We welcomed 90 boys to the campus of Long Beach State for our 6th Annual BOSS Camp, an intense 2-week experience where we begin our year-round and multi-year engagement with student-athletes and, through them, their non-athlete peers. Highlights included our annual Math Madness competition, design and build of underwater robots, a trip to SpaceX and the Port of Long Beach, and our annual Lakers’ basketball clinic.
Highlights of Week 1 included amazing presentations by former Division 1 baseball/basketball player turned national (pharmaceuticals) sales director turned author and business coach, JaMarr Brown; “No Less than Great” author Helen Moziawho shared practices that research has shown work to engage, motivate and accelerate success for youngsters including understanding true identity, discovering one’s pull to become, identifying personal purpose for learning, recognizing the gap, practicing productive and affirmative thinking, building support teams, taking inventory and organizing assets and applying assets to close the gap with an effective action plan; A return visit by NBA referee Derek Richardson; And a trip to Port of Long Beach headquarters that included breakout sessions with communications, construction, government relations, engineering and technology professionals, lunch and a harbor tour where the boys learned about Port operations, the complexities of maritime goods movement and how the Port is improving the environment and helping the community thrive.
We started our annual Math Madness (middle schoolers) competition, a takeoff of March Madness where boys compete by solving increasingly more difficult math problems. At the end of Week 1, Jakob Brannon (Newcomb), Angel Cervantes (Jackie Robinson/LBUSD) and David Caldwell (Lifeline Education/Compton) were leading the way. We also kicked off our first robotics program, led by LBUSD’s Tarquinn Curry and including a special presentation by Cisco engineer Jeff Freeman, founder and leader of Innovos Robotics, with a view towards developing a competitive BOSS robotics team. The youngsters made great progress towards building and coding race cars that will compete on Day 10 of the camp. We closed out Week 1 with an amazing basketball clinic presented by the Lakers Youth Foundation.
Highlights of Week 2 included a visit to SpaceX’s rocket and spacecraft factory. At the world’s largest facility performing the complete design, fabrication and assembly of rockets, engines and spacecraft our boys see the Falcon 9 rockets being assembled, Merlin engines being constructed, Dragon spacecraft in production and even a Dragon that has returned from space! Our robotics MVP was BOSS newcomer, Jordan Simmons. Ian Harrison and Emilio Farrell, both headed to CAMS (California Academy for Math & Science), Immanuel Ivory, Raymond Jenkins and Eli Walters joined Jordan on our All-Robotics team. BOSS newcomer Angel Cervantes is our Math Madness MVP, setting a record with 8,000 points. DJ Orr, London McCall, Memphis Stover, Jason Tillman, David Caldwell and brothers Dylan and Emile Ballard joined Angel on our All-Math Madness team.
With our 2-week camp behind us, we’ve once again transitioned to the year-round component of our year-round and multi-year BOSS “process” that includes mentoring, real world experiences and opportunities for advocacy and service.