My Youth Soccer Guide

Univ. of Wisconsin Soccer Camp- Clueless

Two years in a row now, the UW Soccer camp in Madison, WI has been run with temperatures in the high 90s and even 100. Kids were out in the scorching sun and it certainly wasn't fun. Descpite having two huge tents set up, they did the opening "Welcome" session IN FRONT of the tents, leaving the kids sitting out in the sun to cook while the tents sat behind them with a few adults standing in them. When I brought this to the attention of 2 staff members, they just shrugged me off.

First day check-in lines were extremely long, despite the fact that most people had preregistered.. Again when I said something to staff, they just shrugged. The staff of this camp undoubtedly know a lot about soccer, but if you want your child to have a happy camp experience, this isn't the camp for her/him. The people who run this camp aren't in-tuned to the needs of children. Children don't feel well cared for and the staff is ill-informed about camp logistics and they're powerless to change anything. My son was distressed on the way home one day because he had 3 different staff members tell him 3 different things about where to go for pick-up that day. There must not be much of a staff orientation and training involved in this camp (if any).
We were told Gatorade would be supplied for the camp, but my son never once saw any Gatorade to drink.
Just because you have a big-10 athletic program doesn't mean you know how to take care of hundreds of children in extreme weather conditions. We were told that trainers would be available and when I asked on the first day where the trainers were, a staff member told me he hadn't seen them yet that day. All camps for children should be planned, organized, and run by experts of CHILDREN- not college athletic staff. There should always be an indoor facility available as a back-up plan, which was not the case for this camp. I guess if it had rained all week, our kids would have been out in the rain the whole time, too.
For any camp, I'd ask about the issues raised here. Also, ask if there's a post-camp evaluation process so you can provide feedback. If a camp doesn't ask you about your experience, take it that they don't really care.

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