Where is the Berkshire Soccer Academy for Girls located?
The Berkshire Soccer Academy for Girls (BSA) is located at the Berkshire Sports Academy’s state-of-the-art athletic facility in the quaint New England town of East Otis, Massachusetts, just ten miles north of the Connecticut border and approximately 2 hours by car from Boston and 2.5 hours from New York City. It sits on a pristine wooded hillside along the shores of its own private lake.
The Academy is adjacent to 4,800 acres of Tolland State Forest with miles of hiking and running trails; and is one mile from Otis Reservoir, a 1,200-acre recreational lake with public access.
How does my child get to the Academy?
We do not provide transportation to or from our camp sessions this summer. Most families drive or carpool. We do provide ground transportation for campers flying through Bradley International Airport (BDL) or Albany International Airport (ALB).
What are the athletic and program facilities like?
The newly-renovated facilities provide athletes with an elite training experience, as well as exposure to a wide variety of fun activities.
Soccer Fields – 2 large grass fields (1 with lights) and 1 turf practice field lit (with lights)
Shooting Wall – with turf surface, 48’ wide x 16’ high
Outdoor Court – for basketball or soccer-tennis
Strength & Conditioning Room – with equipment designed specifically for girls
Larkum Lake – a private, 20-acre lake with docks, canoes, and a blob
Rec Deck – our 4,000 square foot deck at the center of camp, outfitted with table-tennis, foos ball, and other recreational games
Hiking Trails – a one-mile trail wraps around the lake, or take a trip to the nearby waterfall
Recreation Hall – complete with stage and sound equipment
Arts & Crafts Studio – a large building dedicated to creative projects like tie dye
Campfire Area – the perfect place to start and end each camp session!
What are the 2014 Academy sessions and rates?
Visit our Dates, Rates, & Enrollment page to learn all about our upcoming Academy sessions.
Athletes can enroll in any number of sessions to receive continued individualized training and experience different elective options and special events. Girls who attend multiple sessions benefit from our Multiple Session Discounts.
Tuition includes the BSA Training Kit. Enrolled campers have the option to purchase additional BSA apparel and training gear from our online BSA Store, or from the camp store located at the Academy.
*Payment plans and discounts are available.
How old are BSA athletes?
All sessions are open to girls ages 10-15 years old, and some sessions are open to girls up to 18 years old. To enroll, girls must be at least 10 years old as of June 29, 2014; and no more than 18 years old on August 1, 2014.
How many girls attend a single session?
Our summer 2014 enrollment is limited to approximately 120 girls per session.
What level soccer players attend the Academy?
Registration is open to girls of all abilities who are passionate about soccer. Girls who enjoy playing soccer and are looking to improve while having fun will thrive at the Academy.
Can an athlete attend more than one session?
Yes! Berkshire athletes can enroll in any number of sessions throughout a summer. Girls who attend more than one session will continue to receive individualized training and experience different elective options and special events. We DO provide programming and supervision between camp sessions, called “BSA Bridge”. You can choose to register for any of these extension programs on our Camper Application.
How do I register for the Academy?
To register, please submit the online Camper Application.
What does the Academy do to make girls feel welcome?
All year, we look forward to the arrival of our athletes and think about how we can make them feel welcome and comfortable. Upon arriving to camp, girls receive a tour, play fun ice-breaker games, meet all the staff and their cabin-mates, and get situated in their cabins. The first night’s action-packed schedule, which includes a fun soccer scrimmage and Staff Welcome Show, adds to the warm welcome.
We understand that homesickness is natural and often occurs with both new and veteran campers. We specifically prepare our staff to handle homesickness, with the hope that every girl settles in comfortably and has the time of her life!
Does the Academy use a unique soccer-specific training program?
Yes! Unlike any other soccer camp, the Academy takes an innovative approach to coaching young athletes by providing consistent and individualized instruction that focuses on training the whole player. Athletes are grouped by skill-level into small teams of 6-15 girls. These teams train daily with coaches who ensure each player is improving and having fun. The teams also play numerous league games to focus on tactical strategies and team play. During both technical and tactical sessions, coaches use video-replay on the field to provide feedback to players about their bio-mechanics and field positioning.
What does “training the whole player” mean?
We prepare our athletes to be well-rounded and fully capable soccer players and girls. This includes mental skills training that is intentionally woven through the Academy experience, during technical and tactical sessions on the field, as well as off-the-field workshops. Focusing on topics like confidence, control, teamwork, and communication, the entire Academy staff is trained to encourage the “whole player” development of each athlete by maximizing opportunities that challenge them physically, mentally, and socially.
Do goalkeepers receive specific training at the Academy?
Yes! The Academy offers a special Goalkeeping Track. Athletes interested in goalkeeping sessions should indicate that on their Camper Application. Goalkeepers are placed on a separate team led by an elite goalkeeping coach where they receive specialized instruction in goalkeeping techniques and tactics. Academy goalkeepers also develop basic foot skills and field awareness necessary everywhere on the field. Goalkeepers are integrated with the field players during some training sessions, league games, and in the cabins, electives and evening activities.
What is the Academy’s daily schedule?
While every day at the Berkshire Soccer Academy for Girls is unique and full of surprises, the days do follow a common structure. On a typical day, girls participate in three soccer-specific periods, two elective periods, and one evening activity. We bring variety to each session with special programming that includes surprise events and guest appearances.
What optional activities does the Academy offer?
At the Academy, girls balance the intensity of soccer training with the enjoyment and opportunity of optional activities. During elective periods, girls explore, spend time with friends, and most importantly, have FUN! Swimming is offered at every elective, weather permitting.
What happens at the Academy if it rains?
Soccer sessions and most other activities carry on in the rain. However, when there is visible lightening, extremely heavy rain, or strong winds, we implement a “Rainy-Day Schedule”. The training, games, and fun continue indoors until the weather improves.
What happens at the Academy if there is a heat wave?
We keep a close watch on the weather every day. Schedule changes may occur if the Academy’s leadership team decides it is too hot to train. With so many activities and venues at our fingertips, these modifications are easy to make. For instance, a technical session on the field may be moved to the evening when it’s cooler, and replaced with a mental skills training session indoors; or an all-camp swim in the lake!
Who is responsible for my child’s well-being at the Academy?
Liza & Eric Wittenberg work full-time year-round as the directors of the Berkshire Soccer Academy for Girls. With over 20 years of combined camp experience and extensive backgrounds in education, competitive soccer, and sport psychology, Liza and Eric embody the mission and values of BSA, creating a safe, inclusive environment for each girl to develop as a player, make friends, and have fun.
Who makes up the Academy’s program staff?
Directors Eric and Liza oversee a team of highly qualified and reliable individuals who carefully manage every aspect of the Academy experience. Soccer Staff and Elective Staff work together to create a balanced community of healthy competition and fun, both on and off the soccer field.
What is the Soccer Staff like?
The Academy’s Soccer Director oversees all soccer-related training, programming and staff, leading our dedicated Soccer Staff, which consists of 3-4 Master Coaches and 12-14 Assistant Coaches who come to the Academy from across the nation to coach in our unique environment. Master Coaches are licensed professionals who have dedicated their careers to youth soccer instruction. Assistant Coaches are former and current NCAA soccer players who are interested in a career in coaching, teaching, sport psychology or sport administration. Each and every coach has a deep interest in being a teacher and role model to our athletes.
What is the Elective Staff like?
In addition to the Soccer Staff, the Academy also has an excellent team of Elective Staff who lead activities off the soccer field. From the waterfront to the hiking trails, each member of our Elective Staff possesses an expertise and passion in their activity. Following the American Camp Association standards, we require that certain elective staff have required licensing as well as American Red Cross certifications.
What are the Cabin Counselors like?
Select Soccer Staff and Elective Staff also serve as our Cabin Counselors. They live in the cabins with the athletes and promote friendships and fun, specifically during cabin-times and meal-times. Liza Wittenberg leads our Residential Life, training and managing the Cabin Counselors to ensure that every Berkshire athlete is getting the most out of her Academy experience.
How does the Academy ensure a high-quality staff?
Every staff member is carefully selected to reflect the Academy’s mission and values. We interview each candidate and only hire those with excellent references, impressive experience working with children, and a willingness to dedicate themselves to caring for and supervising our athletes.
Before camp opens, we offer comprehensive staff training that covers all aspects of youth development and group cohesion. The training, which is developed with the assistance of child development and camp industry experts, prepares our staff to maximize every moment and to instill our girls with work ethic, respect, sportsmanship and to teach them how to live and play the “Berkshire Way”.
Are Berkshire athletes supervised both on and off the field?
During the day, the girls are engaged in soccer and elective activities where coaches where specialists are always present providing instruction and guidance. During free times and in the evenings, cabin counselors are always supervising, supporting and caring for each camper.
Who will care for my daughter’s health?
The Academy’s top priority is the safety, health and well-being of every camper. Our new Health Center houses a professional Health Care Staff that consists of 2-3 full-time Nurses, a full-time Athletic Trainer, a visiting Physical Therapist, and an on-call Physician.
Before each session, our nurse reviews every athlete’s health history and medication needs. Our nurse properly distributes medication to both athletes and staff at meal-times or bedtime, according to the individual’s Health History Form. In the event of a serious illness or injury, we have an on-call physician available seven days a week.
What happens if my daughter is injured?
Our full-time licensed Athletic Trainer is on the field during every soccer session; and provides pre and post training treatments in the Health Center.
We also engage a visiting Physical Therapist who teaches our athletes proper warm-up, bio-mechanic and injury prevention techniques.
When will parents be notified of health issues?
Parents will be contacted if our medical staff has any questions, if a serious injury has occurred, if a camper is taken to a doctor, or if a camper spends the night in the health center.
What kind of food does the Academy serve?
We pride ourselves on providing healthy food options that give our growing athletes the energy and nutrition they need. Each day, our Head Chef and crew prepare a well-balanced menu of camp favorites that include tasty protein-based entrees and a variety of side dishes served in our lakeside dining hall or at the weekly cookout. Fruit, salad, and pasta bars are always featured, with fresh local produce and whole grain pastas, breads and cereals. We offer healthy snacks every evening, with occasional indulgences like ice cream, homemade desserts, and s’mores of course!
Where do the campers live?
Berkshire athletes live in newly-renovated cabins which house 8-12 girls and 2-3 cabin counselors. The cabins are clustered together in centrally located areas around camp. Every cabin has its own bathroom with showers, sinks, and toilets. All cabins have electricity, windows, comfortable beds, and individual storage areas. Campers bring their own bedding and towels.
Is laundry service provided at the Academy?
We provide laundry service during the bridge days between sessions for campers who have registered for multiple sessions. Campers launder certain athletic and necessary items. All items must be clearly labeled. All other laundry should be kept in a personal laundry bag to be laundered at home.
Can my daughter request to live with a friend?
Girls can request one cabin-mate on the Cabin Request Form, which becomes available to enrolled athletes in the spring. We do our very best to accommodate every request. We also encourage girls to take advantage of this opportunity to meet new friends, and we do not permit entire groups of new campers to form their own cabin groups.
How do I get more information about the Berkshire Soccer Academy for Girls?
The Academy Directors, Liza and Eric Wittenberg, are available full-time, all year round. Please feel free to contact them by phone at: 800-326-9219, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.