There are a few things we pride ourselves in. They are likely not the obvious things you would expect – like winning 4/5 Provincial and 4/5 National tier one girls championships some years. No, its more about the innovative things we do with our program and the advances we make in our goal of ‘developing character through the pursuit of excellence’. Its the things that make a difference in our athletes perception of themselves and their Durham Attack family. Which aligns with the leading academic and work programs and will prepare our athletes to excel ‘off the court’.
One of them is our Madawaska Teambuilding weekend.
It seems impossible to do, on paper, but its the people who believe in it that make it work. Just 48 hours after a team is selected, we transport our athletes 300 km northeast and drop them in the middle of the Precambrian forest at a rustic site 40 km east of Bancroft, at Camp Walden, home of Madawaska Volleyball Camp. We are the only volleyball club in the country with this type of program, though increasingly our OUA university teams are there, often starting out with their own programs, but by the end of the weekend emulating what we do.
Its September in Northern Ontario. The days are beautiful and the nights can be harsh, and the team learns to take care of each other. During the course of an intense weekend our athletes spend the equivalent of 10 weeks or practices together, off the court, with only each other to interact with. The results are often magical and the highlights of our athletes playing careers, and of their parents too.
Parent chaperones stay in camp but during the day the teams are out on their own, with their coaches, doing a variety of low ropes and high ropes (climbing wall and ladder) activities designed to break the team down into its elements and build it back up into the strongest compound.
Our parents have said:
“This is the best $200 I have ever spent.”