Southwest 10th Annual Cheer Camp a Leaping Success

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10 year old camper Zoe Van Der Linden strikes a pose during a run through of her group's final dance at the Southwest High School 10th Annual Cheer Camp.
10 year old camper Zoe Van Der Linden strikes a pose during a run through of her group’s final dance at the Southwest High School 10th Annual Cheer Camp.

EL CENTRO – Laughter, fun times, and of course, an abundance of cheering filled the Southwest High School gymnasium last Saturday. Despite spring sports being in full swing, it wasn’t an assembly or pep rally that had the gym jumping with excitement; it was the Southwest High School 10th Annual Cheer Camp.

As explained by head cheer coach Gabby Moreno, the camp’s main purpose is to serve as the cheer team’s annual fundraiser for uniforms. Moreno stated that money for uniforms isn’t the only reason however, as she believes that every year, the camp is really for the benefit of the community and the children in attendance. This year specifically stood out to her more than any other.

“This year we have about 130 campers, which is an outstanding turn out. This camp introduces cheer and positivity
to the campers through a very positive environment and we just love doing this every year,” stated Moreno.

The camp is hosted by both junior varsity and varsity cheer teams and campers are divided into three age groups: babies, intermediate, and advanced. Southwest cheerleaders from each level teach cheer basics and simple routines to the different groups of campers. Some of the cheerleaders that were teaching were on the other side of the teacher-camper relationship not too long ago.

One of those cheerleaders is Dahee Choy, a junior and one of the captains of the varsity squad. Choy stated, “When I was younger, I used to come to these camps every year and they were actually what inspired me to become a Southwest cheerleader.”

Choy exemplifies the outcome the camp always hopes to achieve, but even though not every camper is the same as Choy, it is still enjoyable across the board.

10 year old Zoe Van Der Linden was one camper whose mind isn’t made up like Choy’s was. Van Der Linden said that she’s not quite sure yet if she wants to be a cheerleader in high school, but she doesn’t let that stop her from having fun at the camps while she decides.

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