Nike Swim Camp at Hillsdale College
It's Just You and the pool
At Nike Swim Camp
Located in southern Michigan about 90 miles west of Detroit, the Nike Swim Camp at Hillsdale College is designed to help competitive swimmers improve their stroke technique. Through elite technique instruction and challenging in-water training, Hillsdale College's Head Swim Coach, Kurt Kirner and his staff will take your performance to the next level.
The Hillsdale campus with it's state of the art facilities, comfortable residence halls and it's historic buildings makes it a perfect location for a Nike Swim Camp.
This camp is open to any and all entrants. For your safety and benefit, we recommend you have competitive swimming experience (e.g. U.S.S. age group, national qualifiers, high school swimmers, or summer league swimmers) and can swim at least 50 meters in all four competitive strokes: fly, back, breast and freestyle.
- Stroke technique refinement for competitive swimming
- Videotaping in all four strokes
- Low camper to staff ratio
- Every camper receives a Nike Camp T-shirt and Nike Swim Cap
- Every camper is eligible to receive merit-based prizes during camp
- View More Details ⟩
Camp Director Kurt Kirner
Kurt Kirner is Hillsdale's Head Swim Coach and a longtime Nike Swim Camp director.View Kurt Kirner's Bio & Swim Tips ⟩
Now entering his 10th season as the Hillsdale College women’s swimming and diving coach, Kurt Kirner has brought the program up to a new level of performance and competitiveness, both in the pool and in the classroom.
Under Kirner’s guidance, swimmers from the Charger program have qualified for the national meet a total of nine times in the past seven seasons. In 2009, one swimmer from all four classes - Anne Verhoef, Alicia LeDuc, Linda Okonkowski and Meredith Scott - each competed at the highest level of Division II swimming. It was Hillsdale’s most significant presence at the NCAA championships since it went to Division II status in 1998, and most signified the upward direction of the program. In 2011, Okonkowski secured the program's first Division II All-American honor in nine years under Kirner's guidance. Rachel Kurtz recieved the program's latest All-American honor in the 2013 season.
His teams have also annually appeared on the College Swimming Coaches Association of Ameria All-Academic lists for NCAA Division II. The team has earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in each of the past seven seasons. The CSCAA has recognized Hillsdale College's swimming program as Scholar All-American in each of Kirner's nine seasons leading the program.
Kirner arrived at Hillsdale after spending 17 successful seasons at Lawrence University, located in Appleton, Wisconsin. Kirner, along with Hillsdale College men’s basketball coach John Tharp, both joined Hillsdale College from Lawrence, within one year of one another.
Kirner was recently inducted into the Lawrence University Athletic Hall of Fame.
While coaching the Vikings, Kirner led both the men’s and women’s swimming teams, paving the way for 175 individual conference champions during his tenure. He was named his conference’s coach of the year in 2006-07 after leading the women’s team to a secondplace finish. His women’s teams never finished lower than fourth place in the conference standings in his coaching career at Lawrence.
One of the most detail-oriented coaches on the Hillsdale College staff, Kirner brought with him a training program that has had a direct effect on the performances of his athletes. His out-of-the-pool training methods and techniques have allowed nearly every member of the team to achieve new lifetime-best times in various events in their most recent seasons.
The swimmers have continually led the athletic department in team grade point average since Kirner's arrival. The team has achieved Division II All-Academic status in each of his previous six seasons as coach. The 2011-12 team featured a total of six swimmers who earned national individual All-Academic recognition for their excellence in the classroom from the College Swimming Coaches Association.
Kirner competed as a collegiate swimmer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before beginning his coaching career in 1975. In addition to his coaching career at Lawrence, Kirner has coached many club swimming teams, and led the Schroeder Swim Team to two YMCA national championships.
Kirner is an assistant professor at Hillsdale College, and has taught Exercise Science, Kinesiology, and Dynamic Wellness in the past. He and his wife Susan are parents to two sons, Quinn and Clayton.
Assistant Coach Zoe Hopkins
The latest addition to the Hillsdale College athletic department is a woman who was highly accomplished in her sport, but now will contribute to many aspects of the department’s day-to-dayView Zoe Hopkins's Bio ⟩
The latest addition to the Hillsdale College athletic department is a woman who was highly accomplished in her sport, but now will contribute to many aspects of the department’s day-to-day function.
Zoe Hopkins, a 2016 Hillsdale College graduate and record-setting swimmer, has been hired in the dual role of assistant women’s swimming coach and assistant sports information director. She began her duties Monday, January 23.
A member of the Charger women’s swimming team from 2012-16, Hopkins appears on the school’s all-time top 10 times list three times, and holds school records in the 1000 free (10:18.52) and 1650 free (17:18.95) events. A two-time team captain, Hopkins was named Scholar All-American by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association in 2015 and 2016. She also earned Academic All-GLIAC honors three times in her career.
A native of Temperance, Michigan, Hopkins will assist head coach Kurt Kirner in all aspects of the Hillsdale College swimming program, including practice design, nutrition plans, strength and conditioning work and recruiting. Kirner said Hopkins has the skill set to excel in all areas of coaching at the NCAA Division II level.
“When this opportunity came to be, Zoe was an easy first choice for us,” Kirner said. “She has a great passion for Hillsdale College, and can become a huge asset not just to our program, but for the athletic department from day one. We’re fortunate to have her.”
In addition to her duties as assistant swimming coach, Hopkins will also work in the Hillsdale College sports information department. ics we’re able to tell, and how we’re able to tell them. I’m thrilled she’s come home to Hillsdale.”
Hopkins graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2016 with a degree in sports management. After graduation, Hopkins worked as the Director of Competitive Swimming at the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA in Traverse City, Michigan. She’s a graduate of Temperance Bedford High School.
This summer, Hillsdale is offering one week (Sunday thru Thursday) of overnight and day camp (8:15am-5:00pm) for ages 10-18. Upon arrival at camp, campers are placed in groups with other swimmers having similar abilities and goals. Our camp staff will do their best to accommodate your needs, keeping in consideration your experience and desire to improve.
OVERNIGHT CAMP AMENITIES
• 4 nights lodging • All meals
• Nightly recreational activities
• Nike Camp T-shirt & Nike Swim Cap
DAY CAMP AMENITIES
• Nike Camp T-shirt & Nike Swim Cap
• Camp hours: SUN 1:30PM-8:15PM, MON-WED 8:15AM-5PM, THURS 8:15AM-NOON
A detailed camper registration packet containing check-in location, health/release forms, emergency contact info, and a list of things to bring will be emailed to all registered campers prior to camp. Our health and release forms do not require a doctor's signature and they will be collected on the first day of camp.
Check-in takes place between 1:00PM-2:00PM on Sunday, July 7th. There will be a camp orientation meeting at 2:15PM and parents are welcome to join their campers for this meeting. A detailed schedule for the week will be provided at that time.
A closing ceremony will take place at the pool at 11:00am on Thursday, July 11th. Day Campers will be picked up at the pool immediately following the closing ceremony. Overnight campers check-out from dorm immediately following.
ROOMMATES & HOUSING
Campers stay 2 per room and are assigned by age and roommate requests. If you have a roommate request, and have not already given it to us, please do so no later than 10 days before the start of camp. After that, the request can't be guaranteed. If you don't have a roommate request, you will be placed in a room with someone near your age. Boys and girls are housed on separate floors with gender specific counselors on them.
- DORM: McIntyre Dorm
- BATHROOMS: Shared
- LINENS: Not provided
- AIR CONDITIONING: Yes - Dorm has AC - No fan needed
- SUGGESTED SPENDING MONEY: $40
- MEDICAL FACILITY: a certified trainer will be on staff at all times
SUPERVISION: The staff live in the dormitories with the campers and participate in all activities. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco are strictly prohibited, and constitute, along with general misconduct, grounds for dismissal from camp without a refund.
- Day Campers check-in between 1:30PM-2:00PM on the first day. Arrive dressed and ready to swim. At that time, you will be assigned a counselor and you will be given a complete schedule of all events during the week.
- Day Camper Schedule: SUN 1:30PM-8:15PM, MON-WED 8:15AM-5PM, THURS 8:15AM-NOON
TEAM DISCOUNT: If five or more campers register together, each camper is eligible for a $25 discount. Please have a team contact reach out directly to the USSC office at 1-800-645-3226 to receive a discount code to identify your group. Campers may then register through the website at their convenience and apply the coupon code during check-out.
Sample Daily Schedule
- 7:00 am Drill Session 1 (pool)
- 8:30 am Breakfast
- 9:00 am Stroke Review (auditorium)
- 9:30 am Underwater Videotaping (pool)
- 10:00 am Start and Turn work (pool)
- 11:00 am Team building exercise (water polo)
- 11:45 am Campers/Staff walk to lunch together
- 12:30 pm Mental Toughness Session
- 1:15 pm Workout time (pool)
- 2:30 pm Videotape Review with coaches
- 3:15 pm Team building exercise (land based activity)
- 4:00 pm Organized Free Time
- 5:00 pm Dinner
- 5:45 pm Sports Nutrition Discussion
- 6:30 pm Drill Session 2 (pool)
- 8:30 pm Residence Hall
- 10:00 pm Lights out!
Hillsdale College is located in southern-central Michigan, 90 miles west of Detroit. Campers train daily in the John "Jack" McAvoy Natatorium, home of the Chargers Swimming and Diving Team. The pool is a 6-lane, 25-yard x 25-meter race course.
Camp Questions & Answers
How are swimmers grouped at camp?
Upon arrival at Hillsdale, campers are placed in groups with other swimmers having similar abilities and goals. Our camp staff will do their best to accommodate your needs, keeping in consideration your experience and desire to improve.
Camp ReviewsSubmit a review
July 18, 2018: I loved participating in the team olympics games (water polo, capture the flag, and dodgeball). My technique improved so much as a result of this camp, and the coaches provided all the tools for me to be successful! This camp was amazing.
— Connor S., Camper
August 12, 2017: The camp helped motivate my daughter to focus more on how to improve her strokes and see the fun in swimming again. They were really good about working with each individual personally and also the class room knowledge was great!!
— Trisha M. Parent
July 27, 2017: As a parent, mu daughter camp back from camp willing to make the changes suggested. She grew stronger as a swimmer and a teammate. This was a wonderful experience for her and her swimming career.
— Wendy T. Parent
July 16, 2017: My daughter had went to the Purdue camp in the past and said this camp was so awesome. She liked getting to meet friends outside the pool activities.
— Kelly M. Parent
So much fun!
July 16, 2017: Our daughter was nervous to attend an overnight camp as it was her first, but the first night she was so happy to be there and said it was so much fun. She liked the drills and team Olympic events.
— Shayla T. Parent
July 15, 2017: She said the Team Olympics were the most fun part of camp. She also learned about proper technique and how to make those needed adjustments in her strokes.
— Tom R. Parent
July 14, 2017: My son just started swimming in the last month and was a bit hesitant at first; he immediately felt welcome and had a great time; he went out of his way to say how much time he spent with coaches and addressing his fear of the starting block on day one...he admits he even likes diving in now.
— Laura M. Parent
July 14, 2017: My son came to the camp having swam for many years. He walked away with knowledge of things coaches had never talked to him about before. He also came home with new confidence that he felt he was going to take seconds off his times with the new skills he has learned. He made new friends (my child is really shy). I also LOVED that they made goals and talked about being a good team member and having an open mind. Excellent experience!
— Alice C. Parent
Great lessons on Positive Mindsets!
July 13, 2017: My son loved the swim technique improvements and instruction. Food. Flag football. The program offered a lot of important takeaways besides the focus on swim. There was the lesson on positive mindsets that was relevant to excelling as an athlete and as a person.
— Daniel G. Parent
July 13, 2017: Staff to camper ratio. Busy morning to night with quality activities. High level of stroke analysis. Feedback from staff was quality. Video taping was very helpful.
— Tina H. Camper
July 19, 2016: Thanks for a great swim camp experience. My daughter loved her counselors and coaches. Her technique has improved and she has shaved time off her events the first week back from camp. She wants to go back next year. Thanks!!
— Vanessa R. Parent
Had a blast!
August 8, 2015: Our daughter had a blast, she asked to go next year when we picked her up. She received a lot of good advice and still reads over the suggestions before she swims.
— Lily M. Parent
July 30, 2015: Thank you for everything!!! Loved Coach Kirt and his inspirational talks and his wonderful staff!! My son is such a new swimmer and LOVED the camp. He loved the games like "Capture the Flag" and running around with the older more experienced group. It was a really inclusive camp atmosphere and all got along well. Really inspiring for him and his friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
— Olivia C. Parent
So much fun!
July 30, 2015: The Nike swim camp was so much fun for both my kids. The first thing my daughter said when I picked her up from camp was "I want to come back next year." They both had fun hanging out with friends old and new.
— Dawn D. Parent
July 28, 2015: The Hillsdale College swim camp was a valuable experience! Swimmers looking to tweak their strokes, get a great workout and meet new people should definitely attend a Nike Swim Camp at Hillsdale College!
— Olivia L. Camper
July 28, 2015: The camp was great. I really improved in my strokes. I am now able to use more techniques while swimming. I learned a lot while having fun. The camp was truly amazing.
— Elle M. Camper
July 26, 2015: It was a very fun experience, and I made lots of new friends. I got a lot of instruction on my strokes and my turns, and all four of my strokes showed great improvement.
— Emily B. Camper
Wonderful instruction on techniques.
August 8, 2014: My son and daughter thoroughly enjoyed the Nike Swim Camp at Hillsdale College. I was very impressed with the personalities and expertise of the camp staff. They were a great influence on my children and provided a fun, positive learning experience.
— Jane R. Parent
I'll be back!
July 22, 2014: Loved camp and am definitely coming back next year!
— Nancy B. Camper
July 17, 2014: It was an awesome camp! I improved my swimming significantly and had fun at the same time. I will definitely be returning next year.
— Matt B. Camper