Ultimate Frisbee brings out the best in campers

Sam Kernohan
Sam Kernohan

It’s a cool Monday evening, and there is no study hall, leaving the kids with an extra hour to enjoy optionals. Rain was in the forecast, but thankfully the clouds got their business done earlier in the day because an intense game of Ultimate Frisbee is ready to go down.

We gather at 7:30 outside Schneider. The group is comprised of about 20 kids with a range of experience from newcomer to experienced disc thrower. All of them are eager to get on the field.

When we get to the South Lawn, without the counselors having to tell the kids anything, they designate the two undisputedly best players as captains and set up teams elementary school playground style: pick by pick. At first everything is going swimmingly, but fifteen minutes into playing, the score is ten to two. The teams aren’t well balanced, so once again, with little prompting, the team captains meet and make some strategic trades. What’s especially good is they don’t trade the obviously less experienced players but instead the mid-range ones with different skill sets to fill in gaps, and nobody feels bad about being traded away.

Once we start up again with the new teams, everybody has to work hard to keep the game going, and nobody gets more than two points ahead. The competition goes on with the team captains giving the newbies advice, and everybody plays hard and gets sweaty. After time is up, on the walk back, all the campers are worn out, happy, and ready to shower.