Brownstown Central’s auxiliary gymnasium was packed with incoming fifth- through eighth-grade girls this past week.

With 35 kids in the fifth- and sixth-grade group, and 39 for the seventh- and eighth-grade crowd, the volleyball camp saw a surge in participation.

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Brownstown varsity coach Jennifer Shade, who headed the camp, said they changed the dates for this year’s camp and that translated to more attendees.

“Last year, when we had it, there were a lot of other camps going on this week,” Shade said. “We moved it to the third week after school ended because we felt like we would have more kids available to come.”

The first group practiced from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. while the older kids took the court from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

“We try to spend this week teaching technique — where the hands and feet should be and where your body should be facing,” Shade said during one of the early sessions. “During the season, it’s a lot of team-oriented training. We try to work individually with the kids.”

In addition to her assistants helping, Shade had members from the high school teams working with the kids.

“I love to play volleyball; it’s one of my main sports,” camper Kalee Borden said. “I liked everything, learning all different kinds of things. I liked playing in groups at the camp.”

Shade said that they mix drills and games to keep the kids moving.

“It’s a good thing. It’s a role model thing having the high schoolers,” Shade said. “Sometimes the kids will listen and respond to the high school kids better.”

Rylee May said that volleyball is one of her favorite sports.

“I like playing volleyball,” Reed said. “I like doing sports, getting exercise and being active. I learned how to jump serve and pass better.”

Molly Nicholson attended her first camp this past week.

“I thought it might be really fun,” Nicholson said. “It is, and I think I might play on a team now.”

This summer, the varsity and JV teams practice two to three times a week.

Shade said that the high school teams won’t play in any tournaments but have seen plenty of court time since last season.

“We don’t play any tournaments in the summer with the reason being that a lot of kids played in the offseason,” Shade said. “I feel like this is just a refresh time. We don’t push them too hard since we start in August.”

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