History of Life Skills Camp

20th Annual Basketball/Life Skills Camp

The Basketball and Life Skills Camp is entering its 20th year in its original format. Started in 1998 as a camp that would connect the West Seattle community to Chief Sealth High School, provide fundraising for the boys basketball program, and provide community youth with an affordable, fun and valuable life learning experience in the context of basketball, the camp has grown to serve hundreds of young people over the years.

Through on court and classroom break out sessions, the philosophy of the camp is to provide a positive and fun learning experience to youth by exposing them to the fundamentals of basketball and life, including the values and qualities that we feel are necessary to be successful in these arenas. The camp is sponsored and organized by Hoops4Life, a Washington Non-Profit Corporation founded and operated by Che' Dawson, Men's Basketball Coach at Highline College. The camp is directed by Colin Slingsby, currently the Head Boys' Basketball Coach at Chief Sealth High School. The camp staff will include current and former high school and college players and coaches. Each member of the staff undergoes an extensive training and orientation program carefully planned and executed by the camp director. Each coach learns important mentoring skills, how to teach important fundamental basketball concepts, and conflict resolution strategies.

A major objective of the camp over the years has been to not only provide a great camp experience for each camper, but to donate literally thousands of dollars each summer to the Boys and Girls Basketball programs at Chief Sealth High School to help with the lack of funding provided by public funds for uniforms, balls, team meals, SAT and college workshops for players, etc. The players on those teams serve as camp counselors understanding that their outstanding service at the camp is not only a fundraising activity for their team, but a way to satisfy necessary community service hours for graduation.

Last year, Hoops4Life decided to extend the opportunity for kids on the Eastside to have the camp experience at Hidden Valley Boys and Girls Club in Bellevue, Washington. The camp was staffed by players for Local Hoops, a basketball training academy. They used the opportunity to fundraise for travel and equipment needs for their program as well as satisfying their community service hours for graduation. The Hidden Valley sessions were very successful and will continue to be a part of Hoops4Life's summer program!