Camp Woodward. What can I say about this brilliant place? Recently, I traveled to Woodward East for a week, and I have to say, this camp was the highlight of my skateboarding life. Even now, in retrospect, as I think about the time I’ve had there, I’m getting the excitement jitters. Woodward is the pinnacle of skateboarding parks/camps. This is the ultimate action sports getaway.
Obviously, the cabins are where you stay. On Sunday morning, you arrive at Woodward. The very first thing you do, is check in. When you check in, you will learn your four-digit number. The meaning behind this number, I shall explain later. Also, you learn your cabin number. Checking in takes a matter of minutes. From there you head off to your cabin. Each cabin is different; some are older, some are newer. The cabin which I stayed in was one of the oldest cabins in the entire camp. 18D, also called “the ghetto.” Back on point, once you arrive at your cabin, you will meet your counselor. Your counselor can be anywhere from 18 to 30 years old. Your counselors usually act just like a camper. The only difference is that your counselors wake you up in the morning.
All of the cabins have triple bunks. It’s up to you which one you sleep in. Remember: the early bird gets the worm! Woodward supplies you with a tiny mattress, but for a week, this is good enough. I suggest bringing you sheets and comforter, but you may also bring a sleeping bag. Most of the cabins have bathrooms in them, but if you happen to be in the ghetto, like I was, you’ll have to walk a little bit to the bathrooms. The cabins are always open for you to go in, so if you get tired from skating (which, you will), you can rest in the cabin. IMPORTANT: Bring a lock. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times kids in my cabin had things stolen from them. The directors (People that run the camp), came into our cabin and did a search through all of our bags to find missing items. Just save yourself the trouble, and bring a lock.
There are over 17 parks at Woodward, however, not all of them are “skateboard friendly.” In other words, they are dirt courses for BMXers. Unfortunately, pictures of each park are impossible to find. But you can go to the Woodward website and look at the pictures there.
1.) The Rock – The Rock is an all concrete park filled with an enormous bowl, a step-up gap, long stair sets, “mini handrails,” hubbas, barriers, and more! The Rock is the main park in the entire camp. On the first day, a demo is held here which includes all of the visiting pros.
2.) Outdoor Street – Outdoor Street is the newest addition to the camp. This was my second favorite park. All of the contests are now held here, for good reason too. This park includes, a six stair, with a perfect street handrail, many big hubbas, perfect, transitions, a long three stair, a long 2 flat 3, a big roll in, and a very high ledge. Of course, there is more to this park, but those are just the main features. Everything flows with this park. Since this park is so new, there aren’t any pictures on the Woodward site of this park completed. There are only pictures of it while it was being built.
3.) Egypt – Egypt is basically the beginners’ hang-out. But there are also obstacles for skaters of a higher level. Egypt includes: many small down-rails, a very small 7 stair handrail, small hubbas, one extremely long down-rail (named the “Nile” for being long, and in the middle of Egypt.), and much more.
4.) Lot 8 – Lot 8 seems more geared towards BMXers, but any skater can find something to do in here. This park includes: a big pyramid, a flat bar on top of a pyramid, the canyon gap (I will explain), A huge foam pit, resi-ramp, a 7-foot bowl, a vert ramp, and a resi-vert ramp. Lot 8 used to be the home of all the competitions before the new outdoor street was put in. The canyon gap is a big gap on which you start on top of a vert ramp, and ollie onto a smaller ramp below. This is very hard to describe so, it would be better to show you with a video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=FpbaSkphshg
5.) B3 Vert Ramps – Huge vert ramps. That’s all that needs to be said.
6.) The School – The school was my least favorite park in the entire camp. But it may be your favorite! It includes: a 5-foot mini ramp, mini ramp to wallride, a mini ramp with 4’, 5’, 6’, 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’ high coping for learning, a handrail, 2 hubbas, many quarter pipes, and a quarter-pipe with a curb coping.
7.) The Playground – This is the home of the most beautiful mini ramp you will ever see. In addition to the mini, there are: 1’, 2’, 3’, 4’ high quarter-pipes for learning, wallrides, a few hubbas, banks, down-rails, a smaller foam-pit, and a smaller resi-ramp. The playground is the park I suggest warming up in.
8.) Woodward Ave – Woodward Ave, isn’t really a park. It’s more like a mini-street with a few ledges, and two three stairs. No one really skates here.
9.) The Hip Bowl – A beautiful kidney-shaped bowl with a nice hip built in. Very smooth bowl.
10.) Concrete Bowl – Also called the F-Bowl. The concrete bowl is in the shape of an ‘F’. This bowl is a lot of fun to cruise around in. Also, at the end of the week, a game of Thuggin’ is played here. What is thuggin’, you ask? Well thuggin’, is a game played with many people inside this bowl. The object of the game is to knock everyone off of their skateboards, and be the last one standing! However, there is a twist. You can’t touch the ground. So you must tic-tac to move. Tons of fun!
11.) Cloud 9 – Much like lot 8, there isn’t much for skateboarders to do. However, there is a vert ramp, a vert resi-ramp, a big foam-pit, a big resi ramp, and a kinked hubba.
12.) The Launch Pad – The Launch Pad is different from the rest of Woodward’s parks. It is built with different materials, but still skates great. The launch pad has a great mini ramp, spine, downrails, 8 stair handrail, hubbas, and much transition.
13.) The Plaza – Ah, The Plaza. This was my most absolute favorite park at Woodward. The perfect place for bangers. This wonder-park, consists of: a 4 stair, a 2 stair gap, 2 huge fours with wallrides next to each, two 5 stairs, a 3 flat 5, a 3 flat 3 flat 3, hubbas everywhere, a 10 stair with an enormous handrail, and more! This park is not on the website, unfortunately, but there are many videos of it on youtube, or other video websites!
Picture Woodward like college. Except your only two classes are skating freely, and instructional. First I will describe Instructional. Instructional is mandatory, but many choose not to go. Go. It isn’t that bad. At instructional, you are placed in groups according to your skill level. Usually groups are from 6-9 kids of your skill. Your instructor is basically like a teacher. He will bring your group to parks around the camp, and you will skate. If you need help with something, ask him. He will help you, and you most likely will end up learning something new. After about an hour, it’s over, and from here, you can do anything you want. Yes, anything. No one will tell you where to go, or what to do. If you want to go to The Canteen (Woodward’s store/restaurant.), you can go there, need rest? Then go to your cabin. Want to skate The Plaza? Go ahead and go there! Woodward is yours and you can use it how you want.
Copied directly from www.CampWoodward.com
Take it from me; you WILL get tired of and from skating. I didn’t think I would get tired when I first arrived, but you will get tired and you will get somewhat bored. Be sure to sign up for at least one of the recreational activities.
The tap program is like a scholarship. If you have the best attitude, go to all of the instructionals, and are one of the best skaters in your group, your instructor will tap you. What does this mean, you ask? Well, it means that you have the opportunity to come back to Woodward on tap week, which is week 12. The best part is that you will get a discount! If you are a brilliant skateboarder, you can get a full scholarship. Meaning that you get to comeback for free! This is just another reason to be sure to go to all of the instructionals.
Overall, Woodward is one of the best places I’ve ever been to. It’s like heaven. Yes, I’m sure everyone knows about the price. 950 bucks. But wait! Don’t have the cash? Well there is a simple (but dirty) solution! For 3 weeks, you can work behind the counters at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and be able to skate for free! All you have to do is wash dishes. You have to be 15 to do this, but anyone above that age can! At the beginning of the week, your parents put a sum of money into your account. This money is to be used by you for anything you want. You can go to the canteen and buy food, drinks, or clothing with this money! Just tell the workers at the register you 4-digit number, and alakazam, you’ve paid! Woodward is a must for anyone that loves skateboarding. You have no excuse to not go (depending on where you live)! Camp Woodward is one of my most favorite places in the world. I had the time of my life there, and I hope you will too!