5 Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Gymnastics Camp
The tradition of sending your child to summer camp is such a special part of growing up and it can be the ultimate experience of a lifetime!
If you’re new to the camp world and/or scouting out which camp might be the best fit for your gymnast, this blog has some great info for you!
International Gymnastics Camp was founded in 1971 on the foundation of being a traditional summer camp that specializes and excels in world-class gymnastics training.
Over the past five decades, IGC has continued to pioneer and improve the standards of excellence that gymnastics camps strive to achieve.
1. Safety & Supervision
Safety and supervision are always the top priority at IGC, as they should be for all summer camps.
When sending your gymnast to camp, you should feel comfortable that your camper is supervised and safe in all activities from training in the gyms to having fun at the pool and everything else in-between.
International Gymnastics Camp is the longest accredited ACA gymnastics camp. You might be thinking, what does that mean?
Through a thorough peer review of daily operations, from staff qualifications and training to emergency management, the ACA checks to ensure that a camp’s current practices reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in the industry.
For more information on the American Camping Association, you can check out their website here.
IGC’s legacy of being the longest accredited ACA gymnastics camp is a testament to the high standards of excellence IGC has always had, since being founded in 1971.
The importance of campers being supervised across all activities may sound like the most obvious notion, but it is not the norm for some camps.
At IGC we have a 1:8 ratio of staff to campers across the board to ensure campers are safe and supervised in all activities.
Such as in the gyms we have master coaches supervising each gym, on top of the coaching staff who are assigned one group each rotation and tailor their individual lesson plans accordingly.
Every recreation activity at IGC is supervised and staff have a clear line-of-sight across the campus.
Staff at IGC are not only there to supervise activities but also foster a kind, welcoming and encouraging environment for all campers to enjoy, whether you came to camp by yourself or with teammates.
Under no circumstances, would a camper be alone with a staff member, at IGC there is no environment for this.
*Fun Safety Fact: IGC’s founder Bruno Klaus invented the 6×6 foam block! An industry standard since its inception.
2. Philosophy & Ethos
When looking for a summer camp, a camp’s core values, philosophies and ethos are very important.
It’s easy to read about how great a camp is but how everything is put into practice is a huge contributing factor as to whether a camp is simply talking the talk without walking the walk or in fact practicing what they preach.
International Gymnastics Camp is committed to providing a kind, healthy & safe environment for all our campers in all aspects of camp life.
IGC programs across the board are built on the foundation of enriching every camper’s love for gymnastics, developing social skills, making lifelong friendships, enhancing teamwork skills, gaining independence and making camp magic memories that last a lifetime.
IGC is notably an electronics free camp which contributes greatly to the culture on campus.
In this day and age, it is refreshing to be present in the moment, without being distracted by devices. It is also a safety concern having electronic devices in a camp environment – there is no need for campers to be unnecessarily exposed to online content from social media to surfing the web.
Camp is a fantastic environment to simply enjoy being a kid!
Our days at IGC are jam packed with fun and exciting activities, your camper won’t even miss having their devices.
Our photographers are there to capture some of the camp magic moments too.
Interestingly enough, it’s usually the parents who miss having instant access to their campers via devices, but that is why we place such crucial importance on the health, wellbeing and safety of all our campers, so that parents can have the peace of mind that their children are safe.
Another special part of IGC’s legacy is that we are family owned and operated, we have been since Bruno and Cheryl Klaus founded IGC in 1971, fifty-one years ago.
IGC is also the only second generation-run gymnastics camp, with Brent Klaus, being the Director of International Gymnastics Camp for more than two decades. Kara Klaus runs IGC’s sister camp, International Sports Training Camp, just a mile down the road. It’s safe to say, summer camp is in the Klaus family’s DNA!
In 1971 we founded International Gymnastics Camp with a vision to build a place that united the gymnastics world in a fun, kind and positive environment. Nestled in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, more than 150,000 campers from over 60 countries have called IGC their home away from home. For three generations now we are proud to share a legacy of friendships, smiles, laughter, and joy. These cherished camp magic memories will last forever and live on in the next generation of campers. From our gymnastics to our recreation, our campus to our IGC philosophies we continue to uphold our IGC standards of excellence. Through our more than fifty year legacy, we have been pioneers in safety and education in both the gymnastics and camping (summer camp) world. We thank you for being a part of this IGC tradition and we look forward to continuing this extraordinary legacy with you. – Bruno and Cheryl Klaus.
I am proud to carry on this family tradition as the second-generation family leadership at International Gymnastics Camp. We are the only second-generation family-run gymnastics camp in the world. Growing up at IGC I was privileged enough to see the camp magic memories that were created each summer, the passion for gymnastics you all brought to IGC and the true summer camp fun that comes with this.
Continuing to uphold and develop our IGC standards of excellence, I founded the Professional Coaching Development Program which is now world-renowned and pioneered a new way of positive coaching with a true understanding of our sport, gymnastics. Scoring the only ever perfect 10.0 on vault at USA Championships in 1998, I further understood the value of training hard and balancing that with the enjoyment of life outside of the gym which is a testament to our IGC beliefs. The Kount on Kindness program I founded is engrained in the culture of IGC and creates a camping environment that is welcoming for all campers.
Being a Professional Bull Rider for 17 years allowed me to be a part of another fun, intense and rewarding sport in a different yet parallel world. From our Kount on Kindness program to our Be Gymnastics initiative and so much in between, I am honored to continue this incredible 50-year legacy with you all, our IGC family. – Brent Klaus.
Furthermore, IGC has always placed great importance on progression-based drills in the gyms, to build on what your gymnast is already working on at their home gym.
Transparency is very important and it’s worth understanding that your camper is not going to go from a level five gymnast to Olympic level after one week at summer camp but they are going work towards their realistic goals, have fun in the gyms and work on progressing through each skill and gain a better understanding of what they are working on, on each event.
Our goal is that every camper leaves camp even more in love with gymnastics than when they arrived: inspired and motivated by their own accomplishments, the gymnasts they trained with at camp, and our IGC staff’s encouragement and support.
3. Fun & Camp Magic
Camp is all about embracing being a kid, being present in moments and enjoying the company of other campers who share your passion for gymnastics!
The camp magic energy the entire IGC family brings each season creates memories that last a lifetime. If you ask any IGC alumni, they’ll likely tell you that the spirit of camp magic at IGC is a feeling that is tough to replicate.
Whether it’s your first summer at camp or it’s your tenth summer at camp, each season brings the opportunity for new goals, friendships and camp magic memories that last a lifetime.
IGC makes a diligent effort to ensure the magic of camp is alive and thriving every camp season through employing the best staff, to having the best camp food, the kindest culture and more!
There are plenty of college camps and other camps alike where you can participate in gymnastics training, but few camps have the x-factor of combining the traditional summer camp experience and the incredible sport of gymnastics.
IGC has kept its integrity of being a traditional summer camp that focuses solely on artistic gymnastics.
This gives our IGC campers the chance to embrace their love for the sport of gymnastics whilst also enjoying the legacy of a traditional summer camp experience!
IGC’s facilities are second-to-none with more than 600 acres of property, with five gyms and amazing recreation activities – not to mention that 200ft waterslide! Since 1971 the Klaus family have steadily made additions to all the facilities at camp.
With families who have third generation campers, it’s always so fun to hear the stories of how they remember IGC, from the outdoor gyms to the pay phones, to the canteen under the Klaus house, to the bathhouse at the top of the hill and everything else over the past fifty-one years.
As we like to say, these are some of the amazing camp magic memories that last a lifetime!
Other that reiterating that safety is always our top priority at IGC, including when it comes to our facilities, it might be easier to just show you. Check out our website here to see photos of all our facilities. And keep an eye out for our spring camp tour dates!
Maintaining the health and well-being of our campers as well as the environment around them is achieved through strict adherence to Pennsylvania State regulations. IGC is approved by both the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
When sending your child to a summer camp it’s important to expect that they will be safe and well looked after.
That’s why IGC continues to ensure all staff are appropriately background checked and go through rigorous staff training.
IGC maintains that it is not in the best interest of all campers to have parents as counselors in lieu of staff who have been hired as counselors.
Throughout the summer season, our IGC staff continue their education in counseling and coaching with professionals in each department.
We hope you find this info helpful and insightful!
Feel free to contact our awesome office team if you have any questions!