Cheerleaders organize mini cheer camp

Claire+Palmer+teaches+the+elementary+school+kids+the+dance+at+the+2019+mini+cheer+camp.

Samantha Palmer

Claire Palmer teaches the elementary school kids the dance at the 2019 mini cheer camp.

Every year, Meridian High School’s cheerleaders put together a mini cheer camp for elementary school students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade in order to fundraise and collect money for future cheer activities and necessary supplies. The camp seems to be a hit this year with at least 60 elementary students who have already signed up.

“It’s a good fundraiser for us and the little kids really enjoy it,” said Sarah Minix, high school cheer coach.

This is Minix’s fourth year putting together the mini cheer camp.  The activities at the camp range from learning a dance created by the cheerleaders to playing games, eating pizza, and bonding with the high school cheerleaders.

“I think the girls really enjoy the mini cheer camp because they get to do something with all of their friends from school,” said Claire Palmer, senior. “Not all of them are in girls scouts, and not all of them do dance or something like that, so it gives them something fun to do and then show their parents.”

Each year, the high school cheerleaders teach all of the kids a dance. This year, Palmer created the dance. She had to come up with individual motions and teach it to the high school squad, who will then teach the dance to the elementary girls. The squad also comes up with a theme for the camp.

“[This year] we chose Alladin because the new live-action movie had just come out this past year, and I know a lot of the kids liked that,” said Palmer.

The high school squad tries to make the camp as fun as possible for the girls. The squad makes a dance, practices it, and teaches it to the large group of kids. This year the team even had to schedule an extra practice to get the dance down because they were short on time. The team collects the forms from the parents and has to keep track of what kinds of pizza to order.

The participants also get t-shirts that the entrepreneurship class make, so the squad makes sure every girl gets the correct shirt size.

“The little girls really look up to the cheerleaders. I think every little girl would like to be a cheerleader when she gets into an upper grade,” said Minix.

The girls will spend the day learning the dance and playing games on Saturday, Feb. 8, and perform the dance that afternoon, as well as during halftime of the varsity game on Feb. 11.