CheerHawaii USA is an invitation only experience offered to 150 cheerleaders from 30 states. Six lucky Cardinal Cheerleaders received those invitations this year: Brooke Bertles, Hannah Faulk, Caylin Choate, Kaitlin Louvier, Haley Hodgkinson and Kristina Threatt.

“Camp was a great opportunity to meet new people, experience Hawaii and prepare for trying out for a college squad,” said Caylin.

They were accompanied by BC Varsity Cheer Coach Michelle Huff. Huff has coached at CheerHawaii for several years.

“CheerHawaii was probably one of the best experiences of my life, not only because it was fun but also because it taught me self-discipline and hard work really do pay off,” said Brooke.

“The girls were divided into eight groups. Each group had to pick a cheerleader to nominate for Best All Around for the coaches to pick,” said Josette Choate, Caylin’s mother.  “150plus girls and three of the eight were from BC. What a way to represent our community.”

Brooke said, “Being thrown into a group if 14 girls from all over the country really show you how to cooperate and work with others.”

“Kaitlyn Louvier, Caylin Choate, and I were all picked by our individual teams as the team leader. This is an honor that all attendants work for and for all three of us receiving this award speaks volumes about our cheer coach, Michelle Huff,” said Brooke.

Caylin was chosen as Best All Around by the coaches from the eight nominees.

“Being picked for Best All Around Cheerleader by the instructors at this camp was a huge honor,” said Caylin. “I am so thankful and proud that I had the opportunity to represent my school and community.”

Recognized as one of the best high school cheer experiences in the country, CheerHawaii offers a unique mixture of cheer workout sessions with Hawaiian activities.

They might learn a new dance in the morning and later that day paddle a canoe by a beautiful beach. They may find themselves hitting a new college style stunt and later watching the Fire Dancers as they eat a Paradise Pineapple Dessert at the world-renowned Polynesian Cultural Center.

They had the opportunity to learn from some of the most outstanding collegiate cheer coaches in America. The girls learned new cheer techniques and brought home new dances to teach to the rest of the squad.

“It was exciting to work with college cheerleaders and coaches,” said Caylin.

Named CheerHawaii USA Best All Around Cheerleader, Caylin Choate is pictured with BC Varsity Cheer Coach Michelle Huff. Courtesy Photo

Named CheerHawaii USA Best All Around Cheerleader, Caylin Choate is pictured with BC Varsity Cheer Coach Michelle Huff. Courtesy Photo

They gained real college life experience by staying in the dorms and eating in the cafeteria at the University of Hawaii Campus. They learned from the coaching staff what college cheer coaches are looking for, how to get scholarships and how to interview and tryout.

CheerHawaii focuses on 4 main areas: Cheer motion technique, Dance, Stunting and Leadership skills. They have a unique way of combining workout sessions with the experience of some of Hawaii’s best beaches and activities.

Some of the activities they got to enjoy were beach time on North Shore and Waikiki Beaches, Pearl Harbor Memorial, shopping at Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, canoe paddling, hula dancing, Waikiki trolley ride, and the Polynesian Cultural Center Hawaiian Luau and Show.

“North Shore beach was a blast!” said Haley. “I’ve never experienced waves so big in my life. It is defiantly a place I’m going to have to visit again.”

“I made tons of really great friends,” said Brooke.

The girls held many fundraisers to get the money needed for the trip including; working at the Chamber Mystery Dinner; holding a car wash at Game Day Carwash; fun nights at Next Level; and link sells at Walgreens. They sold Valentine and Easter treat boxes; sold pork roasts from Hushpuppy Seafood Catering; painted the town red by selling and painting Cardinal heads and private donations.

The girls want to thank all their supporters including; family, friends, business owners and all the link buyers from Walgreens for helping them get this opportunity.

“CheerHawaii was a once in a lifetime experience and it made such a huge impact on my life,” said Haley. “It was awesome getting to meet new people from all across the United States and making memories with them that I will remember forever. Hawaii is such a happy and beautiful place and I would go back in a heartbeat.”

“CheerHawaii is a once in a lifetime experience and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!” said Brooke.

Pictured left to right are Bridge City High School Cheerleaders Haley Hodgkinson, Caylin Choate, Kaitlin Louvier, Varsity Cheer Coach Michelle Huff, Hannah Faulk, Brooke Bertles and Kristina Threatt. Choate was named Best All Around Cheerleader at CheerHawaii USA. Bertles and Louvier were also nominated for the honor. Courtesy Photo


About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.