WILTON — Three Mt. Blue High School cheerleaders are preparing for a trip to a cheerleader camp in Hawaii in June.

Along with the opportunity to learn more cheer moves, tumbles and new techniques, Junior Chelsea Macomber of Wilton is learning “how to save money,” she said of the experience.

Macomber, along with Gabby Welch of Farmington and Samantha Farmer of New Vineyard, are working to raise the cost of the weeklong camp, $2,445 each, and the cost of airfare, about $900, Macomber said.

This is in addition to preparing for cheering competitions starting with a statewide competition in Bangor Saturday, Jan. 3,  and keeping their grades up, she said.

The girls have cheered together since they were in third grade, Sabrina Macomber said of her daughter.

To be appointed to go by the coaches, Macomber has worked hard, kept up her grade point average and the girls have shown a strong dedication to the sport, she said. They also are affiliated with a younger program. Chelsea is a junior coach for the middle school recreation team in Wilton.

While the trip is not school-funded, Sabrina Macomber sees the necessary work to raise their needs is an opportunity for the girls to get out in the community and help people understand that cheerleading is a sport, she said.

“The older my children get, people are beginning to realize cheerleading is hard work and they can get injured as in any sport,” she said.

And there have been bumps and bruises over the years but it doesn’t stop Macomber.

“I like the excitement and performing before everyone,” she said. “I love cheering with the other students. They are like my family.”

The 15-member squad cheers for football, basketball and competition. Macomber’s sister, Britnie, a freshman, is also on the squad.

The girls had to write a story about themselves from which their coaches chose those who would attend camp, she said.  High honor grades, good leadership, quick learning and dedication are factors that Macomber feels helped her be chosen.

She loves the physical portion of cheering. Although she took gymnastics when she was young, she gave it up for cheering, she said.

“I’d do anything to get on the mats,” she said of the flips and routines done.

Macomber is a cheerleader who helps hold up another girl during the routine.

“It takes a lot of strength,” she said. “I get used to lifting another’s body weight. I’ve done it for so long.”

Macomber has already decided on plans for after graduation. She intends to go on to a community college in Virginia to study physical therapy. She also plans to continue cheering on an All Star cheering team, she said.

The girls are planning a variety of fundraising events. including a bottle drive on Friday, Jan. 2, in the three towns before they go for competition Saturday. They also plan a baked potato dinner, a dance for adults, a spring fling for younger children and a kid’s night out, she said.

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