Coming full circle – cheerleading style
In 2009, two young girls – Meghan Ruder and Katie Hebert – met at one of the first Castle Pines Athletics (CPA) cheerleading camps and they were hooked. The girls grew up in the community and both went on to cheer for Rock Canyon High School. Hebert graduated in 2021 and is cheering at Colorado State University, and Ruder graduated this year. The girls reunited last month to bring the same camp experience to a new generation of girls.
“Katie and I were thinking about our time at the CPA cheer camp when we were younger, and we noticed that it wasn’t happening anymore,” said Ruder. “So, we reached out to Lane Roberts [the founder of CPA], and she was super excited to help us get the camp up and running again.”
Roberts shared the email that Ruder sent on behalf of both girls. “We fondly remember our time at the cheer camp when we were just 5 years old, and we wanted to have a similar impact on other kids in the community.”
“I believe my love for the sport was born at the CPA cheer camp,” stated Hebert, who will be a sophomore at CSU in the fall. “Most importantly, it was an experience I will cherish forever and I hope the same for the girls who attended our camp.”
The cheerleading camp took place the week of July 11 at The Retreat Park, and nine girls were in attendance. As coaches, Ruder and Hebert taught a variety of skills, from coordinating a dance to practicing cheers, jumps, tumbling and stunts. “But most importantly,” added Hebert, “we taught them how to cheer to the crowd.”
Ruder added, “Katie and I really just had to figure out what would be safe and fun for the girls to do for a few hours per day and what we could teach them about cheerleading. The difficulty of the sport has increased a lot, and some of the girls wanted to try some things that I probably wouldn’t have even known about when I was little!”
The mini cheerleaders’ final performance was at a flag football game at Elk Ridge Park on July 17.
Ruder added that the sport of cheerleading has changed since she and Hebert were younger, but some things remain. “Cheerleading is a great opportunity to learn loads about teamwork and supporting your teammates,” Ruder concluded. “It’s such a wonderful sport!”
By Claire Bauer, RCHS intern writer; photos courtesy of Castle Pines Athletics