They’ve got spirit – yes, they do!

Published 11:04 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheer camp: Young cheerleaders Grace Ericksen, left, and Lauren Haverty practice a routine at Ebenezer United Methodist Church on Tuesday morning.

They might be small, these girls have got the spirit and the energy of girls twice their age.

With purple and gold pompoms in tow, 35 girls have been cheering their hearts out at a weeklong camp at Ebenezer United Methodist Church.

The camp, which started Monday, has been offered for the past three years in conjunction with the church’s basketball camp and invites girls, ages 4 to 10, to learn cheerleading basics and a little bit of dance.

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When the girls are practicing, they are a flurry of purple and gold pompoms, and while individually, each girl might be quiet, their voices combine to boom and echo through the church hall.

Michelle Holst, who is leading the camp, said that when the church started offering sport camps, she thought it would be a great idea to add in a cheer camp as an alternative to the others.

“If there’s basketball camp and soccer camp, there should be a cheer camp,” she said.

Holst was a cheerleader when she was in middle school, and she volunteered to step up and lead the group when no one else was available.

“They didn’t have anyone to take over cheerleading,” she said.

Every year, Holst selects a team name for the group, and this year, the team is the Butterflies, and its colors are purple and gold.

During the week, the girls will learn various cheerleading stances, several different cheers, pompom movements and a dance routine.

They also get to create arts and crafts throughout the week that relate to their cheerleading. For example, they will make pompoms to go on their shoes and a tie-dyed shirt to remember the camp.

Additionally, the girls will get to show off all of their hard work on Friday when they cheer during the final games of the basketball camps.

Emily Mousso, 7, who has been cheering for as long as she can remember, has attended the camp every year since it started.

“I think it’s really fun,” she said. “I like the dance routines and the splits.”

Emily said cheerleading takes a loud voice and a good memory that will come in handy when trying to remember routines.

Holst said the girls enjoy learning the cheers and dance routines the most during the camp.

The dance routine is one of Lindsey Colburn’s favorite things, but she said she has fun during all the activities.

Lindsey, 6, said she can’t wait to cheer at the basketball game on Friday.

“I like to cheer for everybody,” she said. “It’s happiness.”