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George Sappenfield and Disc Golf's Camp Connection

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Hey, Frisbee Fanatics!

Disc Golf is a game of extreme command and skill. Requiring the controlled throw of a flying disc which has replaced the club and small, dimpled ball of regular Golf, Disc Golf is typically seen as a youthful alternative to the age-old sport of Golf. Combining the groomed outdoor escape and the rules and scorekeeping of Golf, Disc Golf and one of the sports founders, George Sappenfield were the focus of a recent post about the pioneers of particular camp activities.

You can learn all about the history of this sport as well as the involvement of Mr. Sappenfield and summer camp itself by clicking here to read that Blog post.

Just the same as Golf, you start each “hole” of a Disc Golf course with a lengthy drive, typically going for great distance with a metal chain basket to catch a flying disc instead of a cup in the ground. Each element of the game requires its own set of skills to sharpen from long drives, to mid-range shots, and the light tosses of short game.

Unlike the goal of many sports, Golf victories are focused the player with the lowest score. The score is tracking how many strokes of the golf club each player takes to get the ball from the tee into the hole. Just the same, Disc Golf scorekeeping counts who many times players throw their flying discs. The player with the least amount of throws in the end is the winner!

If you play Disc Golf at camp this summer, enjoy this great game which has become an increasingly popular camp activity since the 1960s. If you love this game, find a summer camp that offers this for a camp activity and enjoy playing it with some other friends. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Folks!

 

- John


Golf Minus the Clubs

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Hey, Camp People!

An unexpected camp activity that’s history is shrouded in a bit of mystery is the alternative to golf called Frisbee or Disc Golf, also known as ‘Frolf’ to some. Learn how this very unofficial sport gained its popularity and officiality. How did the age-old sport of golf lead to an alternative that replaced the clubs and small, dimpled ball with a flying disc and the holes with chained baskets?

For several decades, forms of Disc Golf were played with whatever makeshift equipment folks had around—tossing the tin lids onto the tops of garbage cans. Canadian kids in the 1920’s called this Tin Lid Golf. But it only started developing an official backing when a summer camp counselor named George Sappenfield got the idea for a ‘camp’ version of golf that the kids could play.

As forms of this game were randomly found being played throughout the early 1900s, the game’s stricter parallel to golf rules seems to have suddenly started sprouting in many places, by many people independently. For instance, Rice University students in Texas started tournaments aiming discs at trees for targets.

It was the summer of 1965 when George Sappenfield found himself on a golf course during his college break before heading off to be a counselor at camp. The idea suddenly came to him that the kids at camp could play a version of golf with a flying disc aimed at designated targets.

The invention of the plastic flying disc was marketed as the now well-known name Frisbee by the Wham-o Manufacturing Company and was gaining popularity. George hatched the idea to contact Wham-o Manufacturing to suggest the creation of a Frisbee Golf Contest. This would lead to some of the first mentions of the sport Disc Golf and Mr. Sappenfield solidified himself as one of the earliest coordinators of Disc Golf who spread its popularity across the West Coast.

Enjoy playing Disc Golf during your summer camp experience if your camp offers it! And if they don’t—just bring your own Frisbee Disc and shoot at whatever targets you decide upon like they did in the old days! As always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Robert 'Grandmaster' Fischer

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Hey, Camp People!

A beloved camp activity among those of the more intellectual persuasion is the ancient game of Chess. This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned Chess on this Blog; you can learn a little more about it and some other old games by clicking here. But today, I want to learn about the biggest name associated with Chess—Robert James Fischer (a.k.a. Bobby Fischer). Having passed away a little over a decade ago, this post goes out to commemorate this proclaimed grandmaster of Chess.

The early teenage years brought big changes to his world. Earning his successThe rarely defeated Bobby Fischer, Chess legend! and fame early on, Bobby was only 13 when he won an epic game of Chess that was so intense it was categorized under what they, in the Chess world, call A Brilliancy. This game went down in history as ‘The Game of the Century’. One year later, he the Chess Champion of the United States. And the year after that, he was crowned grandmaster (the youngest of the time) and he became the youngest World Championship candidate.

He was 20 when he dominated the US Championship, winning 11 consecutive games—a total shutout and the only perfect run in the entire history of the tournament! And by 27, he won 20 consecutive games in the Interzonal Tournament of 1970!

What started this indomitable performance from Bobby? Well, he grew up in poverty and board games were a good way to pass the time for cheap. In 1949, Bobby was six years old. He and his sister journeyed into their local candy store with a small amount to spend. They ended up purchasing instructions for some old Chess pieces they had found.  

It wasn’t long before his sister lost interest, but Bobby only got more and more obsessed. He didn’t have anyone else to play with, but that didn’t stop him! He’d play games against himself. It was that year that his family saved enough money to summer vacation at Patchogue, Long Island in New York. While on this trip, chance had it that Bobby found a book of old chess games.

He studied this book night and day. And thanks to his diligent study of this game that he found such a passion for, he came to be considered the greatest Chess player of all time! Are you passionate about Chess like Bobby Fischer was? Devote yourself to the things you’re passionate about who knows where it can take you! And, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Brady's Bows

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Hey, Camp People!

One of the essential summer camp activities that almost everybody tries their hand at is Archery! I discussed this camp activity in a Blog post from the previous year. Today, let’s explore the nation’s leading Archer—Brady Ellison. Brady competes in World Champion titles including the Olympics. He started with his compound bow when he was just 14 at a local and State circuits in which he won multiple competitions.Learn about Brady Ellison on today's Blog post about him from Everything Summer Camp!

When he was about 16, Brady attended a Gold camp in the summer for youth archers at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. It was there, that a seemingly unfortunate incident led to a revolutionary change in Brady’s Archery endeavors.

As usual, Brady was using his compound bow when his string suddenly broke. In order to continue his round, he picked up a buddy’s recurve bow and shot that. Almost, instantly, Brady fell in love with the feel of the recurve bow and pretty much never set it down since. Now one of the top recurve shooters in the world, Brady hasn’t looked back since.  

By the time he was 18, Brady became a Resident Athlete at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. And, despite his initial prospects for the 2012 London Olympic Games with the compound bow, Brady was content knowing that he had found his true love with the recurve bow. He set new goals under the recurve bow competitions and made massive achievements in that instead!

He set his sights on the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and met that goal in May of 2008 finishing the Olympic Trials in first place! Since this awesome triumph, Brady continues to make Olympic teams and shoot for most World Cup events. He has held one of the longest runs as the world leader in Archery and maintained his World Rank in the top ten for the last decade!

Married to Toja Cierne (now Toja Ellison), a Slovenian Archer herself, Brady Ellison sure has shaped his love for the art of Archery all around in his life! How much do you love Archery? Look into Brady Ellison’s life a little more by clicking here and, as always thanks for reading!

 

- John