Fundamentals and friendship.
Those were the two hallmarks of Solanco High School's field hockey camp.
Solanco High coaches and players provided instruction and worked to build relationships during the 17th annual "Big Sister, Little Sister" camp, which was held last week at the school.
Kylee Garman, who is entering her fourth season as an assistant coach at Solanco, oversees the camp, which is for girls in kindergarten through eighth grade.
"We teach them the basic fundamentals and tips of the game," Garman said last Wednesday morning. "It's also about friendships. They're here to have a good time."
Campers are paired with a small group of the high school players, who provide instruction with the support of Solanco coaches.
"It builds relationships," Garman said. "The younger kids come to the high school games and they're excited to see their 'big sister' play. Hopefully, that keeps them interested in the sport."
That plan seems to be working. Adalie Kreider, a rising first grader, is playing field hockey for the first time and plans to continue with the sport. Adalie said her favorite part of the camp was "playing field hockey and playing games with all the kids."
Mylee Smith, who will be a junior at Solanco this fall, served as a camp instructor for the second time.
"These girls are the future of the [Solanco] field hockey program," Smith said. "What I pass on to them is what they're going to bring into it. If I'm teaching them well they will learn the right way to do things."
The campers are not the only people who get something out of the experience.
"Personally, it's rewarding to see the growth they can make even in a week," said Smith.
Smith said the Solanco High players teach basic skills and good habits. "That way, in the game, they'll be able to do it without thinking," she explained.
The instructors also give another kind of lesson. "We tell them to encourage one another and build relationships with one another," Smith said. "They could be teammates in the future."