YESTERDAY $1,000 WAS MATCHED! ($22,738 of MATCH REMAINING)
WE ALSO CRACKED $42,000 for the OVERALL STORY PROJECT 2018 CAMPAIGN!
MAKE A DONATION TODAY- CLICK HERE!
The First Fly Guys Camp
The very first Fly Guys Camp started in a rather unconventional way for me. The flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Salt Lake City was uneventful, but because I was only fourteen I had to fly as an unaccompanied minor. This meant that from the time my mom dropped me off at the gate, Delta crew had to watch my every move. When we landed in Salt Lake they took me to the “Delta Den,” which is basically a rec. room for Delta workers. Anders Johnson, our coach, had graciously offered to pick me up. He called me from baggage claim and said, “Where are you?” I wasn’t allowed to go down to meet him. He eventually made his way to the gate, but the two workers still wouldn’t let me go even though I could see him out the window. Eventually we escaped the Delta Den and were on our way.
Fly Guys and Fly Girls camps are a three-week training camp for U16 athletes that takes place in Steamboat and Park City, culminating in the Springer Tournee at the end of July. At the camp, we trained on the ski jumps, of course, but also by doing all sorts of cool drills I had never done before. Anders and Alan Alborn had us doing all sorts of things like putting a volleyball in between our legs on the roller jump to help our inrun be square and holding a hurdle at the end of the takeoff so we remembered to jump. We also experienced the “Alan Talks.” Each one was always different. He talked about nutrition, mental training and how to overcome obstacles. We learned a lot from these talks, too. One important takeaway that I learned was from his mental training lesson. In a sport where you are only actively competing for less than ten seconds, we must train off the hill as well using visualization and other methods to simulate ski jumping.
The most important lesson I learned was setting goals and how important it is for athletes to set realistic goals and to have a ladder to climb to success. That was another great thing about this camp. I really wanted to be picked for the Fly Guys Camp and it was one of my goals for this year. Before Fly Guys, the ladder for ski jumping and nordic combined athletes went from qualifying for Junior Championships to making the national team—a huge gap that meant a lot of athletes before me saw no path forward. The new development program in place now added Fly Guys and Fly Girls, a huge steps for athletes like myself. These are important steps that are vital to our sport. They give athletes the opportunity to improve skills, to increase their training and, most importantly, something to reach toward.
We also had a lot of fun hanging out together for four weeks this summer. The Fly Guys and Fly Girls took turns cooking for each other, we played music together, we hiked and went river rafting, and we participated in some big competitions—Fourth of July Comp in Steamboat and the Springer Tournee finale at the end of the camp. I had my best Springer Tournee results ever this summer, proof that experiences like this really do make a difference.
I learned a lot this summer and set some new goals. Another thing I learned happened before camp started, when we were tasked with fundraising $1000 to cover the cost of the camp. We had to create a fundraising page to let people know about Fly Guys and about USA Nordic. My mom helped me create the page and some super generous people helped me go to Fly Guys. I am very grateful to my parents, my supporters, to Anders and Alan, and to USA Nordic for giving me this opportunity and for giving all young athletes something new and exciting to work for.
From the Anchorage Daily News, Jan 7 2017– Carter Brubaker launches into his 40-meter jump. The Karl Eid Ski Jumps, located next to Hilltop Ski Area in Anchorage, hosted its New Year’s Classic competition on Saturday, January 7, 2017. About 30 jumpers competed. Divisions included 10, 20, 40 and 65-meter events. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)