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15-year-old to scratch Hawaii off bucket list

Staff writer

Hawaii is a pretty common “bucket list” state for most people.

Madelynn Blythe, 15, will get to scratch it off her list next year thanks to her hard work and her Peabody-Burns High School cheer coach, Denae Kyle.

Kyle nominated Madelynn for Cheer Hawaii USA, a weeklong college-prep cheer camp.

Madelynn didn’t know Kyle had done so and didn’t know she’d been chosen until the last football game of the season, when Kyle surprised her.

Kyle served as a coach for the camp in 2019.

She nominated Madelynn, she said, because “she has the right characteristics.”

“It’s a commitment,” she said. “It takes drive to make it there, and it’s pretty fast-paced. What she’s going to get out of it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Madelynn will be the fifth Peabody-Burns cheerleader to go to the camp.

Kyle looks for cheerleaders who have leadership skills and solid academic scores and are well-rounded individuals.

The camp will be in June, and Madelynn is raising $4,000 she needs to attend it. She’s putting on dinners, bake sales, raffles, and other fundraising events.

Bake sales are planned for home basketball games —Jan. 10, 13, 23, 30, and 31.

Madelynn’s parents are going on the trip, too, which their daughter appreciates because she’s never flown before. Money raised will go toward her flight and camp fees, not to her parents’ travel.

Campers will stay in dorms at University of Hawaii.

“They’ll experience Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach, a luau, and more,” Kyle said. “They get a lot of beach time. They’ll go to the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s like a Hawaiian Disney World.”

Madelynn is halfway through her second year of cheering. She tried out because “I saw cheer as a way to get to know everybody.”

She wasn’t sure at first.

“I’m not the most coordinated person, but I’ve always loved sports,” she said.

She used to be a “flyer,” and now she’s part of the base. She’s learned how important center of gravity is.

Her oldest sister is captain of the cheer team.

The team has been supportive of her trip, Madelynn said.

“We’ve definitely created a special bond that will be remembered for a long time.”

Last modified Dec. 21, 2022

 

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