The Oakdale Stampede cheerleaders took the final couple days out of the end of their summer vacation to participate in the JAMZ Cheer Camp when the national camp made its stop at Stanislaus State on Aug. 8 and 9.
The girls took full advantage of the nationally recognized camp, fine tuning their craft before the season opening Round Robin Tournament the organization will be hosting Aug. 22 at the Corral.
“We attended the camp for two days,” Cheer vice-president Carina McDonald said. “From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for both sessions of instruction time.”
The girls made the short trek to Turlock in hopes of gaining more confidence entering the squads’ fourth season and lifting the team’s level of trust that each girl has in one another.
“The best thing that they get out of it is a sense of community,” McDonald said. “It is always a really big team building weekend for us. They get a lot of instructions on dancing, stunts and safety.
“The girls who teach the camp are all former youth cheerleaders, so they’re just great examples for the girls.”
The Oakdale girls will be embarking on a long season that will run through the end of November, opening a commitment that will last for the next few months. The girls understand that and are excited about their upcoming season.
“We’re thrilled,” McDonald said. “We have tons of returning cheerleaders, which has made a huge difference in our group, because the girls have so much experience. They are all pretty familiar with the way we run the program. Seeing all of our returning girls so confident is really helping our little girls.”
The uniforms are handed out and the preliminary parts are behind the cheerleaders, but cheer is not just for a football season, the coaches are looking to implement a way of life. They are focused on the girls getting the right introduction toward becoming young ladies.
“The biggest thing that we expect from the girls,” McDonald said, “is to follow through and have confidence in themselves. We want them to know what it’s like to be a part of a team and be dedicated to their teammates.
“And having respect for themselves is one of the most important things that we teach them. We want them to represent the Stampede in a positive way.”