The Denison High School gym was filled with cheers and synchronized routines Tuesday morning as the Denison High School cheerleaders practiced for their upcoming Little Cheer Camp. The camp serves as a student-driven fundraiser where girls from pre-K to sixth grade learn from experienced cheerleaders what it takes to perform for a crowd.

The Denison High School gym was filled with cheers and synchronized routines Tuesday morning as the Denison High School cheerleaders practiced for their upcoming Little Cheer Camp. The camp serves as a student-driven fundraiser where girls from pre-K to sixth grade learn from experienced cheerleaders what it takes to perform for a crowd.


"It’s great getting to interact with the younger generations and show them how much fun cheer is and get them interested in it at an early age," senior cheerleader Madison Poe said. "You see how much they look up to you in the stands and at the football games, and it’s just great actually getting to talk to them and spend time with them."


The more than 20 experienced cheerleaders will spend the upcoming week teaching each other the materials they’ve learned for the upcoming camp, which include routines easy enough for a 3-year-old to duplicate.


"They create all the material for (the little ones,) " Varsity Cheer Coach Beverly Hatfield said. "It’s not anything we (coaches) do. … It’s stuff little kids can do. There’s nothing to it."


She said the Little Cheer Camp has been a tradition at the Denison High School that stretches beyond the 17 years she’s spent with the district. The model of having the little ones arrive for a few hours over the course of five days is relatively new, however, and is a change from the Saturday clinic the camp used to have.


"(Cheers are) built on throughout the week, and they (the campers) have a show for the parents on Friday, so get the cameras going," Hatfield said. "They get T-shirts from us, and they’ll make bows like last year."


The campers also get to participate in the homecoming pep rally the cheerleaders put on, where they perform the materials they learned in front of the entire audience.


"We get a full crowd that day," Assistant Cheer Coach Ladie Giasson said.


Poe said, although the cheerleaders give up their mornings to prepare for the Little Cheer Camp, it’s all worth it in the end.


"It’s super exciting because when they’re little they’re always pumped, and they almost pump you up," she said. "Our job is to pump them up but if anything they pump us up and give us energy to teach them even more."


The Little Cheer Camp will take place July 25 to July 29 at the Denison High School gym. Groups are divided by age, with pre-K through second grade starting at 8:30, third through sixth grade starting at 10 and middle school cheerleaders starting at 10:30. Tuition is $60 and covers cheers, chants, dances, students, jumps, games, crafts, snacks, a camp T-shirt and a DVD of camp materials.


Registration will be accepted through July 25. For more information contact a camp coordinator at 903-325-2721 or 903-821-3809.