Part 3: Sockeye Camp 2012

Getting to the sports complex where Sockeye Camp 2012 would take place for the next 3 days was an adventure.  Metro ride to train station, train ride to bus station, bus ride to end of the line, 30 minute walk.  The camp was “OTP” of Moscow – in the country.  The building started as a complex for rowers, it’s right on a river with a long side channel.  The building itself was pretty standard, motel, except that there was a back  open air hallway that connected all the rooms, made evenings awesome.

We had great weather, Sunny and warm during the days and ragging thunderstorms at night – with incredible lightning shows.

The camp had roughly 180 participants divided up into skill level.  Sockeye and Co (Jolian, Brett, Teddy, Mario) led 6 separate stations that the participants rotated through over the course of 3 days.  Brett and I led ‘hucking’ with some filler at the end tackling power throwing, scoobers, and high-release forehands.  Each new group we had allowed us to perfect our approach, and by day 3 things were running like clockwork.  If you want more detail on how we ran a 2.5 hour station on hucking, hit me with a txt.

For me, the teaching was refreshing, it’s so inspiring to interact with all these players that still have that sparkle in their eye for the game.  really great.  But the stations filled only 6 hours of each day.

There was a cafeteria on site, that served traditional Russian cuisine.  I wish I’d taken pictures so I could remember each day’s menu, but I’ll do my best from memory.  Breakfast was an adventure, corn based porridge with butter (they love cream), hard boiled eggs, hot dogs, salads (think chopped vegetables, cream), and tea.  Lunch always had a soup course, Russians know how to do soup.  Always enough salt, always hot, and a sort of tonic that put your head back on straight.  Pickled carrots, stewed cabbage, buckwheat.  Dinner had soup too, meatballs, meat pieces, chicken, chicken cutlets, meat.  Carrot salad with sugar.  and tea.  hot tea with every meal.  but no water. just tea.

but the crazy thing is, i loved the food.  so flavorful, hearty, and homemade.  but not spicy.  fast forward to our St. Petersburg trip, and Marta is making us traditional potato pancakes and she says “that one is spicy, I added extra pepper”

“You added red pepper?” I ask, hoping for a bit of something spicy, finally.

“No, just extra pepper…”

The rest of our time was spent carousing and celebrating with our new Russian friends, mostly in the back hallway.  Of course Idaho wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in full American fashion, so Phil purchased the only tequila he could find, at $30 a bottle.  Taught everyone Fuck the Dealer, learned a new game where everyone counts down from 10 and at 1 whoever’s turn it is takes off a piece of clothing.  Something about what social pressure can make you do – you’d be surprised :).  Found out that Russians love to drink.  It’s tradition to say “I couldn’t possibly have another drink” which means, yes please pour me another.

Had a wonderful conversation with Alex, captain of LuckyGrass and spearheader of Russian ultimate, about how to expand the sport.  Met a contingent of Germans who ran the Berlin camp.  Accosted Skip around Cultimate’s failure (sorry skip), and generally chatted about life.

Camp comes to an end, but leads directly into a three day hat tournament.  The group learning setting is over, now is time for real teaching under the tutelage of Chris…….

On the train to camp IMG_0547 Marina and Kate on the train, they don’t like having their pictures taken…. IMG_0548 MC deep in reflection on the way to camp IMG_0549 Sam, Graffiti, Nate IMG_0551 Back channel of the river, church, bridge, this was the walk we did each morning/afternoon IMG_0553 From the walk IMG_0554 Fields are up to the right IMG_0556 Gives you some idea of the terrain IMG_0557 back hallway connecting all the sockeye rooms – so awesome IMG_0558

Our train arrives to whisk us back to Moscow. Phil and Sam are pleased IMG_0568

One thought on “Part 3: Sockeye Camp 2012”

  1. sorry, Chris, after 6 days at Ironside camp and 2 days of getting everything ready to Sockeye camp – i slept about 4 hours every night during the last week…
    so i overslept that morning. I got up literally 30 minutes before the train and i made it! you know how much time it usually takes to get to any place in Moscow…
    that’s why me and Marina didn’t want to have any pics from that morning.

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