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Spartan All-Stars All-Sports Camp doubles in size in second year

More than 160 kids come out for second session of camp developed by Hill at La Cañada High.

July 30, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Hip-hop dance instructor Kelli Erdmann, center, goes through a routine with Spartan All-Stars All-Sports Campers at La Cañada High.
Hip-hop dance instructor Kelli Erdmann, center, goes… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

LA CAÑADA — Brayden Alms was desperate for a change in summer camps last year. The 11-year-old Pasadena resident went to a camp in his hometown, but wasn’t exactly pleased before making the switch to the Spartan All-Stars All-Sports Camp.

“Before this, I went to another camp, which was really bad, and I didn’t like it at all,” Alms said. “I would beg my mom everyday, ‘Can we please not go to this camp? Can we just do something else and find something?’ Finally, they found this camp, it’s been good.”

Alms not only stuck with the Spartan All-Stars All-Sports Camp for the rest of the 2012 summer, but returned this year and converted Eloise Whitford, who attended the same camp as him last summer, to the camp at La Cañada High.

“It’s been really fun,” said Whitford, 11, who will be a sixth grader at Westridge when school starts back up, “I’m doing all three sessions.”

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The Spartan All-Stars Camp, started last year as an one-year experiment by La Cañada High teacher and girls’ basketball Coach Tamar Hill, returned for a sophomore run and will likely become a yearly fixture.

“We’re hoping so,” Hill said of making the camp an annual event, “the response we’ve gotten this year has been fantastic.”

After catering to kindergarten to sixth graders, the all-day and all-sports camp expanded to include seventh graders in 2013. Like last year, the camp was broken up into three two-week sessions that began June 17 and end Friday.

It has since nearly doubled in size after Hill estimated 130 families sent children to camp in 2012.

“I would say it hasn’t quite doubled, but pretty close, which is great,” said Hill, adding there were 143 campers who attended the first session, around 160 for the second and 80 others signed up for the final session two weeks before it began. “That’s really exciting from the first year to the second year to see that kind of growth. I couldn’t be happier.

“We’ve had a lot of parents ask us, ‘Please go into August, please go into August,’ but we can’t — the facilities get shut down.”

Running from as early as 8 a.m. and as late as 5 p.m., the camp is not only designed with kids who love sports, want to learn more about them or just have fun during the dog days in mind, but with their parents.

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