A week long basketball camp ended on Friday, July 19 that was developed by 17-year-old Kathia Hernandez of Riverbank. The idea started seven months ago when Hernandez was trying to figure out what to do for her Gold Award project for the Girl Scouts.
Hernandez has been a girl scout for three years, with Troop 3446 out of Oakdale, and has always enjoyed playing basketball. She stated that when she was a kid the only basketball clinics were co-ed.
“Whenever I would go, I was the only girl, so it was kind of hard,” said Hernandez.
There were girls that Hernandez had talked to that expressed interest in playing basketball but had never had the chance.
“I wanted to bring something to impact the community,” said Hernandez. “So for my Gold Award I wanted to give the girls in the community an opportunity to do something they want to do.”
The Gold Award is the final step for a Girl Scout, as the award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. The following seven steps need to be completed before the award is presented: identify an issue, investigate it thoroughly, get help and build your team, create a plan, present your plan and gather feedback, take action, educate and inspire.
The teen said her mother, Sandra Rodriguez, helped her through every step of the project. They went to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and talked to Kerrie Webb, recreation supervisor, to see about using the Community Gym to hold the basketball camp.
Hernandez presented the plan to Webb and it was approved so the planning was under way. They hired two coaches, Rosie Price and Autumn Santana, created a flyer, and got some pink basketballs.
Price and Santana had both played basketball in college and Price coached a traveling basketball team so they were very passionate about taking part in the program.
“I love the sport,” said Price. “I teach the girls discipline and help them build confidence. I tell them that it’s not just physical, it’s mental. All I can ask is that they give us their all.”
The all-girl basketball camp was one week, from July 15 to July 19 for girls in the Riverbank community from nine years old to age 14.
For a small fee the girls received basketball training, a pink basketball, a water bottle, certificate of completion, and a T-shirt designed by Hernandez herself with “Girls Can Do Anything” placed in pink on the back.
On the last day of camp the coaches set up a game between the girls so they could showcase their skills to family and friends.
The seven months of planning made the basketball camp a success. All the girls that attended expressed that the camp was really fun. Coach Price stated that each student showed great improvements by the last day of camp.
Hernandez now has to file a report on her Gold Award project, with hopes of receiving the honor at an upcoming ceremony.