WABA is extremely happy to have been able to work with the Achieve Kids Triathlon Summer Camp for a second year in a row. This year’s Achieve camps took place at Benning Park Community Center, Deanwood Community Center, Ferebee Hope Recreation Center, and Turkey Thicket Recreation Center. WABA’s participation in the Achieve summer camps not only allowed us to continue our youth education efforts in DC throughout the summer, but it also let us focus the majority of that work in Wards 7 and 8, coinciding with our ongoing East of the River Initiative.
Achieve campers range in age between 9 and 14 and each camper is provided with all the necessary equipment to participate in camp activities, including helmets and bicycles. With the basics taken care of by the Achieve coaching staff, we were able to set up more complex and advanced skills courses. When planning for the classes, WABA wanted to find a good balance of skills that campers would be able to use both in the race and outside of camp on the streets of DC. “We were hoping that our young athletes would gain a better understanding of their bicycles and how to properly use them,” said Jeff Horowitz, Achieve Program Director.
We decided to take our Confident City Cycling 1 and 2 material (our interpretation of the Bike League’s Traffic Skills 101 Curriculum), usually taught to adults, and tailor it for a younger audience to provide a challenging and engaging experience for the campers. We started slow with a simple starting and stopping drills, then moving onto scanning and signaling. Then we upped the ante by seeing if they could handle our avoidance maneuver drills. The achieve kids were fearless! In no time we had them nailing quick turns, avoidance weaves and emergency stops like professionals. “Teaching the full Confident City Cycling material to kids is an excellent opportunity to cover the curriculum in depth. The kids are engaged, excited and soak up the material like sponges. It’s exciting to see,” said WABA staffer Greg Billing. After visiting each camp twice WABA turned the achieve campers into confident cyclists ready for their race at the end of the summer.
WABA would like to thank Jeff Horowitz, Michelle Hardberg, and all the Achieve coaches for making camp memorable for the kids and WABA staffers. Be sure to check out the race Friday August 5th, 8am to 12pm at the Anacostia Park & Aquatic Facility. To learn more about the Achieve Kids Tri summer camp or to volunteer for the race on August 5th visit: http://achievekidstri.org.