Cheer Clinics and Day Camps
Putting on a cheer clinic or day camp takes planning and effort
but can be a rewarding experience for your team as well as those
attending. Here are 10 practical steps:
1. Define your overall, broad goals
To begin, take time to delineate your goals. Is this a fundraiser
for the squad? Is it to give younger ones a taste of cheer?
Is it to attract interest in your squad for upcoming tryouts?
Is it to focus on specific skills, such as stunts or dance,
for those who are cheerleaders? Determine if you are going to
run a beginners level, an intermediate level, and/or an advanced
2. Determine your target group
Steps 1 and 2 go hand in hand. If you are doing a clinic for
your squad or another specific squad this step is easy. If it
is for a fundraiser and you are not a school squad that has
a readily available target group, consider approaching after-school
day care groups about putting on a cheer clinic. Many after-school
programs offer a variety of special enrichment programs or classes
that parents pay additional fees for their child to attend.
If you are going to offer a clinic and open it to a number of
squads in the area, you’ll want to start forming a list
with names and addresses. If you are going to offer it to attract
interest for tryouts later in the year or for younger ones,
you may need to do more work in determining where to advertise
3. Set specific goals based on your overall goals
and target group
If this is for a specific squad, possible goals should be discussed
with the team’s coach. Be sure to understand the needs
of the team and expectations of the coach and team. If the expectations
seem too high for the time available, clearly communicate your
concerns and suggest first steps or a progression of steps towards
their goals. If the clinic is to create future interest in your
squad, you may want to plan time for attendees and members of
your present squad to get to know each other through some fun
games. If it is to give younger ones a taste of cheer, will
there be an exhibition performance at the end and/or will the
attendees help cheer at a game if you have a school squad?
4. Determine where to hold the clinic and set your
dates and time
Not all clinics have to be in a gym or multipurpose room. In
Southern California, successful after-school clinics and day
camps have been held outdoors. Wherever you choose to do a clinic
remember to consider and address safety issues. Do you need
mats? Do you need your own first aid kit? Also be sure to consider
medical coverage and releases. If doing this as part of as a
specific squad or an after-school or day-care activity, can
the medical releases on file be used? If it is part of gym facility,
will parents need to file out a specific form or forms from
Day camps for girls to get a taste of cheer seems to work best
if held for a half day unless you plan other activities (such
as swimming, bowling, etc) for the afternoon. Clinics for a
squad working on specific skills can be half or full day, but
if doing full day allow at least an hour for lunch to eat and
5. Set fees
. If fees are involved, carefully budget to cover costs and
any profit margin. When doing weeklong day camps for younger
girls to get a taste of cheer, we have found it works well to
include a skort and embroidered shirt. For after school clinics,
consider providing inexpensive poms or silk-screen tee shirts.
Budget in any snacks being provided. Do you have any rental
fees or coaching fees to pay?
If you are not sure what going prices are for clinics and day
camps in you geographic area, ask around. In addition to other
cheer coaches, check with coaches of other sports, school administrators,
and/or day care providers.
6. Advertise and Register
If this is for a fundraiser, advertising will probably be critical.
Creating a one page flyer that combines key information about
the clinic, tear-off registration form, and tear-off medical
release form (if participants are not covered by a pre-existing
medical release form) seems to work best, even if you go to
an 11”x17” paper. Always include a phone number
for more information. If you are part of a school or gym, be
sure to clarify with the business office how checks should be
made out and how monies are to be dealt with.
7. Get organized
Plan the activities and what you need for the activities, including
getting music, words to cheer or sidelines, choreographing a
dance or cheer, video camera and monitor if you want to tape
and show back, etc. Be sure that all the coaches, captains,
and others helping know what they are responsible for.
8. Don’t forget the little things, but big issues
Are you having snacks and/or lunch? If you are doing a day camp
plan for healthy snacks as well as having water available. If
you are doing an after-school clinic where snack is not part
of the regular program consider providing snack or state on
the flyer that participates can bring a snack to eat before
the clinic begins. You can suggest participants bring water
bottles to any clinic or day camp but also be sure to have water
available for those who don’t bring a water bottle.
Do you need nametags? Do you have some fun games, chants, and/or
jokes to use? Do you want to have certificates of completion?
(Certificates can be easily made on the computer.) If the participants
are going to cheer at a game, do you need an additional flyer
with game information (place, time, etc)? When younger girls
do a weeklong day camp in August with our squad they are invited
to cheer at the first home football game. (They cheer 2nd quarter
and the halftime routine.) We arrange with the school’s
athletic booster club to provide the families of these day camp
cheerleaders with free passes to the game.
Do you need additional adult volunteer help, especially for
first day check-in and snack time?
9. Do the clinic or day camp
Now it’s time to run the clinic or camp. Remember to stay
flexible and make adjustments as needed. Have fun with it, even
hard work can be fun.
The clinic is over but there is some final tasks. Evaluate how
it went. What worked really well? What did the participants
like? What needs changed for next time? What needs some fine-tuning
Arrange for payment of any outstanding bills.
Be sure to thank people who helped.
With some planning and organization, your experience doing
clinics and day camps can be positive for all involved.
Maranatha High School Cheer