Basketball and Fall Happenings (and how the two are linked!)

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During the summer, everyone who works at camp wears many hats.  It’s 7 weeks of pure non-stop action, and we love attracting staff who are looking to get involved with as much of the fun as possible!  That’s why our cooking specialist might also run an A Capella elective, a general counselor will take a role in our camp show, and it’s also why I take on the role of basketball coach during the summer!  Above is a photo of me with the 2014 “Team Pro”.  Team Pro (short for “programming”, my main responsibility as Assistant Director) plays in the WNBA, which is an optional, competitive league our female campers can sign up to participate in.  Most players are between the ages of 13-16, but it’s open to all ages who want to compete.  This year, we had 6 awesome teams in the league, and I love getting to know campers in a different way on the court.

Team Pro had an amazing season, and the team consisted of (from left to right) Dara, Daniella, Alyssa, Lindsey, Julia, Lauren, Carly, Sabrina, my co-coach Theresa Malafronte, and our CIT coaches Zach, Max and Marshall.

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I also coach a basketball team in the IBL (Inter Basketball League) which is another optional, more competitive league for boys who have finished 4th and 5th grade.  As the league commissioner, I got to pick the names of the three teams, and the Princesses, Mermaids and Unicorns had some epic battles last summer!  Dave and I coached “The Unicorns” (our team is wearing white above), we enjoyed seeing the heart these boys poured into our games!

The Unicorns even attracted some cheerleaders!

The Unicorns even attracted some cheerleaders!

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In the photo above, you’ll see some of the IBL award winners from the 2014 season (from left to right), Landen, Alex, Dylan, Dave (my co-coach of The Unicorns) Ben, Ozzie and Adam.

So at this point, you might be under the impression that I’m a serious basketball player , or someone with a great jump shot and understanding of the game…but sadly, my own basketball ability is on the basic side (ok, super basic side!).  I’ve definitely been “knocked out” in the first round of many knock out games…even when playing against some of our youngest campers!  But, I love the game, and getting involved with the Camp Canadensis Basketball Super Leagues gives me a chance to get more involved with the sport, and bond with the players on and off the court.  It’s actually been a very long time since I’ve actually played a game of basketball (half a lifetime ago…sophomore year of High School, 1996), but the teams I coached this summer inspired me.  So, when I got back to Philadelphia this fall, I joined a team!

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Here I am with the “Longshots”, we play in a rec league and all of us were free agents, so we were randomly grouped together…and we are definitely “longshots” in our league!  The games are really late at night (sometimes we play at 10PM on a weeknight…yikes!) and often times we don’t have any subs, so I end up running sprints on the court for 46 minutes straight.  When I need motivation to leave the house on a chilly night when I’m just not feeling up to a long game, Dave will remind me of The Unicorns and Team Pro, and how important it is not to let your teammates down…and that always gets me into gear!

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It’s been a real eye opener for me, I’m older, slower, less skilled and know much less about the sport than everyone else on the court.  We’ve lost every game this season by a large margin, but the girls on my team are very nice, and we celebrate the small victories.  For instance, some personal highlights came when I somehow made this pass in the photo above, or the time I scored 10 points in a game, or that one foul shot I made this season.  But most of all, I’m proud of the fact I’ve shown up for every game, and it’s thanks to the inspiration I received from watching our campers give their all on the office courts this summer.  Blog Unicorns

But, that isn’t the only way I’ve been inspired by the basketball teams…when deciding costumes for Halloween, Dave and I chose to dress up as unicorns, and even Annie had a unicorn getup too (and hers lights up!)  They were super cozy…and you should definitely expect to see us on the coaches bench rocking these during the summer!

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Speaking of Annie, I tried my hand at carving her likeness in a pumpkin for our annual neighborhood  pumpkin carving contest.  If you haven’t carved a pumpkin lately, let me tell you…it’s hard work!!  I did this one above without a template, and each time I walk by I feel a twinge of pride.  However, when it glows at night…Annie looks very “evil” because her eyes and nostrils look like they are on fire!

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But alas, the “Annie Pumpkin” didn’t win the neighborhood contest…my other submission did!  It’s the pumpkin on the right, “Hipster Pumpkin” has a hat, thick rimmed glasses and a perfectly groomed mustache!  Besides the hours invested in creating these two masterpieces, here’s some other photos of what I’ve been up to lately…

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Camp looks stunning in the fall…love seeing all the leaves change!  Had a great trip up with some of the winter team recently, (from left to right), Me, Brian, Matt and Eric.

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I also took a trip up to camp on a brisk fall day to show around a new camper.  Dani (a current 6th grader) will be a Freshman Girl at camp this summer, she’s in the photo above on the left.  Next to her is Joey, another Freshman Girl who knows Dani from home, and will be returning to camp for her 4th summer!  In the bottom photo, Joey poses with a camp sign and the CIT Girls Bunk behind her.  Her hope was to go inside the bunk and check it out, but I think it’s more fun when the CIT bunk remains a mystery until you get to move in!! (CIT stands for “Counselors In Training” and they are the leaders in camp, they’ve just finished 10th grade).

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It was also so much fun to celebrate Ben’s Bar Mitzvah last month.  Ben will be a Lower Senior boy, and this will be his 4th summer at camp.  His mom Lauren is our amazing Program Director during the summer, and there were so many camp people in attendance to celebrate!  Above are some of Ben’s cousins that also attend camp.  Justin (left) is a former camper who has now spent two years as a counselor and in the middle is Amanda who will be a CIT this summer, and receiving her 8 year jacket!!

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And, although it’s hard to make out all the faces, this photo shows the entire Canadensis crew that came out to party!  In the top left are Ben’s brothers Alex & Matthew.  On the right is Lauren, and in the middle wearing a baseball hat is Benjamin (the man of the night!).  Other faces in the photo are our camp mom, Steph and all of the guys from Boys Bunk 14 last year, including Jeremy, Ethan, Jordan, Sam, Ben, Jeremy, Ethan, Ben and Mitch (it seems like I repeated names…but several of the guys have the same name!).  Can’t wait to see all of these guys on Senior Side next year!