Camp raises money for Shelby County cheerleaders

At the Shelby County High School annual cheer camp, kids ages 4 to sixth grade learn how to cheer, dance, chant and stunt with the Shelby County cheerleaders. Here, campers practice stunting. (Reporter Photo/Stephanie Brumfield)

At the Shelby County High School annual cheer camp, kids ages 4 to sixth grade learn how to cheer, dance, chant and stunt with the Shelby County High School cheerleaders. Here, campers practice stunting. (Reporter Photo/Stephanie Brumfield)

By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County High School varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders hosted their annual cheer camp for kids ages 4 through sixth grade July 22-24.

With about 50 participants paying $30 each to participate in the camp, the camp raised approximately $1,500 for the cheerleaders, who will use the money to offset the cost of their spirit packs, said varsity cheerleading coach Courtney Madison.

Everything the girls need throughout the year is included in the spirit pack, including megaphones, shoes, pom-poms and camp fees.

Shelby County High School senior and cheerleader Anna Morgan Couch said the summer cheer camp is the squad’s only fundraiser besides selling advertisements during football season, and between the two fundraisers the cheerleaders usually raise enough money to cover the entire cost of their packs. If the cheerleaders were to pay out of pocket, Couch said the packs would probably cost about $900 each.

“It helps a ton,” Couch said.

Marisol Walker, the junior varsity cheerleading coach, also said the camp helps local teachers by giving them time to work in their classrooms.

“A lot of (campers) are school teachers’ kids,” Walker said. The teachers will often drop their kids off at the camp and then use the three days to get work done for the upcoming school year, she said.

“We don’t do a lot of PR. These parents know each year they’re going to send their kids back,” she said.

Couch said she enjoys making an impact.

“I like the community aspect,” Couch said. “It’s a small town, and you see these girls at football games and see them trying to mimic what we teach them in camp. It’s fun.”

In other news, the Shelby County High School cheerleaders went to their own cheerleading camp at UAB in June, and they brought home several trophies.

The varsity team won first place in the home pom routine, first place in cheer and second place in overall game day. They also won the overall spirit award, also known as the “banana.” The junior varsity team won second place in cheer. Four varsity cheerleaders and two junior varsity cheerleaders were named All-Americans at the camp.