The Fish Goes to Camp | Greg Heads to MotoCamp with Lino Zecca
By Greg Poisson
Brought to you by KDEAM Optics
I was 10 years old the last time I had been to Motocamp, run by Lino Zecca, father of current Canadian national pro #43 Dario Zecca. Lino was at one point a top national pro in Canada himself. Anyway, back to me…I was 10 years old on a Honda XR70 when I last attended camp, and to say things have changed would be an understatement. Motocamp resides at Bob Rumball’s Camp of the Deaf just south of Parry Sound, Ontario. There’s what they call the Moto Lodge, a full gymnasium for indoor activities, a school-style cafeteria, 2 lakes for water sports, and 3 tracks for lessons/riding.
With Dario and I being on the same team this season, I was given the opportunity to come up and assist as an instructor for a week in July. Dario and I both high-tailed it out of Gopher Dunes after the national and made the 3-hour drive north Sunday evening.
The campers typically arrive Sunday afternoon and get settled in to start bright and early Monday morning. Each day starts at 7:30am with prep for the day and breakfast at 8am sharp. After that, the campers get organized into their groups for the day, typically sorted by skill level with instructors that specialize in that skillset. They could spend the morning at either the “big track,” “turn track,” or the “TT Track.” Motocamp and Honda Canada have been partners for the last few seasons, so some of the campers were aboard Honda CRF110s, 125, and 230s all wearing Fox gear supplied by Fox Racing Canada.
The first day is spent learning the basics for some campers – shifting, braking, corners – while others who have experience racing/riding learn some of the more advanced skills. The week progresses each day with line choice, jumping, corners and even scrubbing lessons coming into play.
Our down time was spent in the lake, on the inflatable climbing structures, dinner at the point, etc..
The lessons and trail rides are planned out each morning based on the track, weather conditions, and rider skill.
Generally, there is one day during each week that dinner is served out at the point overlooking the lake followed by tower jumping and rope swinging. Another evening may call for tubing, hay rides, rock climbing, or a track building contest.
Typical day at Camp:
7:00 AM: WAKE-UP CALL every day
7-7:15 AM: Morning prep
7:15-8:00 AM: Morning work-out/game
8-8:45 AM: BREAKFAST
8:45-9 AM: Bunk/Room clean-up
9-9:30 AM: Gear-up
9:30-12:00 PM: RIDING/LESSONS
12-12:30 PM: Change/get ready for lunch
12:30-1:00 PM: LUNCH
1-1:30 PM: Tuck, games, rehydrate, and relaxing before ride time!
1:30-2 PM: Gear-up
2-5:00 PM: RIDING/LESSONS
5-6:00 PM: Afternoon activity: swimming, tubing, rock climbing, tower jumping/tarzan rope, etc.
6-7:00 PM: DINNER
7:00-8 PM: Tuck, games, rehydrate and relax.
8-10-10:30 PM: Movie (campers indoors)
10-10:30 PM: LIGHTS OUT
Having spent weeks at camp when I was 9-10, it really felt great to return, albeit as a “counsellor” instead of a camper. I saw campers start the week barely being able to ride a bike to climbing huge sand hills on Friday. The progression with the help of Lino/Dario’s lesson plan was evident. Having spent lots of time with each camper, I got the feeling that confidence was high and that they would all return each summer.
Motocamp is not just for beginner riders either. There are some up and coming racers using the time to hone their skills and get lots of seat time. 12-year-old Cooper Wallis was at camp the week I was there and is a regular in the AMO series.
The week ends with a relay-style race amongst campers so their parents can see the progression they’ve made throughout the week. Needless to say, the campers are extremely tired but very happy with their results.
I’ll admit I was looking for a reset in my own life leading up to my week at camp, and although I was physically exhausted, mentally I felt recharged and ready to pursue new avenues in life.
Friday afternoon Dario and I then packed up and made the 5-hour trek to Sand Del Lee for the next round of the Triple Crown MX Series. I’d discovered a newfound passion and fun factor to the sport I grew to love at 10 years old at my first week of camp.
A special thank you goes out to Lino and Dario Zecca for having me for the week. I highly recommend sending your 5-18 year olds to Motocamp for a week of fun they won’t soon forget.
Check them out at www.motocamp.ca