ICA Winter Camp 2015 a Huge Success!
Happy New Year from ICA! As we go into 2016, we reminisce on the successes of yesteryear. The last ICA event of 2015, the winter camp, was indeed a success. Over the last four days of the year, our enthusiastic students learned, played, and had a lot of fun. The camp was modeled after our very popular summer camp; however, there were a few differences because we only had four days. For one, in order to be more accommodating toward busy holiday schedules, students did not have to sign up for the whole week. As a result of this, we were able to have shorter, more relaxed tournaments that were not rated.
The schedule was not uniform as in the summer due to the longer tournament and the midweek introduction of a much-loved afternoon bughouse tournament. In fact, the only things that happened every day were lessons and lunch. For lessons, new junior coach Nastasia and veteran Ivette took the beginners, junior coach Alessandro and the ever-present Slava took the intermediate students, and director Diana handled the highest group. Solomon and Ethan split the duties for advanced intermediate students who were not quite ready for Diana. In the holiday spirit, there was a best student prize for each day. Thankfully, the kids were also feeling generous and did not misbehave too much. The best student competitions often went down to the wire since everyone was working their hardest. Since the groups changed as people came and left, the coaches had to adapt and cover a new topic each day. This was not necessarily a bad thing, however: the coaches were able to give students, especially those who attended for most of the week, a taste of many different important chess ideas.
Three out of the four days, we went outside for some physical activity at 11:30. (Unfortunately it was too wet to go outside on Tuesday). This week we eschewed the traditional sports groups in favor of more dodgeball and soccer (the kids approved). The two newest coaches directed soccer while the veterans kept dodgeball under control. As always, dodgeball was more popular. Many veterans were present, so Slava spiced up the game by introducing several new rules one day. Whatever the rules, everyone had fun.
The tournament was a hectic ordeal as three rounds had to be fit into only a few hours. Thus, it was moved up to the morning on Tuesday and Wednesday and skipped entirely on Thursday. The tournament gave the students the chance to show off their skills at both chess and art as they were able to draw pictures when they finished their games. You can find some of the best ones on the wall at the chess school in Fair Lawn. There were three to four sections each day ranging from highest strength to lowest strength. Most were round robin quads and there were very rarely byes.
Diana’s least favorite type of chess (which happens to be an almost unanimous favorite among the kids) was finally allowed on the last day of the year. The kids were split into teams of two for the last few hours of ICA 2015. Jane and Edwin were the victors with five out of six points; they just beat out the second place team of Justin and Alex and the third place team of Alex and Andrew. This fun variant was a pleasant, relaxing way to finish the year.
As in the summer, there was an option to stay until 5:00. Only a few students took this opportunity each day; in fact, enrolment was so low that there was only either music or art (or, on Thursday, math) each day. Still, Mike, Larissa, and Zoya kept their few students intrigued. Next to the best pictures drawn during the normal day, you can find the beautiful scenes Larissa’s students created on Tuesday.
It would take a whole page to list all of the awards given out throughout the course of the camp, but we can recognize those students who exceled throughout the entire camp and won sections of our grand prix. For best in chess lessons, Felix, Jonathan, and Andrew were all best student three out of four days. For the tournament competition, David Milstein and Andrew Sung both had three wins in our various tournaments. By the end of the camp almost everyone who attended won a prize of some sort. We at ICA would like to thank you all for a great year in 2015 and look forward to an even better 2016.
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