SUMMER BASKETBALL CAMPS IN MASSACHUSETTS

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Summer Basketball Camps In Massachusetts!

New England Camp
At Mount Hermon. In Northfield, MA

Location for our summer basketball camps. This facility has 7 indoor courts and modern dorms.

Directions to Mt. Hermon campus:
From Eastern MA: Follow Rt. 2 west to Rt. 63 (Miller Falls) and go north approximately 8 miles. At the intersection of Rt. 63 and Rt. 10, take a left. Cross the Connecticut River and travel exactly 1.5 miles on Rt. 10. Take a left at the Mt. Hermon campus. Approximate driving time from Boston is 2 hours.

From Connecticut, NY, NJ: Follow I-91 north to the Northfield Exit (#28) and follow Route 10 for 2.9 miles. Take right onto Mt. Hermon campus. Approximate driving time from Hartford is 1 hour.

From Central and Upstate NY: Take the NY State Throughway to Exit 21A toward the MA Turnpike (Rt. 90E). The throughway will turn into the MA Pike (Rt. 90E). Take Rt. 91 North (Exit 4 Holyoke); follow directions from CT above.

From Maine: Rt. 95 to Rt. 495 South to Rt. 2 West. Follow Eastern MA directions above.

From NH: Rt. 93 to Rt. 495 West to Rt. 2 West. Follow Eastern MA directions above.

From VT: Rt. 91 South to Exit 28 Northfield. Follow Rt. 10 approximately 3 miles. Take a right onto Mt. Hermon campus.

If a camper wishes to come in his own car, he must surrender his car keys until his departure. No camper will be allowed off the premises at any time during the week.



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Sports camps are becoming extremely popular. With the presence of the Internet, it is now easy to research camps from all over the nation with the click of a mouse. Choosing the right sports camp(s) for your children can be a difficult decision. However, the right sports camp will not only develop a camper's ability to play a particular sport, but also give him or her chance to develop friendships, gain confidence and have a truly enjoyable experience.

There are many variables parents should consider when choosing a sports camp. I will focus on three essential areas, regardless of the sport: staffing, the daily program and the facility.

A camp is only as good as its staff. This is true whether it is a sports camp, or any other type of camp. Consider these factors: does the staff have veteran coaches, particularly as commissioners for each individual league? I like to hire some college students as coaches and many as referees. Younger coaches tend to relate to the campers well and have a ton of energy. The key is to find a camp with a balance of younger coaches with experienced coaches to work with them. Many coaches start as campers, then become coaches in training (CITs) and finally full coaches, so they learn to see all aspects of the program.

Camper/staff ratio is an essential element to bear in mind. Most county health departments require a 10 to 1 camper/staff ratio. A quality sports camp will have a better ratio. For example, no basketball camp should have more than ten players on a team. Right there, you have the 10-1 ratio. However, you need to consider who is officiating at the games. If the camp hires separate officials or referees, the ratio improves. If a camp has its coaches referring games, who is watching that coach's regular team? They could be your children. Our camp has a 5-1 ratio, as we hire separate refs. Then the coaches can do a great job teaching and monitoring their campers at all times. Although area boards of health may allow coaches to referee, it is not the ideal situation.

Next, look at the daily program. Are the campers just playing games all day or are there numerous drills to improve their game performance? If it is a team sport, are there both drills for individual and team development? Are there some kinds of breaks in the day, such as listening to a speaker or social time to make friends? Although you don't want too much down time at a sports camp, a couple of breaks a day are necessary. Whether it is to digest food or to get re-hydrated, a little down time goes a long way towards maintaining camper energy and enthusiasm. However, these breaks should also be worthwhile experiences. Are campers sitting around twiddling their thumbs for thirty minutes, or are they doing something productive? Do the campers get any choices? When our campers are not playing a game, they may go to the super station for individual help on skill development, watch a basketball movie, or watch a friend's game. Sometimes coaches take some of this time for team practices and discussion.

Camps should have tight supervision, not only during the active sports participation, but also during meal and evening activities. There should be rules explained to campers at the beginning of the session.

Is there a time during the day when campers can receive individual help from coaches? Each night, we have activities planned, but also have coaches designated for individual help. We had four Division I basketball players on staff last summer. This was a great way for the campers who were not on their teams to get help from them individually, instead of just in skill stations.

A final consideration in choosing a sports camp is to check the facility that hosts the camp. Is this an indoor or outdoor camp? If it's an outdoor camp with limited inside facilities, do they have a comprehensive plan for times that it rains? If so, how severely does this plan alter the original plan? Are there enough courts/fields at this facility to accommodate all campers and provide them with adequate playing time? If the camp you are considering is not far, drive out there and look at what it has to offer. Or, take a good look at their web site. Most camps with web sites will have pictures of the facilities. You will then be able to make a judgment on the benefits and drawbacks of each location.

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