Summer Survival Camp

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Ready or not, here comes the 13th annual Survivor Summer Camp.

Yelm Police Department hosts the annual event 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 5 through Friday, Aug. 9 at Yelm Middle School. The camp is open to students entering grades 7-12 within the Yelm and Rainier school districts. Because the camp is sponsored by the city of Yelm, it’s free for the first 75 participants. Each camper receives a T-shirt and a barbecue lunch on the event’s final day at Longmire Park.

Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil, who is the event coordinator, said up to 60 kids normally participate each year.

Survivor Camp is a fun, team-oriented event filled with sports-themed games. After participants complete a set of challenges the first day, such as a timed run and wall-sits, campers are grouped into teams Tuesday morning.

The number of participants will determine the size of each team. Groups will then choose a team captain and team name.

Teams compete against each other in a variety of events for points, some of which are athletically challenging while others are goofy. The team with the most points at the end of the week will be this year’s Survivor Camp champion.

Team Mandals was named the 2012 Survivor Camp champs. With a lead throughout most of the five days, Team Mandals, led by sophomore Mitchell Mencado, had 68,250 points. Rock City Rebels placed second (60,675), Hakuna Matata (58,700) took third and Lawbreakers (52,475) were a distant fourth.

Events can change on a yearly basis, but may include some of the following: tug of war, running relays, water balloon toss, football throw/kick, kickball, wheelbarrow race, basketball, three-legged race, wall sit, obstacle course, team skit, long jump, shoe toss, talent contest and bicycle ride.

Stancil has said they have a list of about 100 different games to pull from, and which ones get selected depend on the types of kids who register.

Each team chooses who competes in each event, thus they can mix and match teammates with events they are strongest in. This strategy works well because events rarely include more than a few participants from each team.

Although the games and competition are fun in nature, the camp at times is physically straining and involves a fair amount of exercise. Survivor Camp has been attended by more than 750 area youth in the past 12 years.

Many of the participants include students who plan on playing a sport in the upcoming school year. As always, one of the camp’s most positive aspects is the new friendships that are made.

“By far one of the best things of the camp is watching kids make new friends,” Stancil said last year. “The friendships that happen during the week because they’re put on a team, that’s what I notice is one of the most positive things … from the camp.”

To sign-up for Survivor Camp, everyone must complete a waiver. Registration forms can be picked up and dropped off at Yelm Police Department, 206 McKenzie Ave. S.E., Yelm, WA 98597. Forms can be mailed to Yelm Police Department with an attention to Todd Stancil, or can be turned in on the first day of camp.

Form information includes: parent/guardian signature, contact phone number, address, school attended, signature of participant, age/grade, medical insurance provider, policy number, emergency contact number and shirt size.

For more information, contact the police department at 360-458-5701.

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