Replacing Cheer Camp with Camping

Working my usual summer consists of constant (mostly domestic) traveling to teach cheerleading camps. Now that we are in a worldly pandemic, traveling and mass get-togethers have diminished. As much as I’m bummed about missing out on camp, this means I have been home in Colorado nearly every weekend!

I’ve lived in Colorado for 3 years, but I’ve never spent a summer here. My fiance, Tanner, has always wanted to show me how beautiful it is (and now I see that he is always right) during the months of June-August. Most people think of Colorado as only snow and mountains, but the summers are filled with sun and wildflowers. We’ve been camping nearly every weekend!

Similar to that of a schedule at a cheer camp, we have plenty of activities planned for each of our camping trips. Below are the two tentative schedules combined and compared. Tips included in italics throughout!

Depending on weather, we switch between tent camping, car camping, and backpacking (with a tent, traveling on foot). My fiance is the most prepared for staying in nature, so I usually trust his guidance on which one is right for the trip. The photos below are a mix of those experiences (minus backpacking because it’s too hard for me, lol).

Do your research! Here are some quick tips:

  • If there is a fire ban, bring a propane stove (no smoke, legal, just a bit pricey) for cooking & warmth. Buy propane if necessary ($50).
  • Bring a tarp and protective rain clothing for bad weather. Prepare for both hot and cold weather.
  • Consider insects and purchase repellent (mosquitoes love me– I have a bracelet and lots of bug spray). Bring extra.

Arrival Day: Pitch up your tent, your hammock, and your chill spot (near the fire for food/chilling). I hung this hammock up by myself! You can now call me Queen of the Campground.

Here is the schedule for Overnight Camping Day 2:

7:30 AM: Breakfast remains the same. Wake up with the sun and have some oatmeal, eggs, or bacon/sausage over the fire. You can still bring coffee (I bring cold brew in the cooler, Tanner uses a hot coffee press) and creamer as well.

8:30 AM: Instead of having a big brother/big sister meeting, we have a post-breakfast powwow to evaluate our food for the day, create a game plan (for adventures), and chat about the day/night prior.

9:00 AM: The UCAkait warmup is replaced with some sort of stretching or agility workout. It’s important to get your muscles moving early on in the day! Drink a cup of water after coffee/before activities!

9:30 AM: I guess Dance Class would be the first team activity, because we need at least an hour of chilling in hammocks/folding chairs while waiting for the sun to come up. We play music with good vibes and dance a little bit there. Charge your speakers beforehand!

10:30 AM: Cheer Class is replaced with a scenic hike. The temperature starts rising in the late morning, which becomes the perfect opportunity to get going with a light cardio/leg workout. The views are great and the hiking experience leaves you energized for the rest of the day. Bring water!!

12:00 PM: We don’t have to replace lunch, because everyone is always very hungry by this time in the day. Instead of chocolate milk and chicken nuggets, though, we have sandwiches or hot dogs (but isn’t a hot dog a sandwich?) back at the camp.

1:00 PM: Rather than heading into private coaching, we take our focus toward a nearby lake. Getting some sun (after applying sunscreen, of course) on our raft is our new favorite summer activity. Tanner has recently started fishing as well in hopes of bringing home dinner!

4:00 PM: Just like camp, when everyone gets tired after a long afternoon of hard work, we head back to camp for a much-needed Gatorade Break. We are drinking tons of water and probably heading back to review the hammock session.

4:30 PM: Dinner is a little different from camp pizza, only because we prepare over-the-top camping meals. Over the propane fire and/or a propane stove specific for cooking, we cook veggies on a skillet, make tortellini or ramen noodles by boiling them in a pot, and throw in pre-cooked proteins we had prepared from home.

6:00 PM: At a cheer camp, coming back from dinner usually follows with everyone showing up to the Jump-Off or the Spirit Rally with fun costumes or spirited outfits. Camping isn’t so different, we just add a few layers as the sun goes down. Grab a hat, extra sweatshirt, and fuzzy socks!

6:30 PM: The spirit rally remains. We might not use that term often, but this is the time of day where we’re focused on FUN! Hanging out with our friends, listening to music, and adventuring around the woods can be as fun (if not more!) than a camp rally!

9:00 PM: We finish the night off with s’mores, stars, and lights! Instead of Top Banana, we have a night-time party in the woods! Good music, fun lights (recently purchased, new obsession and found on Amazon), and treats over the fire really end a wonderful camping day!

10:00 PM: Dismissal at camp looks pretty similar to dismissal during camping, we just get a little cold/tired after hanging out with each other all day and decide to go snuggle up in our tents for the night. Pack a mattress pad or a folding panel mat for next-level comfort!

When you look at how much fun we have throughout the day, it makes me not feel so sad that we’re missing out on cheer camp! I just wish my virtual classes and blog could help as many people as I normally do during a traveling summer!

Hoping to travel again soon, but thankful for my camping experiences back at home in the most beautiful state.


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