After 13 years as tennis director at Cunningham Tennis, Garland opened a tennis camp for children in the summer of 1998 at the 104-year-old North Shore Tennis and Racquet Club in Bayside. The club had previously struggled financially, but once Garland’s youth camps were in operation, a harmonious partnership was built between the two organizations.
Each day is split into two sessions. During the first half, the kids will do drills and instruction. After a provided lunch, the children will continue with the second session, which consists of match-play.
For Garland, there are a million reasons why children should get involved with tennis. First, the sport allows children to exercise and become physically fit while providing them with an activity that leaves them occupied and out of trouble.
“Also, because tennis is a singular sport, you’re out there by yourself,” Garland said. “It really teaches kids accountability and responsibility. They don’t have anybody to blame.”
Garland considers the family-like atmosphere as one of the special aspects of the holiday camp. Many children return each year and the older athletes return to teach during college breaks. A few have even returned after graduating college and joined Garland on the staff.
“If you went to other tennis programs, they are concessions and don’t feel like a club,” Garland said. “This feels warmer and has a homey vibe to it whereas other places are just facilities."
The rate for six days is $550 while a weekend-only package cost $175. For more information, call (718) 224-6303 or visit GoTennisPrograms.com.