David Pressgrove: Camps to remember

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Oh to be 17 again.

I didn't attend any team camps in high school. My day with the Moffat County football team makes me wonder, what if I had?

I did have a chance to go to individual camps in high school and while none was like the University of Wyoming team football camp, there were similarities.

I went to Kansas Boys State, which was a week in which 2,000 high school boys ran a simulated country.

It doesn't sound too exciting, but it is one of those "guess you had to be there" kind of experiences.

I was reminded of my Boys State experience when I was sitting with the football team in the cafeteria Friday. A UW student of the female persuasion walked by and every high schooler's head turned.

At Boys State, 2,000 high school boys spent a week isolated in three dormitories. We had seen so little of the opposite sex that at the end of the week the Kansas secretary general (a 63-year-old woman) received a standing ovation at our closing assembly. The ovation wasn't because of a rousing speech, but because we hadn't heard a female voice in seven days.

It's not a moment I'm proud of, but I can laugh at it now.

Team camps are set up to be fun.

Everybody had time to spend together that they would never have elsewhere. There is intentionally a lot of down-time for the teams. The coaches all hang out in a dorm room and talk shop. Most of the time they're talking shop with the players.

The players all hang out and have video game tournaments.

Last year, the camp was rained out for a night, and Wyoming coach Joe Glenn expressed that he was glad because it gave more team-building time. He hopes that the teams that come to his camp will learn more than Xs and Os.

There tends to be a lot of testosterone at all-male camps. I remember the days in football when, as an underclassman, I tried my best to avoid all upperclassmen because of the fear of initiation. As an upperclassman, I tried my best to find all of the underclassmen I could to instill the fear of initiation.

I was reminded of those times when Glenn announced Friday morning that four campers were sent home for hazing.

None of those players was a Moffat County Bulldog, but there were 46 Pride and Perfections waiting for the Bulldog upperclassmen Friday morning for chasing around some of the younger guys late into Thursday night.

My freshman year, I had my legs shaved with a bare razor by some of my upperclassmen friends.

It's another moment I'm not proud of, but I can laugh now.

Moffat County Athletics Director Jim Loughran credits part of the success of the Moffat County athletics programs to the time spent at camps. Girls basketball, wrestling and football all spent time at camps this week. All three of those teams are traditionally at the top of Moffat's success. Coincidence? Maybe, but the lifetime memories that were made and the bonds that were established were no coincidence.

Although there are moments I had at camp that I'm not proud of, like almost getting sent home for throwing water on a counselor during naptime, the collective experiences are some of the best I ever had.

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