The usual celebratory cheers roaring from the Holderness fields, courts and rink have been replaced by an ambient calm as the Holderness community enjoys its well-deserved summer break. A few Holderness faculty members take advantage of this free time and the unoccupied Holderness athletic facilities to lead their own athletic camps.
Holderness boys’ varsity basketball head coach Woody Kampmann along with girls’ varsity basketball head coach Joe Arsenault run the Holderness Bulls Summer Hoops Clinic, which heads into its fifth year. Coach Kampmann hopes to aid in the development of young, local basketball players and places an emphasis on refining skills during the camp: “We have a range of first to ninth graders and we want it to be a fun four days. We do a lot of skills, not as much full-court games but more 2-on-2, 3-on-3.”
Coach Kampmann has designed the clinic to be an extension of the Holderness basketball program. Two former campers have become members of the Holderness community, including Grace Farley ‘22 who was a part of this year’s NEPSAC Class D championship girls’ varsity basketball team. All of the proceeds from the camp support the Holderness basketball program. Coach Kampmann also shared that “current [Holderness] students who are on the girls’ and boys’ teams help coach. It’s nice to get those kids back on campus in the summer fand get them doing a little coaching.”
Pat Casey, head coach of the Holderness Nordic ski team, is also training with local athletes this summer, stating “It’s building fitness, it’s building on their technique, and it’s also building community.” The eight-week camp draws a mix of high school and middle school athletes from across New Hampshire. Coach Casey believes that this diversity in ages is a real advantage for his younger campers: “I’ve got these high schoolers, who I started working with when they were in middle school, and they know what ski training is now. They do a good job with it, and so I’m using them as models of what to do well. The little kids see them doing it well and say, ‘Hey, I can do that better’. By the time they get to high school, you see it snowball. They end up doing it better and being faster, and the whole program progresses because they get to see the high schoolers doing it well, and they jump on those coattails.”
Throughout the camp, the skiers are introduced to a variety of different training techniques, including roller skiing, high-intensity interval workouts, trail running, and strength training. Coach Casey likes to use a large assortment of training methods “so that they can take them to their home club or take them away and do it on their own. It’s a learning opportunity to hopefully just build that community, build a skiing culture in the area.”
With so many young skiers gathered in one place, Coach Casey believes that he has a great opportunity to strengthen and grow the New Hampshire Nordic skiing community: “I want a ski community that’s better, that’s more vibrant, that’s more integrated. I don’t want it to be Holderness against Rumney or against Plymouth. I want it to be a bigger Pemi ski community. We all live in the same place and ski in the same place, but it can all feel a little disjointed. My big hope is that this creates a better ski community.”
If you are interested in the Holderness Bulls Summer Hoops Clinic, the camp runs from July 29 to August 1. For more information, email Woody Kampmann at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pat Casey’s Nordic camp is currently in full swing, but if you have any questions or are thinking about getting involved next year, email Coach Casey at email@example.com.
Albert Bierstadt, the German-American painter renowned for his landscapes of the American West, came to the White Mountains to capture its simple yet overwhelming beauty. What came to life through nearly a decade’s worth of work was The Emerald Pool, a massive oil-on-canvas monument to the natural majesty of a hidden swimming hole along the Peabody River in the Pinkham Notch. Recounting The Emerald Pool, Bierstadt said, “I never had so difficult a picture to paint, as this White Mountain subject the Emerald Pool; my artist friends think it my best picture and so do I.”
At Holderness we deliberately build community through the people we bring in and programs we support. Today I want to share one story about people who showed us what it means to be a mission-centered community and talk about one unique program that is hitting a milestone.
Kicking off its 141st year, Holderness School welcomed new students to campus on September 5th. Under blue skies and surrounded by the cheers of joyful Senior Leaders, 114 new students eagerly joined the Holderness School community. The day was filled with smiles as new students and families unpacked their cars and turned dorm rooms into a home away from home.