Future Stars (FS) isn’t just a “camp.” Admittedly, it is a camp, but it’s also a potentially life-changing place. This doesn’t mean that attending FS Camps will automatically turn you into a sports star. With attending, comes time, training, and an abundance of passion and dedication. You may ask, however; how can FS Camps change lives? Check out what former camper Ian Reibeisen had to say about his awesome experience and the years he spent at Future Stars Camps.
Future Stars Start
Ian couldn’t wait to begin FS Camps. His older brothers were campers before him and Ian couldn’t wait to jump into their footsteps. At age four, Ian convinced Jordan Snider, Camp Site Director at SUNY, Purchase, to let him enroll at Future Stars – a year or two earlier than most kids do.
That first year, Ian was more like a “director in training.” No, he didn’t actually tackle the director’s duties. He did, however; follow Jordan around during all his daily tasks. Jordan wasn’t just a camp director to Ian. “I really looked up to him,” reminisced Ian.
As the years went by, Ian attended FS Tennis camp at SUNY Purchase college, Armonk Tennis, and the sleep away camp at Ascutney (VT). Even though each camp was special to Ian, it was really the one at SUNY Purchase that held his favorite memories. What was so magical about SUNY Purchase? Ian said, “There was always something exciting going on – some of my favorite memories include when the whole tennis camp would participate in an activity together. For the first time in my life, I was in a group setting where a large group of people were all excited for the same thing.”
Even though Ian started attending camp with his older brothers, he made plenty of friends throughout the years. Not only did he make friends along the way, but he also got the chance to enjoy spending time with some pretty amazing counselors and coaches. Ian explained, “Every day at Future Stars was a dream come true for me because I was able to enjoy the things I loved the most while being surrounded by great coaches, counselors and friends.”
Did Ian have fun at camp? Of course! But that wasn’t all. He learned pertinent life lessons as well. Not only did he improve his tennis game, but he also learned about hard work.
“The weekly competition (tournament) taught me that I always needed to work hard to reach my potential – in this case, play smart and do my best. Because I worked so hard I had a lot of success on the court!” said Ian. The ability to work hard kept churning even when Ian stepped off the court, “I use that same work ethic off the court to pursue and achieve all my goals.”
Along with learning life and tennis lessons, Ian also had the chance to form some special relationships. He looks back on his FS Camp years, remembering the fun times he had there. “One fun memory I had, as a 6-year-old, was when I was leaving on the bus; I would yell out to counselors and order hamburgers, pretending that I was going through a drive thru.”
Ian also remembers how the other FS campers and counselors became like a family to him. “It felt like the coming of age time in my life – I came into myself through the summers. I didn’t really enjoy school, so summer was a great time to find myself, be with friends, and play a sport that I loved.”
As Ian went through FS Camps (as a camper, and then eventually as a counselor), he trained and improved his tennis game. “Tennis runs in our DNA”. Ian and his brothers played USTA tournaments all around the country. Ian considered playing in college, but ended up following a different path. All three of Ian’s brothers (he has two older and one younger brother) played at Bucknell University.
So why didn’t Ian continue in tennis? Even though he loved tennis, he also fell in love with music. He’s now 27, has a business degree with a concentration in marketing from Quinnipiac University, and is pursuing a solo music career.
He credits Future Stars for helping him with his musical ambitions. How? He told us, “Without the confidence I gained as a camper I believe things wouldn’t have gone the way they did.” Not only did FS help Ian’s confidence, but it also helped him meet his first band-mate. “I started my first band with a friend that I met at FS day camp. We wrote and played music together for over 10 years.”
Now that Ian’s an adult, he still keeps in touch with some of his FS friends. He kept in touch with Jordan after his camp years and continues to look up to him. Having gone to camp for almost a decade, and then working as a coach and counselor, Ian considers himself a “lifer.” He still hears from some of his camp friends once in a while, and says, “It makes me happy to see that everyone is doing well. They’re definitely a group of people I will remember forever.”
Image Credit: Jordan Snider