I spent this past summer doing all of the things a typical teenager does: working at my first summer job, swimming, and getting a great tan. This summer, though, my friends and I decided to try something different, something exciting. We, eleven in all, went to the Cornell Sports School Camp in Ithaca, NY for one week in July. Many programs were offered that week: tennis, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey, and baseball. Eight of us went to tennis, and the other three went for volleyball.
Two dorm houses are used, one for the girls and one for the guys. Each floor represents a different sport, and you get to room with whomever you choose. Our daily schedule was long and hard. An eight o'clock breakfast call was followed by a rigorous two and a half hour practice session. After you returned to your dorms, and most likely showered, as it was 90 degrees outside, you went to the dining hall for lunch. Then came another two and a half hour practice, and the rest of the night, for most at least, was free.
The evenings were a great time to meet new people, to make new friends, and to find out what the counselors were really like. You always had to sign up for a chaperoned activity, which were anything from bowling to going to the nearby mall. The counselors were great, though. They aren't much older than most of the campers, which made them seem like an older brother or sister. All the instructors were great, too. I can definitely say that my tennis game improved a lot during that short week.
I'll always remember the friends I made, too. I have friends all over New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
If you need something to do next summer, you should seriously consider going to Cornell Sports School. Maybe I'll see you there! L
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.