It’s now around 11:20pm and the Mohadoun is alive with the sounds of socializing staff members. We all just returned from an amazing time at the first ever UP pool party. We played hard this morning in the first round of the tournament, then ate, dove, and danced at the pool — a perfect way to cap off a grand day. To top it all off we had a surprise from a friend we all hoped we’d get to see!
As usual, my morning began with a health dose of coffee made by Director Barkan. Fully fueled for the morning, I headed off to the dining hall with the day’s issue of “Get UP!” in hand, as I had managed to print them out the night before. Team pink had a good time socializing at breakfast. We talked about the previous day and a bit about the schedule for the day.
Our on the field, after a short meeting in the auditorium, we warmed up and then worked through some more team-bonding activities involving bracelets. We then moved through a short Go-To drill and then our first tournament game began with our game against Royal Blue. We went up 2-0 off of some quick possessions, but then gave up 3 well-earned goals to go down 2-3. We then scored again to get us to half. We continued to have good disc movement in the second half, but couldn’t quite score and ended up losing 3-6. The game capped off with a spirit circle and each team voting on their choices for spirit MVP on the other team. Go Ruba!
We then had some time to rest before playing our second game against Charcoal. We won the flip and pulled into what was a long first point. The girls kept up the long-game pressure, spacing out well into their horizontal stack formation. We went up 1-0, then took half 2-1. We figured out how to keep the disc moving close to the endzone and the girls ran hard through lots of long points. We ended up winning 4-3. Unfortunately, during the first part of the game, our primary handler, Gal, went down with a badly twister ankle. She ended up having to leave camp a couple hours to see a doctor. She’ll be fine, but she won’t be able to come back to camp. After the game, we all went to see her in the nurse’s office. We were definitely quite sad to see her go, but we gave her a great sendoff.
Tomorrow morning we play two more tournament games, then the tournament goes straight to 1v2 for the finals, and 3v4 for the, well, 3/4 game :)
After the games, the girls had a bit of free time before lunch began at 1pm. The usual table cheering ensued while everyone fueled up after an active morning. By 1:40 we were all in the auditorium where the kids were told about the various afternoon activities. I watched some Ultimate on the big screen in the auditorium before sneaking away for a short nap, which was fantastically helpful. Sleep is good? Yup.
By 4:30 the kids were beginning to meet up in the Quad to group up before their practices. No one was moving very quickly, and with the depleted numbers on my team and Maroon’s, we paired up for a zone-oriented practice. Practice ended up going very well. We threw, warmed up, and made some great headway introducing the zone. Most of the players had not see one before. It’s quite a thrill to be able to explain seriously important, brand new information to kids. Despite the heat, the girls ran hard and it seemed like they really took in what we presented and had them work through. It was also pretty surreal to practice next to a 100+ foot Bougainvillea spread, with a Roman aquaduct in the background. A little after 6pm we finished up with a “Pink Ladies!” cheer, and then the girls had some time to go get ready for the pool party.
At 6:30, Meredith and I along with a few other coaches and players started the group waiting to board the busses. About 30 minutes later the whole camp has been transported by bus to the nearby pool where we grouped up in teams to enter the area. Inside, as we were just sitting down with our teams in the grassy area next to the pool, I heard a happy shriek and saw a running girl go straight over to… Yasmeen! It was so, so happiness inducing to see Yasmeen! After a long string of hugs, the teams socialized for a bit before dinner began.
After filling up on a great BBQ dinner, the kids socialized for a little while before the pool was opened. For the next 2 hours the kids swam, dove for discs, and danced. The weather was cool and the true spirit of UP was present in every interaction. A particularly touching moment was when “Waving Flag”, a long-time UP favorite, was cranked up. I had a great tim being a part of the scrum of people in the pool trying to sky each other. Water really helped you get up!
The pool party wrapped up with everyone circling up around the pool. David gave a few announcements, the Pearl crew plus a few backup singers performed a beautiful song in Hebrew, which was followed by everyone singing the camp song.
A short bus ride later we were all back at Manof. Many staff members headed over to the Mohadoun for the staff meeting, which David ended up canceling. I followed suite and called off the head coaches meeting. The extra free time, which many staff members put towards sleeping, was certainly appreciated.
One and half days left. Time certainly flies when you’re having the time of your life.