Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Fast-filling summer camp lets area youth dabble in sports

Kids yearning to be the next University of Denver student athlete will have the opportunity to practice like one this summer.

The Pioneer Athletic Super Summer Camp (PASS) at DU allows campers, ages 6 to 12, to practice on the same fields and courts as DU student athletes, skate on its NHL-sized hockey rink and play in its Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Celebrating its 15th year, PASS Camp will be held June 2–Aug. 15. Participants will practice and learn a variety of sports, including floor hockey, touch rugby, tennis, lacrosse, martial arts, dance, climbing wall, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and T-ball.

Heather Brown says her 7-year-old son Hunter likes what’s offered and being able to choose from so many different sports. She says it’s what isn’t offered that she likes.

“What I like is what is not there — field trips, movies and television,” Brown says. “The fact that it’s active.”

This is the third summer Brown has enrolled Hunter in PASS and she says she’s gained confidence in the leaders and counselors.

“For us it’s the whole package.”

This year, the camp continues its offering of sport majors, which allows campers to focus on a specific sport for a portion of their day. In the sport majors, campers learn the fundamentals of their chosen sport through skill drills and practice games. Children focus about two hours of their day on a major.

The general “Pioneer Sports” major continues to be a popular option and allows campers to focus on a variety of sports throughout the week. Two optional minors are 30-minute instructional sessions that teach children to improve either skating or swimming abilities.

Also available this year is a Sports Conditioning Late Care program that allows campers ages 9 to 12 to work with a Coors Fitness Center personal trainer on muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular health.

DU Youth Activities Manager Jami Petersek says registration is already 85 percent full.

It’s popular, Petersek says, because “kids get to try different sports and we have the equipment so parents aren’t out the money” for a sport they may not like. PASS is a good introduction to sports, she says, and predicts this year will be a good experience for everyone involved.

The price is $219 per week per child. A discounted price of $199 is available for additional children, registration in three or more weeks, for DU alumni and employees and for Ricks Center students. Minor sports are an additional $35 a week.

For more information call 303-871-3908 or visit

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