Summer is over, at least for students taking part in any sort of extra-curricular activity. Band camps, cheer camps, and football conditioning have all started.

At Jacket Nation, the annual Mini Cheer Camp heralds in the new football season, with new cheers and routines meant to fire up the Yellowjacket crowd and to instill Jacket Pride in the youngest supporters.

Last week, 34 mini jackets cheerleaders came to the Meridian High School gym for fun, games and the chance to show off their learned skills at the end of a three-morning camp, under the guidance of the Yellowjacket Varsity Cheerleading Squad.

The main dance was fittingly to Trivassi’s “Follow the Leader,” as the young Yellowjackets followed and copied each and every move their week’s mentors made. And as an extra surprise, Awesome – the Yellowjacket mascot – showed up to join them.

“The squad handled their job well,” Cheer sponsor Shelly Carpenter said of her young squad. “They showed that they are leaders, in instruction, knowing how to jump in and handle the group.”

At the end of camp, the mini Yellowjackets took home their art, a mini megaphone, a mug and scrumptious cupcakes.

“It is absolutely our favorite week of the season,” Carpenter said of Mini Cheer Camp.

The 2017-18 Yellowjacket Varsity Cheer Squad includes Freshmen Faith Paruszewski and Maddy Roberts; Sophomores Autumn Ardeneaux, Hayden Hewitt, Maddie Hicks and Mallory Paruszewski; and Senior Darci Gann and mascot William Edwards.

The mini cheerleaders will be on the side lines regularly during the season, telling the crowd that “Hey, hey, you can yell it too. Let’s go Yellowjackets!”

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