Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 1999

By Kari Lucin, staff writers

Some girls yell naturally. Other girls need to be convinced to yell, as the two coaches of the Albert Lea Park and Recreation Department’s Cheerleading Camp found out.

&8220;They’re really quiet at first; we’ve got to get them to yell a little bit,&8221; said camp counselor Sasha Flores, who graduated from Albert Lea High School this year.

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She and Heidi Czaplewski, 16, have been teaching cheers, chants, gymnastics, stunts and routines at the camp’s multiple one-week, two-hour-a-day sessions since June 19.

&8220;The girls really like it. They have fun,&8221; Flores said.

Czaplewski and Flores hoped their time with the 7- through 13-year-olds would be a good introduction to the sport of cheerleading. Some of the rudiments girls learn include arm motions and jumps, but they also learn a few familiar cheers they’d heard before at football games.

The day starts with stretching, and then girls play a few short games to help them get to know each other. Then the cheering starts.

&8220;You get to do a lot of different stuff &045; it’s not like dancing,&8221; said Sara Sanderson, a Sibley Elementary School fifth-grader.

Though the two hours is jam-packed with fun games and stunts, there is a serious side to the camp too, hidden under the laughter and smiles.

&8220;I want them to learn a lot of the skills they’ll need for high school cheerleading, so they’ll be able to make the team a lot easier,&8221; Czaplewski said.

For most of the girls, trying to make the team is far ahead in the future. Now they’re just learning how to fall more gently, how to dance and do toe-touches, and how to support each other in the air and on the ground.

&8220;All the stunts and stuff, it’s fun doing them with your friends,&8221; said Hawthorne Elementary School third-grader Brook Rye. &8220;I’m going to come here next year, too, if there is one.&8221;

The instructors have a great time, too.

&8220;I guess I don’t have a sister, so why not have lots?&8221; Flores said.