April 15th, 2017
From Laurent Cauchy – Liberty Rugby – Director of Youth Rugby
Here is the official report of our 1-6 grade Liberty Rugby Academy camp with the Panthers on April 15 and 16, 2017. I think that all participants will agree the experience was awesome (If they don’t, we’ll do more pushups at practice).
Legally required disclaimer: Almost no blood was spilled and no kids were permanently injured or lost in the making of this event.
We ordered some nice weather, and were not disappointed. No rain at all, which made the camp really enjoyable. We had 19 players and 4 coaches. One almost-adult Liberty JV player came to oversee the group of kids and coaches, thanks Big Connor. Managing the coaches was quite a task.
This event was hosted by the crème of international rugby coaches with such famous stars as:
- Pierre (his real name is Peter Van Der Rugby) from South Africa, a man of many talents as you’ll find out reading this,
- Sean_the_2E from Newer England (where they think they have better lobster, and against all odds, which they drove left and drunk tea),
- Karim and Frenchy (aka the three stooges, go figure) from LaFrance, whom no one really understand,
- Our very own trump card (no politics please), Connor Cedarnutz, International JV player of the year.
Most players arrived as planned between 3:00 and 4:00pm. The first order of business was to make the kids aware of the carefully planned camp rules we had prepared ahead of time. Well, no… we threw of few last minute rules realizing that chaos was not be the best course of action. For example:
- We paired kids with a buddy and called for regular buddy checks
- 3 whistle, every one back to home base
- No climbing without a chaperon, etc.
Around 4:00pm a group of about 15 kids went on a hike led by coach 2E to discover Camp Long. Amazingly, all came back. The excitement was palpable. After the hike we had a snack and distributed the kids to their cabins for set up. We all busted out with joy and laughter when we heard kids play with kazoos. What fun that was. 5 or 10 mins later, we implemented a no-kazoo policy. After that we had a rugby practice for nearly 2 hours. We worked on the same skills and games as usual, however, without the pressure of time it was really nice to be able to go more in depth and repeat more. We went until 6:30 or 7:00pm and prepped dinner.
Of course, the food was organic, non-GMO, locally grown. All waste products were compostable. The jokes were politically correct and age appropriate. Well, no… At the end of the day, the fire was burning, and songs were sung. Famous rugby moments were recounted. Tales of unparalleled rugby feats were exchanged. Jokes about pirates booties were told, and retold. A fine bunch of joyful scoundrels in my estimate. That said, and for now obvious reasons, I don’t think we’ll bring pirate booties to camps going forward.
On that first day, after already playing games in the morning, we hiked, climbed rocks, jogged, ran, played rugby, did a lot of pushups, played more rugby, made a fire with real wood and flames. There were lots of smiles and tired legs. You know you’re doing something right when kids want to go to bed around 9:30pm despite having gobbled up piles of s’mores in the previous minutes.
After 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep, we woke up around 8am. Well, no… Thanks to the excellent decision from your humble coach, the whole camp got up around 6:30am. Taking advantage of the early departure of one of our players, everyone got invited to an early start with bangs on the door and loud “good morning sunshines”! Needless to say, Karim and 2E were super excited at the opportunity to see the sunrise. However, Pierre (aka Peter, see above) did not flinch. I did not insist, he’s a big guy and I scare and bruise easily!!!
After the angry faces disappeared, we enjoyed a most eggsellent breakfast of eggs, bacon, cookies and hot chocolate. Since everyone ate too much we decided to go for a long jog (i.e. the coaches sitting in the middle of the field with coffee while the kids ran for a while). Well, no… We let kids play for a while on their own and then around 8:30am started Sunday practice which was led by Karim. Lots of focus on passing skills and technic. We actually learned a lot from Karim during this practice. Thanks for the opportunity to learn from you.
We topped this off by a game of touch rugby, which I joined as a player. The game ended with the kids piled up on me thanks to the command of self-promoted referee 2E’s, based on the FALSE claim that I was cheating too much and deserved a pile-on! Obviously this is completely wrong. I do propose with the utmost respect to our distinguished and wise Liberty Club Board that we organize a fundraising event to get 2E new glasses if he intends to ref in the future. Nearly 2 hours of rugby were enough and it was time for snacks and camp clean up.
By noon everybody was gone with memories we hope will last a long time for the kids. We couldn’t be happier to have spent this time with your kids, they’re awesome. Thanks for letting them come despite the Easter celebrations. We look forward to other opportunities to build friendships and learn about and from each other.
“They run the Punch and Judy plays better than we do” – Cedarnutz [Note for Bobcat: it’s all about the coaching ????]
Camp awards (which we just made up):
- Best Kids Award: To all the parents for the great manners, good listening and good attitude of the kids
- Broom Fairy award (see pics): Pierre for Cabin #6 which had the most silly string and neon light decorations hanging from the sealing. All out shenanigans!
- Painted Face award: Little Connor for the most ashes and suit on the face
- Morning Savior award: tie between 2E for the best bacon and eggs and Karim for the Starbucks run
- Show Off award: Max for the clapping push up and wink to coach while doing it
- Best Cookie Negotiator award: without a doubt, Madeleine killed it
- Most Pranks award: Magnus for hitching powder on toilet seats, silly string, kazoos, etc.
- You Rock award: Big Connor (picture 10 kids saying nonstop: “yo CedarBroMan, can you take us to the climbing rock?”)
- Best Singing Entertainment award: The Twohey bros (Rohan and Seamus) and father, our next ‘Merica got talent winners
- Fearless Climber award: Josiah M. for going where no other human being would
- The Enforcer award: Frenchy for quotes heard like: “you all better behave or I’ll send Frenchy after you”
- Bacon Discovery award: Junior whose life will never be the same for having tasted bacon for the first time
- Hairy Defender award: Rudolf for relentless offensive defense moves and disruption tactics throughout practice. EFFECTIVE IMMIDIATELY: Rudolf is officially promoted to team mascot
- Most Fun award: to all for making this event so special
Camp pictures (thanks a million Karim for taking and posting them): here