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Hello,

My name is Gabriel Hurl, I'm 24 years old, and I will be your Camp Leader. I was motivated to start Gabriel's Athletics as a way of bringing kids in the local area together to have fun and play sports.

I grew up opposite Latchmere Recreation Grounds (a.k.a. the Rec) on Latchmere Lane so a lot of my childhood was spent in the area. I attended St. Agathas Primary School just around the corner; my parents would take me to the Rec playground after school; and I played Kingston Little League there on Sundays.

When I was a teenager my family and I moved to Sarasota, Florida. I really enjoyed living there and one of the things that stands out was the amount of sport on offer and the culture of summer camps. My parents have always encouraged me to try new sports and I did a number of different sport/summer camps myself. Camps helped me to meet lots of friends and integrate into new groups. We've since moved back to Kingston and I would love to start a camp that gives other children the benefits I too once experienced. Considering the positive impact that sport had on my life and how many young families live in the area, I think there is a lot of potential for bringing sport to many more children.

 

After high school I actually went to work at a summer camp in Canada. I worked as a camp counsellor at the renowned Onondaga Camp just outside of Toronto. Along with a co-counsellor, I was responsible for a cabin of 12 boys aged between 6-8. When I wasn't with my cabin, I was ran sports activities and assisted on the high ropes course.

 

Two years later I worked for Ocean Elements, a British company providing water-sport holidays for families in Greece. I gained a BCAB level 1 paddlesport instructor qualification for the position and was the Kids Activity Leader. I was responsible for a group of around 8 children and I would take them around in the morning and afternoon to different activities. 

 

It has been my experience that children have an overwhelmingly positive experience at summer camps. They get to meet an entirely new group of people, play lots of different sports, learn new games, while spending all day outdoors. Onondaga Camp in particular emphasised something called 'camp magic,' which was all about going the extra mile as a counsellor to create lasting memories. All the while making more independent, resilient, and confident children who know how to work with others as part of a team.

I truly believe in the value sport brings to young people. Not unlike other activities, such as music, drama, or art, sport is a medium through which children can learn to apply themselves and find common ground with their peers. Sport teaches us discipline, accountability, and the reward that can be found in pushing ourselves. Moreover, being a part of team gives us a sense of community and helps build identity. At our summer camps we aim to instill children with a love of sport so that they can be the best versions of themselves and find community throughout the rest of their lives.

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