One of the great joys of seeing 2-4-1 Sports grow is working with young, passionate Camp Directors at various locations who want to bring the “Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport” philosophy to their local community. Well, one such leader is Geoffrey Lenahan who just completed his first week of directing 2-4-1 New Westminster in British Columbia, Canada – our first ever program outside of the United States.
As we do at all of our programs, the Camp Director sends a nightly email to families recapping the days events and giving some “need-to-knows” for the upcoming days. Directors have full autonomy and as such get to write their letter as they see fit. I get so excited when the emails reach my inbox – especially at those camps where I can’t be present. I was so impressed with this letter by Geoff on the eve of our final day that I really thought it worth sharing with everyone. The authenticity of his excitement about the prior day and his passion for delivering on our mission makes me beyond proud and reminds me of our own Adam Kelsey, our Camp Director in Denver, Colorado who similarly wrote each night to families waiting to hear about the camp experience.
Thank you Geoff for your leadership and your willingness to engage our new 2-4-1 Families with such passion and conviction.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE UNEDITED LETTER THAT GEOFF SENT TO FAMILIES….
I’ll just get this out of the way right at the beginning. I think I was just as excited as all our campers today when the fire trucks rolled into the park. I had reached out to New West Fire & Rescue a few weeks back to see if this was possible, and while they agreed, they also noted that emergencies come first (obviously) so if there were multiple calls, they would not be able to make it. I was anxiously waiting outside the stadium for 10 minutes when I finally heard the loud engines and starting dancing. I hope all of your kids had as much fun as I did!
Our tagline with 2-4-1 Sports, and where the 2-4-1 moniker comes from, is ‘Life’s 2 short 4 just 1 sport”. Sometimes I like to add “life’s 2 short to not play in the sprinkler from a fire truck”…..okay I’ve never said that before today, but the thought has. Yes, play lots of sports, try everything sport and movement has to offer, but make sure we don’t miss out on the other fun stuff in life.
Seriously, how often do we get to play in water shooting from a fire truck?
i’ve used terms like age-appropriate, or mentioned how we have modified games and activities based on the age of the cohort in any one session. The idea is a child is quite different at 5 than at 9 than at 18. As parents, we all know this, it is one of the most beautiful and saddest things we face, knowing that our children will never be adorable toddlers ever again, but that we never have to (hopefully) change their diapers again.
This approach is based on something called Long Term Development (formerly Long Term Athlete Development) which was founded here in Canada and has been adopted by countries around the world. I could write a small essay on the topic, and a few of our other coaches could write novels on it, so, if you are interested, check the link above, come talk to one of us, send me an email, text, call, whatever. We nerd out on this as it is currently the leading approach to elite development, and more importantly, enjoyment and life-long involvement in sport, This research supports the multi-sport athlete model, and really just provides the evidenced-based research on what all of the coaches at this camp instinctively knew from our childhoods.
It was not all fire trucks and sprinklers today. In fact we added another three sports to our list that were both a big hit.
A thank you to Greg and his dad (former NHLer/WHLer Norm Beaudin) from BC Floorball for coming out to demonstrate the sport they love. Floorball is very much like floor hockey, so a few kids were able to pick it up quickly, and others had fun getting used to the perforated and very light sticks.
In left field of the baseball stadium today, there were three hula hoops tied to the fence. It looked odd until the words “quaffle”, “bludger, and “snitch” came out. Yes, your mere muggle children were flying pool noodle brooms, throwing wiffle balls as quaffles at rings, while small beach balls were hurled as bludgers in defence (apologies for those who haven’t read the Harry Potter books, likely very little in this paragraph made sense to you). Again, another great activity that allowed kids to compete while staying apart.
Lastly, coach Chad utilized some inflatables that were originally part of a Nerf gun defence pack as goals for some handball. I saw one glorious spin-jump-throw-score from one of the boys in cohort 5
We also had a second run of ultimate and succer. Ultimate was again enjoyed as those Aerobie rings I mentioned in my Tuesday email are so easy to throw and catch. And soccer expanded to take advantage of the large soccer net, so campers got to take a few shots, and one group demanded a game. Coach Jenn was great in letting the kids figure out how to play while respecting distancing. It was a great exercise in including the kids in the decision-making process, and letting them take ownership of the solutions (see Active Learning). When it wasn’t working as needed, they had to figure a tweak, and they very much did. I love when our coaches take the opportunity to incorporate those small but important cognitive development moments.
It’s hard to believe, after 16 months of talking and planning, we are on our last day of the 2020 camp. Like anything, we want to go out with a bang, so will dictate the schedule for some sessions (Rugby and Field Hockey), then some sessions will be All-Star Sports, meaning the kids will get to choose from their favourites from the week. I’m guessing we will see some kickball again!
My shoutout today goes to New West Fire and Rescue. They made this big kid really happy (and very wet). Normally I derive my joy from seeing smiles on other people, but there is something about a fire truck (and trains and airplanes) that make me giddy. Alright, enough about me, I know the kids loved it too, it was really for them, I swear 🙂
Lastly, ‘FIRE TRUCK, FIRE TRUCK, FIRE TRUCK“
About Steve Boyle
Steve Boyle is a visionary leader and advocate for youth sports and physical literacy. As the Executive Director of 2-4-1 CARE, Inc. and Co-Founder/Director of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve stands at the forefront of the movement to transform the youth sports paradigm. His forward-thinking anti-specialization approach has garnered acclaim from esteemed institutions like the Aspen Institute. At the helm of 2-4-1, Steve has skillfully guided its expansion from its flagship location in West Hartford, Connecticut, to a range of locations across the U.S., Canada, and Africa. His leadership has not only scaled the program but also redefined the standards of youth sports Beyond the scope of 2-4-1 Sports, Steve’s influence extended to developing the National Association of Physical Literacy, where his insights as Advisory Board Chair were pivotal. His tenure as Global Lead on Physical Literacy and Athletics for Whittle School & Studios marked a significant contribution to the global community, shaping the athletic and physical education frameworks across campuses in Shenzhen and Washington, D.C. Steve is equally known for merging his expertise in counseling with his coaching acumen to create the TOP Self social-emotional learning platform. This innovative endeavor leverages sports to impart essential social-emotional learning skills, cementing Steve’s status as a national authority in physical literacy development.
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