Spirit: Cheer camp was always one of my favorite activities in the year, as it set the foundation for our squad in terms of relationship building, team cohesiveness, and spirit. In addition, it allowed cheerleaders of all experience levels to build technical skills and try new things. During my first year as a cheerleader, we went to a camp facilitated by a national company; while I had fun and we bonded as a group, the material we learned didn’t have the Hawaii-style flavor so it didn’t get used after camp concluded. In 2006, All Attitude Athletics (AAA) held its first camp, which my co-captain and I were given the opportunity to attend. We LOVED it! Despite being the only members of our squad there, the staff and other campers “adopted” us and made us feel welcome. There was a tangible sense of ohana and aloha spirit throughout the experience -- I still remember the dances we learned that summer!
Heart: It’s fitting that the motto is “Spirit, Heart, Pride” because heart is the center of what makes AAA an impactful camp experience. AAA provides local cheerleaders who are passionate about the sport and dedicated to local community the opportunity to give back and mentor the next generation of cheerleaders. In 2007, I returned to AAA as a staff member and it was incredibly humbling. I was blown away by my fellow staff members not only because of their amazing skills and talents, but also because of how they live and the genuine care they had for their position as a staffer. Each team is put into a “Mini Ohana” that they work with throughout the week, allowing staffers and campers to develop deeper relationships while offering everyone a sense of ownership over their camp experience. This led to our campers actively rooting for each other and sharing in successes, a process made possible by the amount of heart AAA pours into each camp experience. In fact, I’ve seen many teams that met through AAA perform together at games later in the year, demonstrating the impact of the AAA ohana.
Pride: I’ve been honored to spend four summers on AAA’s staff while also serving as a coach in the local cheer community. In 2007-2008, I was an assistant coach for the Punahou intermediate team during the summer; five years later, in 2012, I was an assistant coach for the Leilehua Mules (where I also taught English). This provided me the unique perspective of not only watching my own team grow at AAA, but also seeing other teams thrive due to their AAA experience. It gave me an immense amount of pride watching our campers and their teams grow in self-confidence, which is invaluable in this sport. No matter where the campers or staff go in the future, this is a shared experience that we have and one that allows campers the opportunity to “pay it forward” by remaining part of the community in the years to come. High quality programs like All Attitude Athletics make me proud to be part of Hawaii’s athletic community and very excited to see our community’s bright future unfold.
Annalise Miyashiro (camper 2006; staff 2007, 2008, 2008, 2012). Graduate and cheerleader for Punahou School and Vanderbilt University, currently working in higher education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
My AAA Staff Experience SPIRIT. HEART. PRIDE. Having worked as a staff member and supported AAA over the past 9 years, I have learned and lived these 3 key principles. AAA has taught me that SPIRIT is more than just a cheer or facials. It is an attitude and way of approaching life. It is the way you carry yourself, how you treat others, and how you deal with adversity. Having a HEART for what you do makes all the difference, whether it’s cheerleading, your career or anything else. As a part of the AAA staff, I’ve not only had the opportunity to work alongside talented staff, but with other individuals that had a passion to give back to the next generation of cheerleaders in Hawaii. Over the years, AAA has helped me to adopt the mindset of having PRIDE in everything I do, never settling, and always striving for excellence in both the big and small things. Kellie trains her staff in this by holding them to high standards. She can be tough, as any good boss or coach is, however she also acknowledges hard work and sets a great example. It has truly been a privilege to be a part of the AAA ohana and the memories, personal growth and friends that I have gained through the years have been invaluable. Being on staff with AAA has reminded me that in life, I should always strive to be a person of SPIRIT, HEART, and PRIDE.
Jamie Lyn Greseth, 2005 Mililani HS, 2009 Creighton University - Bachelors of Science in Nursing, 2015 Creighton University Masters in Public Health, Currently working in Hong Kong as a Academic Therapist
As a camper, AAA Camp was always the highlight of my summer. Spending those countless hours collaborating, sweating, and laughing with your teammates creates a memorable bond within your squad that you wouldn’t receive from a season of practice, games, & competitions. A major gift at camp was being part of a mini ohana. It allows you to create friendships with other teams & focus on giving and receiving positive feedback. You’ll learn unique chants, exciting dances, incredible stunts (that look crazy difficult but are totally obtainable), and improve your overall skill set. AAA Camp is a fun-filled atmosphere of positivity and encouragement!
Being part of the staff can be summed up in one word: AWESOME! I truly enjoyed being a camper, but being a staffer was even more amazing. Each and every staff member is genuine, collaborative, and dedicated to making camp an incredible experience for every individual. The practices leading up to the opening performance are fun & light-hearted. You can count on the staff to make you laugh till your stomach hurts and make you feel like part of the cheer family. Working under Kellie's direction doesn’t feel like work at all. Kellie along with the veteran staffers, will help you improve your cheerleading abilities and mold your leadership skills to perform and conduct yourself like a true AAA staffer, all while cracking hilarious jokes and goofing around at appropriate times. Staffing AAA Camp right out of high school is one of my greatest memories. If you’re thinking about applying you should definitely go for it! It will probably be the best decision you’ll ever make in your cheerleading career.
Taryn Loo, Realtor-Associate at Prudential Advantage Realty, Punahou C/O 2010, Seattle University C/O 2014, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Business Administration and Management
Over the past 15 years, Kellie O’Donnell has truly been one of the most vital people in helping me become who I am today. Not only was she one of my main role models and friend while we cheered together at UH, but I learned so many life lessons from her as well. I remember the first time I met her while I was in high school at a cheer camp. I looked up to her so much and was so happy when I was lucky enough to become her teammate. She was always such a wonderful and enthusiastic “mentor” and continued to be over the years as a teammate, friend, and eventually becoming my coach and the head of AAA. When Kellie started AAA, she had a purpose. She wanted to pass on everything she knows about cheerleading and life lessons (which is a lot) to the future cheerleaders of Hawaii and to be able to show how the lessons we all learn during cheer will carry with us forever. Spirit, Heart, and Pride are the core principles that she’s taught me to live by in everything I do. To me, Spirit has become showing my enthusiasm and love for everything that I do. Heart and Pride has become a way of life, always giving my 110%, working toward perfection, and never settling for anything but the best. I learned that no dream is too big and the teamwork, dedication and perseverance gained through working with Kellie at UH and at AAA has helped me get to where I am today. I’ve realized while going through the process of medical school and now being on the verge of becoming a physician, how much cheerleading has helped shape me and given me these opportunities. I feel that living by all these principles will not only make me a better person, but a better physician for all my future patients. Kellie not only lives by these principles daily, but is truly one of the most hard-working, trustworthy and caring people in my life and has an amazing gift that she is willing to share with all of you cheerleaders, coaches and families. I hope you will be able to learn as much as I have from Kellie, AAA, and cheerleading as a whole.
Tina Kuribayashi, Former University of Hawaii Cheerleader & Kellie's Teammate, Former AAA Staff, & Future Doctor
"Cheer was my stability when I became an orphan a few weeks after I made my first team. It was the place I went every day where nothing else mattered to anyone else but focusing and working hard collectively to put something brilliant together. It was the place where I grew skill and found talent (as a previously awkward and unathletic kid) and built confidence as I felt rewarded every time I got to showcase my hard work. But most of all, it was a family for me. I spent more time with my cheer team and coaches in my formative years than with anyone else in my life. And I was lucky to have such amazing role models as Dolly to nurture and love me and make me believe I was capable of anything but that everything I did and contributed to my team was valuable.
Every team every year is different. They are a different blend, with different dynamics, and each cheerleaders has different needs. Cheer won't be the same thing for everyone that it was for me. But I have to contribute to creating that positive environment for those who need it. For those just might need stability in their lives, or crave acceptance and encouragement, or need to be challenged, or are lacking a sense of family or guidance, or just have heavy situations and need a place where they can just be silly with their friends and have an hour of fun in their otherwise difficult day. And I know those around me at AAA feel something similar. We all have careers and growing families, our lives are busy, our bodies are aging, but we find ourselves coming back year after year because of how much cheer has and continues to enrich our lives and because of how much we hope we can contribute to cheer's enrichment of others' lives.
Kamaile, Former Kamehameha Cheerleader
I’ve been staffing AAA cheer camp for three years now and counting. I continue to come back every year because I absolutely love it! I love learning new material, stunts, and interacting with the athletes. Staffing is so much fun, and I have made so many wonderful friends participating in this camp. We're basically like one big happy family. We truly care about the athletes here in Hawaii and we just want to give back because we know what it’s like and we know what it takes. One of my favorite things about camp is seeing a team succeed after working so hard. Its amazing how much can be accomplished in such a short period of time. The material we learn is seriously so awesome and one of kind. Its the perfect amount of hard work and fun. AAA camp is extremely exciting and a wonderful experience for everyone. I can’t wait for another year of camp!
Kalei, Former Kamehameha, Kapalama Cheerleader
Aloha my name is Kayla Kimura and nine seasons ago, I gave cheerleading a shot in my life. I am a 2012 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and currently a senior at Iowa State University in Civil Engineering. Through my journey of cheerleading I have gained my confidence in the individual I am. Through these passed nine years, I’ve developed a daring personality that is willing to charge into the unknown with full trust, trust that my teammates will always be there and that I am capable beyond what I think. I gained another family for more than a lifetime through a sport I never imagined myself doing. The Kamehameha cheer team nurtured me form a shy tomboy into a strong, determined, and outgoing individual. All Attitude Athletics gave me the appreciation of Hawaii style cheer. This unique style demonstrates strength through energy and poise. Cheerleading appears so effortless yet aggressive in skills and heart. That is what AAA stands for me. Appreciating the love between staff and participants, staff and sport. This program is my marking stone where I understood all that cheer has done for me.
Kayla Kimura, Senior at Iowa State University- Civil Engineering, Iowa State Cheerleading
My first cheer experience began in high school, where I was coached by Kellie! She taught me a lot about cheerleading, but most importantly, about teamwork, positivity, and perseverance. She is part of the reason why I ended up loving cheerleading so much, I decided to pursue it at the collegiate level. I've built lifetime friendships and made some of the best memories of my life with my cheer family. There's just something so rewarding about being a part of a team! Today, I practice dentistry, and I'm still using the teamwork and leadership skills I learned from cheerleading everyday. Words can't begin to describe how thankful I am to be around such amazing, inspirational people. Thank you Kellie and AAA, for inspiring us to become great cheerleaders, but even greater people!
Ashley Takiguchi, Iolani School Class of 2005, UH: Manoa Class of 2009, University of the Pacific School of Dentistry Class of 2012
Being a role model is the most honorable position someone can hold. That's what we become for these teams, role models. By doing what we love and giving it our all, were motivating them and inspiring each other really. Just like a quote by father James Keller. "A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle"
The best part about working with AAA is that fire that lights up inside each one of our campers when they are inspired & WANT to do there best. They see the passion we have & sometimes that's all they need, a reason & example to be & do better.
The skills and lessons I learned on the mat still continue along with me everywhere I go. Following through with commitments, becoming a mentor for the very same company and staff that I looked up to, on to Judging competitions around the state and being able to watch the teams grow through each passing season. To make a difference & give back to what I have gained so much from. We were from HI, giving back to the HI teams that taught & inspired us so much. All of that has easily been the greatest & most rewarding achievement to date.
I still remember the first time I saw my Cheerleading coach's classroom. There were trophies, megaphones, team pictures, and awards everywhere. I most definitely believe that was the day I fell in love with Cheerleading. Yes back then it was just an idea but it also began my lifelong aspiration to work hard, keep a positive attitude & to be honest.. I wanted to be a winner. I had no idea what a huge part of my life Cheerleading would become.
I'll never forget my senior year at camp. Being that AAA is on its 10th year, I was fortunate enough to be a camper before joining this amazing and talented staff, our Ohana really. I mean right off the bat, the mostly HI staff was so personable! They were right there with us, on the floor mingling, asking about practice or talking about the great material in store. I felt so comfortable yet wanted to "Pride up" and show them my skills so I could get feedback, do and be better. I thought "Wow, they must really love what they do" and it motivated me even more to smile, stay upbeat & be confident.. The fact that each day my mentors were giving it THEIR all, made me even more so want to be my best & give it MY all.
That year we killed it, we worked hard, became a stronger team and everyone was a winner. We all had such a great time & learned the hottest camp dance in the state. ( I think it's safe to say 2007 still holds the title for longest camp dance with 14- 8counts Ha, Represent!) I can still recall every sharp motion and fun music mix.. Myself along with many others received scholarships.
I know some join for the superficial aspects of cheerleading but long term, the real reason we all stay with it: The spirit, the Pride and ultimately the Heart and Love for such an exciting well rounded sport. Before cheerleading, I honestly didn't have much going on outside of school. No real passion or drive guiding me to be better. I was so inspired that at the time I never realized but cheerleading kept me focused & out of trouble. I was so busy being driven & making optimism a part of my life that despite my environment it had successfully changed my fate.
Anela Winn, Baldwin HS & HPU Graduate
During my time as a member of the HPU cheerleading program, I learned first and foremost that a positive attitude and strong will to work hard will always prevail in a competitive atmosphere. I also learned that having a compassionate heart is the best trait a teammate can have. Having transitioned to the workforce, as a production assistant for ʻŌiwi Television Network, I practice these skills daily, in order to ensure productivity and a proper mindset in my workplace.
Maria Kashem, Former HPU Cheerleader & Current AAA Staff