14 Feb College Coaches Recruiting Multi-Sport Athletes

College Coaches Recruiting Multi-Sport Athletes

Confidence, Teamwork, Competitiveness + Diversity Seen in Athletes Who Play Multiple Sports

ESPN HS released a story in their Recruiting Road series featuring college coaches’ responses to the issue of playing multiple sports vs. specialization and how they look at prospective recruits who play multiple sports. Please take a moment to read through this. Camp Susquehannock is devoted to offering a program of multi-sport athletic development and these college coaches seem to agree with us.

ESPN HS: How important do coaches view a recruit’s ability to play other sports besides Lacrosse?

John Paul (University of Michigan)
“There’s a huge cross-training benefit to an athlete playing more than one sport. Playing in more than one season helps simulate the amount of time and commitment you’ll have to spend as a college athlete. But most importantly, it gives athletes more chances to compete. We prefer athletes who have a burning desire to compete as much as possible.”

Dave Pietramala (Johns Hopkins University)
“We love two and three-sport athletes. The lessons learned, skills that are developed, and competitiveness that is revealed can only help a young man who is headed into Division I Lacrosse.”

Bill Tierney (University of Denver)
“I continuously recommend to young men to play more than just one sport in high school. First of all, any sport, including Lacrosse, can become boring if obsessed over for 12 months a year. Secondly, other sports help young men develop a skill set not available when working out on his own. Sacrifice for the team, teamwork, conditioning, confidence, handling defeat and victory, and time management are among the many things that can be gained by playing another sport. Strength, speed, agility and toughness can be enhanced by playing other sports as well. Clearly, however, the skills needed to be a premier player in Lacrosse must be constantly worked on. Therefore, even in the fall, while playing football or soccer, a young man should continue to work on his stick skills on Sundays and down time, since the beauty of the game is built upon the fact that a young man is only as good as the amount of effort he puts into his skills.”

Charley Toomey (Loyola University Maryland)
“We are, absolutely, looking for well-rounded athletes. We love kids who play Football, Hockey, Basketball, Wrestling and Soccer. Many times, they are captains of these teams in their junior or senior years, which helps them from a leadership standpoint as well.”

Jon Torpey (High Point University)
“While it is by no means a deal-breaker, we love to see kids who participate in more than one sport at the high school level. Having to play two or three sports in a year is beneficial for numerous reasons; one of the main ones being that the student-athlete is going to probably have an easier transition academically, socially and Lacrosse-wise because the lack of downtime builds a bridge to what life will be like as a college level athlete. Another reason we like two and three-sport athletes is because we feel as though they haven’t quite hit their full potential as a Lacrosse player. When 33 to 66 percent of your high school career has been focused on other sports, it can be hard to fully develop at each one. Most coaches believe that once they get that athlete for a whole year of development, their games will reach new heights, and, more often than not, in my experience that is true.”

Dave Webster (Dickinson College)
“We like to recruit athletes. I like to see young men play several sports in high school and I think they benefit from the experience. I think the potential for growth is greater when an athlete is challenged by multiple sports and coaches rather than being focused on just one sport year round. However, what we ultimately appreciate is that a young man makes his decision on what he feels is best for him and then commits to that decision.”

I hope you found this special report informative. As you can see, today’s coaches are truly interested in both well-rounded athletes and well-rounded young people. Camp Susquehannock helps develop not only solid multi-sport athletes but young confident, diverse, gritty young girls and boys.

14 Feb Eight Secrets of Grit and How It’s Developed at Camp Susquehannock

Eight Secrets of Grit and How It’s Developed at Camp Susquehannock

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again […] who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”
-Theodore Roosevelt

What is grit? Where does it come from? Who has it? How do I get some? The word is used in an almost mythical fashion when describing those we admire.

When I think of grit, images of people I know experiencing situations of incredible resilience come to mind. For years I have participated in an extreme endurance sport known as adventure racing. Adventure racing is a sport that encompasses trekking/trail running, mountain biking, wilderness navigation, flat/whitewater paddling, rappelling/ascending and a variety of other mountaineering and athletic disciplines.

Teams consist of three to four individuals who race together for multiple days and sometimes weeks at a time with little or no sleep. They encounter Mother Nature at her best and her worst. Team members experience dehydration, trench foot, hunger, hypothermia, cramping, hallucinations and just about any other kind of physical and mental ailment you can think of in an effort to finish the race.

My friend Teri Schneider is a fellow adventure racer who has won IRONMAN championships, and is also the author of Dirty Inspirations: Lessons from the Trenches of Extreme Endurance Sports. She characterizes adventure racing as such: “If doing a lot of IRONMAN races pretty fast was like getting a B.S. in endurance sports, adventure racing would be the PhD.”

Bottom line: adventure racers are some of the grittiest people I have ever met; it’s an honor and privilege to be a member of this club. As an adventure racer I have witnessed and experienced situations that have required tremendous amounts grit. And when I reflect on these examples, I draw an immediate parallel to the lessons I learned at Camp Susquehannock, the place that created the foundation of my multi-sport diversification and grit.

Camp Susquehannock prides itself in developing confident young girls and boys. As this confidence grows, children begin to develop self-reliance, independence, character, mental fortitude and an inherent passion for life and trying new things. And when you toss all this in a blender you get GRIT!

Grit isn’t fancy, eloquent or fake;
Susquehannock isn’t eloquent or fake either
…and it’s certainly not fancy!

Here are the eight secrets of grit and how it is developed at Camp Susquehannock…

It’s OK to Fail
People with grit don’t mind failing. In fact, they welcome it. They know this temporary setback is a learning experience. When children come to Camp Susquehannock they are encouraged to expand their limits and try things they have never done before.

Upon arrival, campers spend the first two days being evaluated on their athletic ability, experience and maturity. Teams are created consisting of children with similar skill sets, across multiple levels. These teams learn and practice together, compete together and experience level-appropriate challenges as they are pushed to try new things and develop new skills.

As we all know, children develop at different rates, so if they were simply assembled by age group there would always be kids with noticeable physical, athletic and mental advantages. As a result, the less-skilled children could see themselves at a disadvantage and therefore reluctant to participate; which would lead to an apprehension towards trying new things. The fear of failure, thought of being “inferior,” and being embarrassed is paralyzing. Not to mention, the more advanced children wouldn’t be challenged enough.

However, when campers of a similar skill set are pushed to try new things as a team, the fear of failure is significantly reduced. Why? Because everyone will struggle with the same challenges and fail a few times until they get it right. Every time this happens a child’s apprehension towards trying new things gets smaller… and smaller… and smaller.

Here’s the best part: when campers finally do overcome a challenge, their confidence skyrockets, and they are on the road to developing grit. As the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed,: Try, try, try again.” Grit is the fine art of “try, try, try again.”

Answer the Bell
People with grit answer the bell! They show up every day, every week, every month without fail. They never make excuses as to why they can’t make it, even if they’re having a bad day, are discouraged, or intimidated by a challenge – they answer the bell.

Camp Susquehannock encourages a culture of participation and teaches campers to be accountable. It starts with simple things like making your bed, keeping your area tidy, cleaning your cabin, and cleaning your table in the Dining Hall.

This may not sound like much, but campers do it every day. Let’s face it, there are days when none of us want to do this and there are times when we make excuses or procrastinate… not at Susquehannock. It doesn’t matter if they are feeling lazy, missing home or had a disagreement with a friend, they have to answer the bell and participate.

Developing consistency through completing these seemingly small tasks every day is the foundation to developing grit. Answering the bell – even when the desire isn’t strong – invariably seasons a child and exercises the “grit muscle.”

You break the habit of making excuses,
and all tasks begin to seem a bit easier.

Get In The Game
Too many people sit on the sidelines of life and let the world pass them by. People develop grit out of innate ability and acquired experience. To this day I can remember being a camper at Susquehannock and my counselors encouraging us to “get in the game.” There were some sports I had never done before but it was the same for most campers on my team.

However, it didn’t matter. We were encouraged by our counselors, coaches and teammates to get in the game and help the team. It didn’t matter if you lacked a certain skill or ability, the team still needed you! And when you played a sport you were good at, you encouraged those who were less proficient.

Some children arrive at Susquehannock and start out sitting in the back hoping they don’t have to participate in activities that are new to them. Camp Susquehannock gets kids in the game. Campers learn that in life, as in sports, there is a role for everyone. As such they are never afraid to get in the game. Children and adults of Camp Susquehannock don’t sit on the sidelines of life, they get in the game, just like people with grit.

Put The Team First
One of the things that keep gritty people pushing forward is their team; they refuse to let their team down. They look to fill the needs of the team, as opposed to their personal goals or stat sheet.

Competition is a series of ups and downs, and that is the only constant. Individuals who lack grit tend to give up when momentum shifts against them. They don’t stick it out because they don’t realize they are part of a team, often believing they are the team! At Susquehannock we know there will be an ebb and flow, there will be good times and bad times – that’s life!

A team is not just people you play a sport with. A team can be your family members, friends, co-workers, cabin-mates and counselors. However, when kids know they are part of a team and that team pushes through challenges together, those downs aren’t a crisis. The more challenges they face together the easier it is to overcome the next one. As a result, they push through challenges one after another, impervious of momentum shifts – this contributes mightily to the development of grit!

Become Selfless
In order to answer the bell, get in the game, embrace the benefit of failure, the proper attitude is crucial. People with grit have a great attitude because they are selfless. Think about it, do you know anyone who is selfless and has a bad attitude?

The only time we are unhappy is during our more selfish moments:
“I’m hot; I’m tired…”
“They weren’t nice to me; they disrespected me…”
“If these people would just listen to me everything would be fine…”
“I wonder if they like me…”
The list goes on and on.

People with grit put others first,
they help make everyone around them better.

Gritty people aren’t immune to bad days, but they know how to deal with them appropriately. They may be tired, cramping, frustrated and on the verge of quitting, and yet they don’t. So what do they do? They take their mind off of themselves by finding a way to pick up a teammate who is also down.

Parents are probably greatest examples of selfless individuals. A parent could have lost their job, got in a fight with their partner, or is just having a crappy day… all they want to do is get home and relax. But as soon as they hear their child is sick or injured, they forget about themselves and address the challenge by flexing that grit muscle.

Camp Susquehannock models a culture of looking after cabin-mates and teammates. Campers encourage and pick each other up when things go sideways and the incredible staff of counselors provide some of the greatest examples of this commitment I have seen. Despite what you may think, counselors can have some pretty rough days. They are pushed and pulled in different directions and there are times when I’m sure they feel like packing it in – but they don’t.

Instead, they look to pick up the camper who is home sick, who needs help with their jump shot, who needs the encouragement to swim the length of Tripp Lake. The staff models selflessness and this gets them through the tough times. More importantly, they are setting a great example for campers, as they are the embodiment of being selfless.

Take the Leap and Jump In
People with grit are always willing to jump in and take the leap. They know every leap can be daunting, but it’s also an opportunity to open new doors, find new passions and accomplish new goals. It makes them more diverse, resilient and independent.

The jewel of Camp Susquehannock is our beautiful spring-fed Tripp Lake. It’s a place where we cool off after clinics and games, a place for socializing and a place where we canoe, kayak and sail boats. However, before a camper can enjoy the boating activities they must be able to swim the length of the entire lake. This rite of passage can certainly be intimidating. However, once you do it you have opened the door to new opportunities and new experiences which light the embers of independence, resilience and confidence. This is a stepping stone to grit!

It’s OK to Get Dirty, and to Laugh at Yourself
People with grit realize life isn’t a fashion show, and it’s certainly not perfect. They understand mistakes will be made and that you have to be willing to get a little dirty while plowing through life’s challenges.

They are not self-conscious, they don’t take themselves too seriously and they can wholeheartedly laugh at themselves. Their ability to walk through life while a little dirty and to laugh at themselves is their key to sanity. It’s a reflection of their inherent confidence and selflessness. They are more consumed with life in the moment than the thought of what others may be thinking.

Show up at Camp Susquehannock any day and you will find
children and adults living life in the moment.

When a group of people try new things together, make mistakes together, live as a family together and experience growth together, their walls of emotional protection come down. This is when the fun begins… it’s why you will find children laughing in the cabin, sitting in a circle on the grass having a discussion about any number of topics, dressing up in crazy outfits for a camp celebration (or just because!), all the while building bonds that will last a lifetime.

This is a skill that will benefit them for the remainder of their life. We all need to remember to laugh at ourselves and be willing to get a little dirty. It enables us to get through what life throws at us and ultimately build our grit.

Nothing Left to Do but Smile, Smile, Smile
These traits aren’t something I discovered through laborious study and research. They are simply based on my observations, interactions and involvement with some truly gritty people. This is a reflection of what I experienced growing up at Camp Susquehannock, and the growth I see there on a daily basis during the summer.

If a child can understand these lessons, they will answer the bell day after day, and will possess the greatest gift of GRIT. Smiling; simply smiling!


14 Feb Six Traits of Confidence Children Develop at Camp Susquehannock

Six Traits of Confidence Children Develop at Camp Susquehannock

ConfidenceWhy do some have it and others don’t?
What makes a confident person? Are people simply born with confidence?
There is no simple answer to these questions but we do know that confidence can be developed, and needs to be developed, especially in children.

Confidence is the springboard to success in so many different aspects of life and those who have truly developed this trait seem to possess a certain aura.

Truly self-earned confidence, that originates from deep within, is very different from false, egotistical confidence.

People with true confidence carry themselves in a very different manner than those who simply pretend to be confident.

At The Susquehannock Camps we pride ourselves in developing confident girls and boys. Here are few traits we strive to develop in children through our program of athletic development and confidence-based learning…

Confident people believe they can make things happen and they take responsibility. They don’t blame setbacks and failures on others. They don’t make excuses. They don’t blame a poor grade on the teacher, a loss on a referee, or poor performance in a game on the field conditions. They accept responsibility for the situation and move on.

Confident people are diligent. They don’t give up at the first sign of a problem or failure. They see their current inability to do something as nothing more than a challenge, rather than an excuse to give up. They concentrate on the objective at hand, learn from their mistakes, create new strategies and adapt to the situation.

Confident people are action-oriented; they have a plan and then act on it. They don’t need the acceptance of others or assume others will handle it. They take the initiative to get things done and they do it now!

Proper Attitude
Confident people have the right attitude; there isn’t time to whine or complain. They aren’t frightened of a challenge and say, “this can’t be done.” They always look for ways to complete the task. They are appreciative and value the effort of their teammates or co-workers. They believe the most avaricious thing you can do is to be selfless in the short-term.

Confident people accept other people for who they are, and look for their strengths and positives. They want to be around people with assets, skills and personalities that vary from their own. They realize the acceptance of others will broaden their skill set and knowledge.

Confident people are resourceful; they don’t get upset because they don’t have the best equipment, teammates, field conditions or support. Confident people figure out a way to adapt, or succeed by digging deep within themselves and get by without it (demonstrating the grit of a “hardy soul,” which we will cover in a future message…).

These are just a few of the many things children of all ages will learn at Camp Susquehannock. That being said, if they only leave Camp having further developed these six traits, their lives will be much improved as a result.

14 Feb The Golden Recipe for Success in Sports, Learning and Life

The Golden Recipe for Success in Sports, Learning and Life

I want to share with you a wonderful article by Andy Jones-Wilkins. Andy is a lifelong educator, coach and ultra-marathoner (a footrace longer than 26.2 miles). While at a teaching conference he was asked to name the three most critical things he wants his students to graduate with – we all can take his reply to heart. It is a message that embodies and reflects much of what Camp Susquehannock teaches and represents.
Here it is – enjoy!

Last week, at a meeting I attended with an experienced group of educational leaders, the topic of discussion eventually centered in on a very basic essential question:
“What three things — skills, attributes, temperaments, whatever — do you want your students to graduate high school with?”


The facilitator, knowing he had captured a moment and struck a chord with his question, gave us very little time to think through our answers. Within a minute of posing his question, he pushed us for our answers. And, as seems to always happen to me, he pointed to me first and asked,

“Andy, tell us your three things.”

I didn’t even flinch. I am not sure why, but the answer came to me instantly.

“Confidence, Resilience and Hope.”

Ever since I started teaching 28 years ago, the students I’ve known who’ve embodied these three attributes have inspired and motivated me. Likewise, the long distance runners I’ve gotten to know over the past two decades that have been confident, resilient and hopeful have been those who’ve personified what it means to be a successful runner and a successful person. In essence, Confidence, Resilience and Hope comprise, to me, a perfect recipe in education, running and life.

You know the confident runner when you see him. Self-assured, relaxed, carrying a wry smile, the confident runner is not a faker. The most confident runners I know take calculated risks, but also do so while eliminating all variables. They carry their confidence in their heads and in their hearts as well as in their bodies, and when they toe the line they are always ready.

The resilient runner shows her scars. She has been through more ups and downs than the rest of us care to think about and she has come out the other side standing upright and strong. The resilient runner, like the resilient student, has had her fair share of failures and disappointments, and yet she hasn’t given in. She’s remained steadfast, stalwart and true. The resilient runner is that one who gets out of her chair at mile 82 and forges on — one foot in front of the other until she’s done.

Hope and the hopeful runner are always a bit more fleeting. While confidence and resilience can be seen and touched, hope needs to be felt. As such, it is the most capricious of the three things, but also the most purposeful and relevant. The hopeful runner and student have a spring in their step tempered by caution in their voice. Hope can be such a deep visceral emotion that it requires balance, focus and a fair amount of risk. And when we get it right, it’s awesome!

And so, to me, Confidence, Resilience and Hope truly represent the Golden Recipe. While not every day out there will be perfect, if we can move forward armed with these three things we can run healthy and happy, and not only become better runners, but better versions of ourselves.

Andy’s thoughtful response to the question runs parallel to our philosophy at Camp Susquehannock and to what we hope each child returns home with at the end of every summer. I hope you enjoyed this bit of information!

09 Feb Creating a Champion Mindset – The Key to Success in Athletics and Life

Creating a Champion Mindset – The Key to Success in Athletics and Life

Long-time trainer and sports performance coach Chris Carmichael recently published an article about developing the mindset of a champion. He discovered most athletes have one or two established set of attitudes and those with a growth mindset tend outperform all others, not only in sports, but in life.

The best athletes in the world aren’t always the strongest and fastest. While a high level of athleticism is a prerequisite for reaching the upper levels of competition, champions often perform beyond their ability in all aspects of life because they are inspired by the belief their best performances are still ahead of them. No matter your current level of athleticism, you can absolutely improve your performance by developing a championship mindset!

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

Stanford University Psychology professor Carol Dweck’s mindset concept identifies two sets of attitudes: Growth vs. Fixed

A person with a fixed mindset believes talent, ability and intelligence are unchangeable traits. These individuals focus on simply being proficient, avoiding challenges that might prove otherwise and resisting change or new opportunities.

A person with a growth mindset believes talent, ability and intelligence can develop through practice, hard work and learning.

Most successful people have a natural tendency toward growth mindsets. They inherently understand that training and practice (ie. learning) leads to improvement. However, some people who understand how training and practice works are still motivated by a fear of failure – a key hallmark of a fixed mindset – instead of the opportunity for success.

What a Winning Mindset Looks Like

An athlete with a fixed mindset will concede he or she isn’t the strongest athlete on a team and is happy to just do his or her job, letting others try to “get the win” or make the big play. The drive to come up with other ways to win is what a growth mindset is about:


An inquisitive person asks questions and challenges conventional ideas about training, practice, nutrition and performance. They are not satisfied with, “This is how we’ve always done it.” This doesn’t mean they jump from one method or strategy to another on a whim, but rather they examine new ideas that can be applied to their training or practice regimen. This is also an important quality to look for in a coach.


Those with a growth mindset view relationships with athletes, coaches and performance-related experts as opportunities to gain more knowledge. These people are less “cliquey” because they welcome new voices and aren’t intimidated by those who may be faster or stronger than they are. Similarly, they are quick to share information with less-experienced athletes.

Daring + Bold

“Fortune favors the bold.” Faced with identical circumstances those with a growth mindset see opportunities to succeed or win before they consider the risks of failing. On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset recognize the same scenarios – the perfect time to attack, shoot and score – but perceive the risk before the opportunity, ultimately choosing the safety of status quo to the risk of failing.

Sometimes being bold isn’t about being highly aggressive. It can also be seen in an athlete’s willingness to give everything they have on the field or court, or to “empty the tank.” Athletes with a growth mindset are problem solvers and optimists; they will do everything they can to avoid “giving in” or quitting.

Great Teammate

People with a growth mindset aren’t intimidated by the success of others. They don’t view helping a teammate improve as a negative reflection on their own abilities. They aren’t concerned about ceding their position (real or imagined) in the starting lineup. Similarly, when they win they are genuinely appreciative of the others who helped, and quick to thank each of them personally.

Love the Process as Much/More than the Outcome

Those with a growth mindset love to win and accomplish personal goals, but they also love to train and practice. They maintain a long-range view on a season in which games are the mile markers, not the destination. They are also willing to take on challenges with a moderate-to-high risk of failure. The potential to succeed in the face of significant obstacles is motivating, not threatening.

All the characteristics of a championship mindset apply to one’s school, work, career and relationships as much as one’s sports. The best students, entrepreneurs and employees are open to new ideas, they are collaborative, they are willing to take risks, and they are happiest when the team succeeds. Great personal relationships are built by valuing your teammates every mile of the journey, learning and adapting as you change over time and finding genuine fulfillment in seeing others succeed.

Take some time today to evaluate your own mindset and become confident in all aspects of your life!

09 Feb The Benefits of Multi-Sport Athletic Development & Confidence-Based Learning and How it Can Impact Your Child

The Benefits of Multi-Sport Athletic Development & Confidence-Based Learning and How it Can Impact Your Child

Greetings! Welcome to Camp Susquehannock.

As a parent, athlete, former camper at Susquehannock and now Director, I thought it important to share with you the real benefit and impact Camp Susquehannock can have on the lives of children.

Children are the most precious things in our lives. We want them to be safe. We want them to be successful and we want them to have the ability to take advantage of every opportunity. To do this they need to be well rounded, diverse, resilient, confident young people. This doesn’t just “happen”…it takes some work.


What do I mean by this? Let me start with the athletic component.

In today’s ultra-competitive athletic landscape more and more children are specializing at an early age with the hopes of “making it big” or receiving a full scholarship to a university. While this can be tantalizing and sound very appealing it can also be very detrimental. New research shows that children who specialize at a young age are more susceptible to serious injury, lack of self-confidence and decreased overall athleticism.


In fact, the study found that children who played multiple “attacking” sports like Basketball, Soccer or Lacrosse developed the unconscious ability to read bodies and game situations allowing them to master their sport of choice in a much shorter time period. (Data presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine showed that the average athlete at UCLA did not start specializing until 15.4 years of age. In other words, kids can wait until they are at least 16 years of age.)

The objective at Camp Susquehannock is to develop well rounded, multi-sport athletes. We want children to leave camp with a broad spectrum of athletic skills. You see, when kids are exposed to a variety of sports they develop a diversified skill set which helps them learn about their bodies. They learn how their body works, what it can do best, how far they can push it all while developing superior coordination between the eyes, hands, feet and core. They become stronger, more agile, durable and less prone to injury.


Confidence is so important in every aspect of life. It enables people to not only reach great achievements but enjoy life to a much fuller extent. Confidence is something that comes from the self. It can’t be created with false accolades, meaningless words of encouragement or praise lacking of any substance. True confidence is achieved, it is earned …and when you achieve it: you know it!

You can be pat on the back, told you’re the best at everything you do, encouraged and placed in winning situations but that only provides temporary, false confidence. Not real…true…life lasting confidence.


Grit is the first cousin to confidence. Grit can’t be bought, borrowed or faked. Grit comes from consistently showing up for life every day. It comes from consistently stretching your comfort zone …and when you combine grit with confidence you get a “hardy soul.” (The people of Camp Susquehannock are “hardy souls!”)

Let’s not fool ourselves. Children are smart, they know the difference between false confidence and earned confidence. They may not be able to articulate it but they can feel it, sense it and understand it. When they get the opportunity to overcome a challenge and accomplish something new: they smile, they grow and they mature.

This is true of all ages. I don’t care if you’re seven years old, fifteen years old, twenty, thirty or sixty. When you try something new or are presented with a life challenge and you pop out the other side with some level of success, it feels good! You feel good about yourself. That’s when confidence is built.


It may be as simple as introducing a young child to a new sport or activity. If a child is older or more advanced it could mean learning to hit a pitch to the opposite field, a behind-the-back pass in Basketball, executing a corner kick with the opposite foot, learning to sail a boat or swimming the entire length of our beloved Tripp Lake! Whatever the activity, it makes no difference.

The goal is to put children in situations where they can learn and have success overcoming challenges, trying new sports, learning new skills and developing sportsmanship. When they do this they not only increase their athletic diversity but they develop a sense of inclusion. They’ll now have something new (in common) with other people. Which means their social confidence will increase and this type of confidence translates to leadership.

With heightened confidence these children will be the first ones to raise their hand when a coach or teacher needs a volunteer for something new, not just sit back as a silent observer. This confidence will stick with them for the rest of their lives. They will walk a little taller, smile a bit brighter and look for opportunities where others may turn their head.


Your child will live in a cabin with two counselors and children of the same age. Cell phones are prohibited; the kids will be “unplugged.” They will learn to adapt and respect each other’s habits. They will clean their cabin, make their beds on a daily basis and write real letters home every Sunday!

Meals will be served family style. The kids will say please and thank you and they will participate in setting the table, serving the food and cleaning up.

When the children arrive the staff will assess the experience and athletic ability of the children and place them on teams with those of a similar skill set. They will spend the entire session with this team learning, competing and growing as both individuals and a team.

The mornings consist of a series of athletic clinics designed to teach and develop skills in a particular sport. After lunch the teams will have the opportunity to apply the skills learned in an actual game. From there they will head to the lake for a free swim and then up to the dining hall for dinner. After dinner they will participate in a variety of evening activities with “lights out” between 8:30 PM and 10:30 PM. Their days will be full and sleep should come easy.

In summary, campers will develop the following:

+ Confidence in Learning and Trying New Things
+ The Skills and Physical Development of a Diversified Multi-Sport Athlete
+ The Ability and Willingness to Adapt to New Challenges
+ The Fun of Being Part of a Team
+ The Excitement of Winning and the Lessons Learned from Losing
+ The Value in Sportsmanship and What it Means to be a Person of High Character
+ The Joy of Making New Friends and the Bonds of a Lifetime


I was blessed to be a camper at Susquehannock for seven years. I learned how to play Basketball, Baseball, Football and Soccer. I learned how to canoe, sail, ride a horse, swim, dive and hike in the woods. I learned teamwork, sportsmanship and to respect others. I learned how to be independent, dedicated and above all I learned about friendship.


These bonds withstand the test of time. Five, ten, twenty or thirty plus years may pass without seeing a friend from camp and the day you finally run into each other, you feel as though you just saw them yesterday …you simply pick up where you left off. It’s a wonderful feeling; we have all experienced it at one time or another and it’s something that makes Camp Susquehannock special.


Camp Susquehannock is a special place. It was started by “King” Shafer in 1905. The Shafer family has managed and been heavily involved in the camp ever since. The methods and traditions have been passed down through generations. Thousands of campers have come through the program and the camp remains one of the premier multi-sport summer camps in the country.

When you send your child to camp it will most likely be the longest time they have been away from home. Rest assured, while all the things I just described are wonderful… the greatest priority we have is your child’s safety!

We take great pride in your child’s happiness and success. Camp Susquehannock is a non-profit organization. We do this to make an impact on children. Our gift is watching them develop the skills they need to succeed in sports and in life. That is the big reward: the big payoff for us!

So please, give us the opportunity to support the development, growth and education of your child. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. I hope to hear from you soon. I can be reached at jbell@susquehannock.com.

I look forward to speaking with you sometime in the near future.

Jeffrey M. Bell
The Susquehannock Camps