Skate Instructors Association (SkateIA) is known for creating instructors that can teach others how to skate. But beyond certifying new instructors, SkateIA hosts an annual camp that’s made to be a magical learning experience that’s open to anyone, especially non-instructors, and regardless of one’s ability. In a nutshell, CAMP SkateIA is a 3 day camp that features 18 hours of skating workshops across nearly every discipline of skating from some of the best instructors in the world. For those looking to become instructors, there’s opportunities to get certified following the main camp.
This year the event will be held from Friday, August 17th to Sunday, August 19th at Camp Winadu in Pittsfield, MA (about 3 hours from either NYC or Boston) where it was held a few times in the past. I attend many different skating events every year, and without a doubt CAMP SkateIA is my favorite one because of how much it continuously helps me grow as a skater. Here’s ten reasons why:
1. You will learn all sorts of skills you always wanted to learn!
And all sorts of skills you didn’t know you wanted to learn or thought you couldn’t learn. The camp features a diverse set of instructors from so many disciplines including general skating, artistic skating, dance skating, slalom skating, skatepark, Wizard skating, slides, urban/street skating, speed skating, hockey, and more. It’s incredible to see what comes out of it each hour-long session, whether it’s a synchronized dance routine or someone that’s streaming tears of joy because they just dropped into a quarter pipe for the first time in their life.
2. You get to choose your own adventure!
Each of the three days has 6 hour-long blocks for classes, which gives you 18 hours of time with instructors. And each block has up to three classes being taught simultaneously, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find and choose something that piques your interest. You can choose to improve a skill you’re already working on. Or you can choose to try a style of skating you’ve never done before. You might just have a hard time choosing between two classes happening at the same time.
3. There’s something for everyone, regardless of level or ability!
Whether you’re new to skating, a seasoned veteran, on inlines, or on quads, you will find something for you. The camp often arranges beginner classes and advanced classes simultaneously, so no one gets bored or feels like they’re in over their head. Instructors are trained and experienced in teaching moves to all kinds of skaters regardless of whatever’s on their feet. And because there’s different disciplines offered, you’ll sometimes see advanced skaters struggling alongside beginners because they’re doing something they’ve never done before.
4. You get to meet some of the great masters of the skating world!
Leon Basin, inventor of the Wizard frames, was a staple at the camp three years ago when it was in Vancouver. Erika Cordeiro (from Brazil) with her bombshell dance skating style has been part of the camp for a few years. And this year, as in years past, you’ll get to learn from the legendary slalom instructor, Naomi Grigg.
5. You get to experience summer camp again (or for the first time)!
If you enjoyed summer camps while growing up, you’ll get the joy of experiencing the magic again. And if you didn’t have the opportunity as a child, here’s your chance to finally do it. You’ll bunk with old and new skater friends, share meals cafeteria style with everyone, and drink the “SkateIA kool aid”. Some of the most magical moments I’ve had at camp have been off skates, just chatting and hanging out with others that love skating as much as I do.
6. You’ll get your party on!
It’s tradition to have a roller disco on Saturday night during camp, and it’s amazing for a number of reasons. First, you get to see some top skaters break out moves and style from their area of expertise. Second, you get an opportunity to try out new skills you’ve learned from the workshops you just attended. And third, it’s just a ton of fun.
7. You can be trained to become an instructor yourself!
Following the main camp are instructor certifications, which run for two and a half days. During this time, you’ll receive training on how to effectively teach others the art of skating. This year, three different certifications are being offered: Level 1 covers general skate instruction and is suitable for all disciplines of skating. Level 2 is for those that already have a Level 1 certification and want to learn how to manage their class better. The third option, which like Level 1 requires no previous teaching experience, is Skate Park, and is taught by the talented aggressive skater, Mike Obedoza (Obe), from LA.
8. Instructors (and future instructors) get a freebie day to learn best teaching practices!
New for this year is an Instructor Day at camp, where experienced instructors will share their secrets to teaching effectively. This day is open not only to previously certified instructors, but also to those going for their first certification following camp.
9. It’s the best deal around when it comes to skate workshops!
The camp itself is only $150 for all three days, which comes out to less than $10 a class, and staying at the camp is only $85 a night (and that includes meals). And if you’re attending an instructor certification after camp, you’ll pay only half the price for the certification.
10. You’ll learn to love skating all over again!
This is a very personal one for me. Four years ago, just before I attended my first CAMP SkateIA, I was feeling burnt out from skating. It felt boring and kinda the same thing over and over again. But attending camp changed everything. I saw that there was so much more for me to try and work on and play with. It was as if I was on skates for the first time again where the world was full of possibilities. Everyone I’ve seen attend camp has come away with a huge smile on their face and and excitement for skating like never before!
For details on camp and registration, check out http://skateia.org/camp/