Golden Valley Summer Camp Teaches Kids Fencing
During Minnesota’s relatively short summers, most kids wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of being confined in a school gymnasium in Golden Valley.
But when you tell them that they’ll have the chance to hold swords and battle other children their age, then the idea doesn’t sound quite so bad.
“All kids want to pick up a stick and fight with it,” said Chris Kratoska, a fencing coach. “It’s somehow ingrained in our nature.”
Kratoska is the man leading this summer camp, which introduces kids to the sport of fencing.
“The goal is to hit the other person with the sword in the chest, in the torso, with the tip of your sword, before they can do the same to you,” he said.
On the surface, fencing doesn’t seem complicated. But anyone who’s poked and prodded with a sharp object might disagree.
“Sometimes if they poke you right here or right here, it hurts a little bit,” said 12-year-old Branden Cole, pointing to his sides.
Cole is one of the students participating in this camp. He said wanted to take a stab at fencing after watching videos on YouTube.
“I wanted to find something new and be active during the summer, not just sitting in the house,” Cole said.
Fencing Appeals to Kids Searching for Nontraditional Sports
The sport is new for most of the kids participating in the camp. Kratoska said the novelty is part of the appeal for many families.
“One of the bigger draws for fencing is, parents have tried their kids in other sports, traditional team sports, and it just hasn’t been a good fit, or it hasn’t clicked, or it hasn’t really worked,” Kratoska said. “And very often, I find that those kids connect to fencing.”
To be a good fencer requires speed, balance, fitness and strategy. It’s a sport that’s certainly not easy. But if you ask Cole, it’s one that’s worth trying.
“Give any sport a try or activity. Don’t just be in one sport,” Cole said.
“Honestly, it’s kids and it’s swords and it’s just flat out fun,” Kratoska said.
Children will have one other opportunity to take part in the fencing camp later this summer. The Robbinsdale School District will offer additional classes the week of Aug. 6.
For more information on summer classes: Robbinsdale District Community Eduation