NJTL Session 2 Bonanza

July 26, 2014

Celebrate our First Session of Summer Camp at the End of Camp Tennis Bonanza!

Jim Reffkin Tennis Center

Saturday, July 26th
6:00-8:00 pm

The Jim Reffkin Tennis Center closes its final Summer Camp Session with a night of celebration. Our kids have worked hard on the courts, and we want to celebrate their achievements over the last four weeks. It's a wonderful thing to look back over something you've worked so hard on and reflect on how the experience has changed you. This is a night of games, prizes, trophies, arts, crafts, and having a good time with our friends.

Over 200 pairs of sneakers have raced across 8 different locations (The Reffkin Center, Ft.Lowell Tennis Center, Pima Community College West, Sabino High School, Sunnyside High School, Pueblo High School, Santa Rita High School, and Sahuaro High School.) Inside every pair of sneakers is a kid who's tested their limits and risen to a new level in their game. Everyone inside those sneakers has laughed, joked, gritted their teeth, and stopped to catch their breath. We've had tiny toddler shoes run eagerly across the court and we've had high school sneakers stomp with authority. Above all, every person in those sneakers is a kid we're proud of and a kid we'll miss seeing every day. 

The End of Camp Bonanza is free to all Summer Camp participants. This party's going to be a blast, and we hope to see everyone there!

What a party!

We had a great last night with all these incredible kids. We had about 80 kids show up Saturday night. Whether you know them through their families or around school, we've learned over the last four weeks how privileged it is to be in these kids' lives, and we're grateful we had a chance to be a part of their summer. The Bonanza had a real carnival-like atmosphere to it, and it was great to see the kids running around one last time. Our kids ages 3-17 got a chance to celebrate with their new friends on the dry courts as it rained elsewhere around Tucson. There were mini-games around the Reffkin Center that gave kids a chance to win tickets for prizes throughout the night. All prizes were generously donated by the National Junior Tennis & Learning. In addition to the games, we had Arts & Crafts stations that had more additional info about Reffkin's other programs. Finally, our kids' hard work over the last month was honored with special awards for each group:
  • The Star Chart Award, presented to each group's most well-behaved, court-disciplined player committed to professionalism on the court
  • The Most Improved Award, presented to each group's player who went through the greatest challenge and reached the greatest growth
  • The Sportsmanship Award, presented to each group's player who most frequently demonstrated dignity and humility on the court, even when it wasn't the easy thing to do
Here's to the kids who embody these ideas and deserve their awards!

The Jim Reffkin Tennis Center thus completes its 2014 run of youth summer camps. The racquets are returning to the closet, and the kids are trading their equipment bags for backpacks, but the Reffkin Center feels this Bonanza accomplished what it sent out to do this summer. Reffkin's Enrique Zarate, who attended Saturday's event to spend time with the kids, says, "This was our last chance of the summer to promote tennis before {the kids} all go back to school, so they will come back next year."

All signs point to that happening, and we're confident we'll see just that in 2015. See you next year, kids.

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