Dingmans Ferry - The brand-new Camp Speers-Eljabar YMCA Competitive Recreational Cheering Team has made its mark this year with first and second-place finishes in regional cheerleading competitions. Inaugurated in October 2005, the 15-member team is made up of girls from the community, ages 7 to 15. The squad is a competitive squad, which means it participates in contests rather than supporting sports teams. During its first year, the team took home honors in a number of winter and spring events, winning First Place in the Pine Bush, New York competition; placing second at the Newburgh, New York Free Academy Competition and coming in first at the Cheer Ltd. CANAM Tri-State Open regional qualifier, held at Delaware Valley High School. Winning the Tri-State Open positioned the Competitive Cheering Team for a national competition that was held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The cheering competitions are judged by professionals in a variety of categories, including dance movement, timing, stunting and cheer. “This is the very first time the Camp Speers-Eljabar YMCA has sponsored a competitive cheering team,” said coach, coordinator and team choreographer Jennifer Sciano. “I couldn’t be more proud of these girls. They are an enthusiastic, dedicated and very talented troupe.” Sciano, along with fellow coach Chrissy King, oversees the recreational squad, which meets twice a week for two-hour practice and training sessions. “We’re a recreational team, a new team - not even a year old - and we have already achieved a commendable record. We are looking forward to a larger turnout this year with the addition of a Pee Wee/Youth squad and dedicated tumbling coaches.” In addition to the team success during the winter competitions, three individual team members also received bids to participate in the CANAM Nationals in Myrtle Beach. Camp Speers-Eljabar YMCA has more than 20 programs that meet the needs of Pike County families and children, including health and fitness, workshops, arts & crafts, outdoor sports, swim lessons, youth and teen programs and enrichment. Volunteer opportunities are available for teenagers and adults. For information on YMCA programs, contact Camp Speers-Eljabar YMCA at 570-828-2329.