Athletic youth camps may be cancelled

How Seattle Pacific University is handling summer camps during COVID-19

Sabrina Jiles, Staff Reporter

Every year, the Seattle Pacific University athletic department and its sports teams host a camp for many of the youth, under the age of 18 years old, to participate in. These camps are able to provide an experience for the youth in the Queen Anne community and the surrounding neighborhoods in Seattle, and can also be the experience that shapes future Falcons.

A screenshot of the sign-up page for Falcon Volleyball Camps and Clinics.
A screenshot of the sign-up page for Falcon Volleyball Camps and Clinics.

At these camps, the participants are taught skills and fundamentals by SPU coaches and current SPU athletes.  It was expected this summer that all the sports teams this year were going to provide a camp — including rowing, a program that has not offered a camp before.

Since camps that would typically occur throughout the summer are being affected by COVID-19, SPU is trying to weigh possible options to give the youth the camp experience.

“I make sure we follow all the rules applicable to camp and I work with coaches to make sure camps follow guidelines,” Associate Athletic Director for Business Amy Foster said in a Zoom interview.

The camps provided at SPU are made available on the SPU athletics website and the site is currently updating the status of each camp.

As of Monday, June 1st, the Boy’s Basketball High School Classic, which is a tournament for high school teams to participate in, has already been canceled, as well as some volleyball clinics. Other camps have already been postponed or temporarily suspended, like the co-ed running camp.

“Some of the camps that have been canceled were ones that were supposed to happen in a month and that wasn’t enough time to deal with health standards,” Foster said.

But all hope for SPU summer camps may not be lost. SPU coaches, as well as the athletic department, are looking at providing a short video recording for some of the remaining camps or even pushing back some of the camps to happen in the evening days of the fall. 

“We don’t even have the skeleton of how virtual camps will be done. This idea is still in the works and these camps are not meant to be skill instructional,” SPU Athletic Director Jackson Stava said in an interview over Zoom.

Although the idea of a Zoom camp is being discussed, the SPU athletic department and coaches’ goal is to provide an experience and set-up that best represents the university. There is still hope for the future, even though the camps might not be able to meet in person.

“I don’t feel that this years’ camps and how they’re handled, will affect how we handle the camps next year if guidelines allow the camps to be in person,” Stava said.