concerned about the increasing competition?
The more the merrier! Our numbers grew by about 10% in 2013 and I am sure it was because of the additional camps. And having competition means that we at NUTC are just upping our game. Without giving away too many secrets, we have some great surprises in store for this summer’s campers!
7) How has NUTC changed over time?
Aside from the growth in numbers (in 2001 we had 28 campers; last year we had over 250), we continue to change the curriculum and find innovative ways to teach campers at all levels. We also added a full-time trainer who provides medical care for players around the clock. We have all of our protocols in place in case of an accident or illness. Running a camp is like running a tournament for four weeks in a row. We have just gotten better and better at managing all the details, which allows everyone (other than the camp director) to fully enjoy every moment.
Another change is that we also used to have curfew at 11:30 p.m. It is now 10 p.m., per request of the tired campers.
8) Does NUTC offer scholarships or grants for players?
We have some generous donors who are providing $500 grants for any camper who wants to attend any session. Emily Baecher and Brute Squad, Mat Goldblatt of Breakmark, and Jeff Graham of the MLU will all be looking at applications to select four lucky campers. There is still time to enter at nutc.net/scholarship
And rumor has it that Ultiworld is also going to partially fund a camper too?! (Editor’s Note: It’s true!)
9) What is your favorite part of running NUTC?
Tournament Wednesday is the most fun for me. We have worked our way through all of the teaching and now it is up to the campers and counselors to see what they have learned come to life. Parents and local players show up to watch the action. NUTC definitely turns into a tournament on that day, and who doesn’t love being at a tournament?!
10) Now that you’ve stepped away from coaching youth ultimate during the season, does that change your perception of running NUTC at all?
I definitely have missed working with youth players this spring, and I am looking forward to seeing them all this summer. I will be welcoming our regulars, plus getting to know the new campers. I also have much more time to promote the camp and I will be at a number of youth tournaments in the next few weeks to speak directly with coaches and teams. I never had that luxury when I coached Amherst Regional High School and I look forward to meeting many of the new teams and players, whether they come to NUTC or not.