2019 will be our 45th year in business. When Charlie Hoeveler began US Sports Camps back in 1975, he was already a lifelong tennis player who now holds 50 USTA National titles.
The idea came from Charlie's involvement with tennis legend Billie Jean King and her associates who had created TennisAmerica (TA), a multi-site network of camps featuring well known "celebrity" coaches.
Although the TA camps were considered among the best, most prestigious destination tennis programs in the country, the company just wasn't profitable. When TA folded in 1975, Billie Jean and her associates hired Charlie to correct the flaws and reinvent the youth camp experience on a whole new level in ways that would also be economically sustainable.
That first year Charlie and the fledgling US Sports Camps served a total of 150 "campers" ... by 1986 Charlie had worked his way into an ownership position and that year USSC served 2,000 campers. That's when Charlie knew his idea was a winner. He left his full time job and took over operations of USSC. In 1990 USSC hosted 5,000 young athletes. In 1995, 12,000. And the rest, as they say, is history...
Today US Sports Camps, as licensed operator of NIKE Sports Camps, is the World’s largest sports camp company with over 900 camps in 20 different sports serving more than 90,000 campers in 2018. Yet, in spite of such solid and steady growth, the mission remains the same:
To connect passionate coaches with young athletes to facilitate athletic and personal development in a positive and safe environment.
And, as Charlie has always said from the very beginning,
"We don't want to run just 'fun little camps.' We want kids to have fun in the context of skill development. They're going to have fun being on a college campus and meeting other kids. But what should distinguish the experience with us is being able to say...
'I'm a lot better on Friday than I was on Sunday when I arrived. I have confidence. I have competence in this sport. I can move from the JV to the Varsity or from the high school team to the college team or from number six on the team to number two.'
At the end of the week, if the kids only have fun, and haven't been pushed and haven't gone through the process of improving, then I don't think we've done our job."
— Charlie Hoeveler, founder U.S. Sports Camps
That's the kind of down-to-earth quality approach that Nike US Sports Camps applies to every camp in every sport in every location. And Charlie still takes great care today to ensure his staff and sports managers, coaches and facilities are not just 'serving your needs' but also exceeding your expectations.