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Tennis Camp Puts the Spin on Fun

Sue Feldman's tennis camp at the Easton Community Center is not just about teaching the perfect backhand. It's about making the kids feel special and sending them home happy.

"It's a very nurturing camp," said Feldman, who played Division 1 tennis at the University of Florida. "No matter how many kids are here, we bring in enough staff so that every single child is taken care of."

"We have a ceremony every Friday. The parents come and the kids who are the finalists and winners get trophies, but every single child gets an award." Counselors choose from categories like most improved, most sportsmanship and most likely to be a camp counselor, allowing every child to feel special.

Celebrating its 20th year, the camp is full every year. Last week it had 37 campers. The kids, ages 3 to 12, learn a stroke of the day and appropriate form, do drills and play in tournaments to improve their skills. Friday pizza lunches and things like crazy hat day keep the atmosphere a fun one.

"The thing about this camp that I think works the most is that the kids have so much fun that they don't even realize how much they're learning," said Feldman.

Though some might think 3 is too young to learn tennis, Feldman disagrees. "I think it helps them as long as you know how to make it fun for them. I think the worst thing you could do is turn kids off to a sport that is a sport of a lifetime. So we have ways that we work with the kids even when they're little so they really feel very successful at it."

Feldman's husband and children help with the camp when they can. Her son Charlie played four years of Division 1 tennis at Quinnipiac, and her daughter Rebecca played as well. Feldman herself won two silver medals at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

"We kind of look at it as a family venture. It's a nice thing for me that everybody participates in my family at the camp," said Feldman.

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