To the editor:

A return to ages past? Last week, for three days, around 130 of our energetic boys and teens had the rare opportunity to lay down the remote control, the game boy, iPad, iPhone, Chromebook. They vacated their bedrooms, their favorite seat on the sofa or Lazy Boy they have laid claim to in the game room or family room of the house. They were lacing up their Nikes or Adidas to join their peers on the beautiful hardwood floor of the MTI Center, home of the Trine Thunder.

This year, 2020, a year that will go down in infamy, but on a positive note, a year to celebrate the 43rd Annual Trine Boys Basketball Camp. What a compelling sight to experience these kids from 4th to 12th grades, on the floor ... most of whom have been isolated from any social or athletic activity for the past five months. They have come together from all over the area to sharpen fundamental skills, master some new drills and engage in some friendly, vigorous scrimmages.

The camp was a great opportunity for the participants to experience social interaction with their friends, make new acquaintances and be coached by some of our area's finest.

This very well organized and administrated day camp has been successful for so many years, in part due to the diligence and dedication of directors and coaches like Trine head coach Brooks Miller. There was a well-executed plan that screened the participant's history of potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and personal current state of health, signs and symptoms at the beginning of each day of the camp. Every attempt to keep the kids safe from exposure to the virus was utilized. Coach Miller was able to invigorate and motivate the kids through his sincere and genuine pep talks that emphasized the essentials of life — working hard and together, being a team player, playing honestly and fairly with persistence, dealing with short term loss, and living with long term success.

As parents and grandparents, we embraced Coach Miller's message to the kids. He commanded and received the utmost attention and respect. He treated the participants with a steady, firm, fair and respectful demeanor and expected and received the same. Moreover, he emphasized that it's not just about this round object called a basketball. It's only a tool to help players to grow and navigate successfully through life.

Having observed the camp this year, my wife and I were very impressed by this beautiful new state of the art facility and the surrounding campus at Trine. We were likewise impressed by the persons responsible, their determination, will and tenacity, their sound administrative decision to have the camp open again this year in spite of the endemic COVID-19 virus. It would have been much easier to lock the doors this year and wait to see what happens next year.

And, most of all, we were impressed by Coach Miller's profession of his beliefs and values that coincide with ours. Such beliefs extol the virtues of honoring and respecting the parents and grandparents with gratitude for the opportunities made available ... opportunities to live free in this often troubled, but beautiful America!

Gregory and Elizabeth Poole

Lake George

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