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Education Student Gets Hands-on Experience
at Blugold All Sports Camp

RELEASED: Aug. 4, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior Cory Galston, an elementary education major from Marshall, said she felt like she was getting a jump on her education practicum by working with children at the 37th Annual Blugold Boys and Girls All-Sport Camp. However, the 50 kids ages 5-12 did most of the jumping.

The camp, which ran July 18-29 at UW-Eau Claire's McPhee Physical Education Center, encourages a life-long positive attitude toward physical activity while emphasizing skills necessary for children to become effective at a variety of sports and healthy activities. This summer's staff consisted of 13 UW-Eau Claire students taking "Physical Education and Health Education for Teachers of Grades K-9." Their instructor for the course was Sean Yengo, senior lecturer in the kinesiology department, and they were supervised by Dr. Jeff Lindauer, the director of physical education teacher education at UW-Eau Claire.

Skills and abilities emphasized at the All Sports Camp include throwing, catching, dribbling, agility, muscular endurance, aerobic endurance, strength, flexibility and coordination, all of which give the children a foundation for success and enjoyment in activities such as swimming, football, soccer, baseball, softball, gymnastics, dance, volleyball and basketball.

Galston stressed that many of the kids tried activities they might not otherwise choose or exhibit a natural talent for.

"It's great to see so many kids trying so hard to do things they can't necessarily do easily." said Galston. "You just see such huge smiles!"

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the teachers prepared lesson plans that took the children through a series of activities designed to move from individual skills practice through partnered, team and then group practice. Tuesdays and Thursdays were devoted to swimming and gymnastics.

"We had one little boy who just clung to the side of the pool and didn't want to do anything when he first started," said Galston. "But by the end of the second week he was just all smiles and splashing around trying everything."

Galston said that one of the best parts of the program was the way the UW-Eau Claire students were able to observe and help each other, stepping in with suggestions and just generally working as a team to make the experience great for the kids. Over the course of the two weeks, each student chose a quote to read to the kids about some concept they would like to emphasize — such as courage — and then encouraged the kids to talk about what that meant. Galston chose a quote from time management consultant Harold Taylor: "The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become."

"I wanted to emphasize how important it is to try hard and not give up — to just keep working at things — if you want to get to your highest possible level of achievement," said Galston.

Other good things about the All-Sports Camp experience?

"The parents," said Galston. "I really appreciated how easy they were to talk to and their level of involvement."

Galston has been very involved with children and education all through her university career. She has been a Jumpstart Program volunteer for four years, spent one semester with the America Reads program and another working with Hmong adults through the Literacy Volunteers of America. She also spent two summers working with the award-winnning National Youth Sports Program at UW-Eau Claire.

"I love kids, and I like to be busy," said Galston.



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