Words: Jeff Schmuck
Photos: Dan Brown & Jeff Schmuck
All good things must come to an end as they say, and that age old expression was the theme of last week on the Horstman Glacier atop Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, BC, as Camp of Champions prepared to close up shop for the year after their 22nd summer of operation.
The final week of summer camp in Whistler is always ripe with bittersweet reflection, as those lucky enough to be in attendance help lessen the blow of their last few days of skiing by sharing countless memories from the past few weeks while getting their last few licks in on COC's amazing park.
This year though, things were a bit different. The vibe during the last week of COC was slightly more upbeat than in year's past, as the largest and most impressive contingent of guest pros of the summer converged on Whistler for the first ever Newschoolers Week.
In attendance to help finish off summer camp with a bang were the following...
The always smiling Dylan Natale.
...along with myself and fellow Newschoolers staff members Chris McMahon...
...our happy, hard-working and shred dog of an intern Malcolm Arcand...
...and photography wizard Dan 'Oh my God it's a beaaar!' Brown.
That's quite the line-up.
Throughout the course of the week, in between filming for COC's latest banging edit courtesy of Charlie 'Chunk' Grinnell and an upcoming episode of A Martini Recovery (dropping the first week of August), the crew participated in daily 'Send It With Newschoolers' sessions, spearheaded by pro snowboarder Rob Kingwill and his trusty megaphone, where the campers selected a feature to session with their heroes for an hour after lunch.
Rob Kingwill and his trusty megaphone lead the charge during the 'Send It With Newschoolers' sessions...
Wallisch, always eager to please, throws down a zero spin screamin seamen at Kinger's request.
Also making a surprise appearance fresh off the plane from his vacation to Egypt and Spain was the incomparable Simon Dumont, who came to town in fine form and good spirits to help edit his segment for PBP's Revolver in between spending a few days showing everyone how it's done on the hill.
The Dumont, paying no attention to the Maxim shoot going on beneath him...
...while his partner in crime, Empire brand manager and Nike 6.0 ski mentor Jake Largess gets down on the jumps as well.
With nearly as many athletes as campers in attendance, the level of coaching and stoke was at an all time high for the summer, as the kids happily learned a host of new tricks from some of the best of the best in our sport.
Wallisch giving some pointers to Aspen Spora.
The last happy campers of the summer...
And once camp was done for the day, the fun didn't stop. After swapping snowpants for boardshorts the Newschoolers crew spent ample time in and around the COC Compound for a variety of activities with the kiddies, including knock-out basketball, where Sean Jordan lit everyone up, proving that if he ever stops skiing (and let's hope he never does), he's got a lucrative career ahead of him in the NBA...
Knock-out basketball with the kids.
Seany J...last man standing. Lebron who?
Plus foosball, paintball, dodgeball, table tennis and Rock Band, where no one really stood out, but we all had a lot of fun trying...
Dylan Natale and Matt Margetts attempt to channel their best inner Forrest Gump while sessioning the ping pong table...
...while McMahon, Jordan, Wallisch and Vila take turns rocking out.
We also spent a glorious afternoon water ramping and trampolining, where in the midst of Colby James West making an appearance dressed a cast member of Cats...
Colby James West
...and McChesney, Wallisch and the NS staff holding an impromptu best trick contest on the tramps for some free swag...
Seany J offered up a free K2 hoodie as incentive to a camper who was trying, time and painful time again, to throw a standing double backflip into the water ramp pool, much to the amusement of all...
Failed double backflip attempt #4...
...and the reaction.
Back on the hill the antics continued, as the crew shredded every last feature to bits until ski patrol called for last chair and the hard working COC diggers were forced to painstakingly reduce the features they proudly constructed and babied all summer to rubble.
Nick Martini, back on skis...at long last. Welcome back!
The Pettit Brothers
Chris Logan, so damn good.
Reed Speedman, so damn awesome.
Voleurz intern Mathieu Soumet taking more abuse from Max Hill for the benefit of Voleurz' new film, Look on the Bright Side.
Pro snowboarder Braden Dean gave skiing a shot for the day...
...as COC security guard Colin D Watt strapped on the Danger Blades to further strike fear into the hearts of poachers.
Whistler local and all-around nice guy Dane Degruyter threw down some crafty double grabs on the TTR...
...while Jess Warll continued to make the glacier erupt with her double flatspins. And speaking of Jess, the moment you've all been waiting for is finally here. Peep the Camp of Champions edit below for footage of her dub.
And when the last day of camp and final barbeque begrudgingly rolled around, it was at long last time to say good-bye to many old friends and new ones before trading in our skis for surfboards, skateboards and bikes as we officially embrace summer and the reality that the ski season in Whistler is finally over.
The Last Supper. Sergi loves serving good food up to hungry kids so much, he continued to do it after breaking his hand.
COC Head Coach Matt Sterbenz announces the last ridiculous challenges of the summer for free swag...
Most notably, the pavement challenge, where whoever can last the longest with only their elbows and knees on the concrete wins themselves some goodies...
Joe Schuster and the ol' 'turn the hose on campers looking for free stuff in the woods' trick.
It never gets old.
Camp of Champions is a wrap!
That's all for summer camps in beautiful Whistler, BC. Special thanks are in order to Ryan Proctor at Whistler Blackcomb, Barry Maskell at Peak to Green Accoommodations, Ken Achenbach, Fabia Grüebler, Graeme Leathem, Jesse Nelson, Rob Kingwill, Colin D Watt, Tony Medd, Sergi Laspatinetas and the rest of the hard-working Camp of Champions staff.
Sterbenz and Schuster give Ken Achenbach the winning Superbowl coach treatment at the end of camp party, which was also his birthday.
John and Julia Smart, Trennon Paynter, Katie Svenson, Estelle Clairoux, Elsa Hamel Robert, Stephanie Grassi and the rest of the wonderful people at Momentum.
Mike Hofbauer, Jason Buitenhuis, Dominic Boucher, RJ, Nicole and Dillon Althoff, Jessica Nicks, Ian Ross, Alana Donaghey, Victoria Lee Hillier, Ali Marie Parker and the rest of the party-facilitating gang at Garfinkels and Savage Beagle, along with the illustriously generous Harrison Stoker at Longhorn, Bacardi Breezer king Myles Ricketts at Maxx Fish, partytender extraordinaire Alex Campbell at Tommy Africa's and the staff at Sushi Village.
The Midsummer Night's Dream Party at Garfinkels. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dubeau
Charlie 'Chunk' Grinnell and Drew 'The Fatman' Lederer, for the best damn camp edits we've ever seen.
COC filmer Charlie Grinnell
Momentum filmer Drew Lederer
The coaches...for their know-how, antics, and ability to instill confidence and skills in skiing's next wave of superstars while showing them the best week of their young lives.
Bailey Mitchell, Carl Fortin and all the diggers at COC, along with Chris Turpin and his army of shovel and salt wielders at Momentum...who without no one would have a park to ski in. Your hard work does not go unnoticed guys.
And most of all...the campers. Because at the end of the day, we've said it before, but we'll say it again...without campers, there would be no summer camp.
See you next summer!
The Camp of Champions - "Skiing Session D 2010" from Camp of Champions on Vimeo.