I'm teaching a yoyo class! Is there a way I can get a "Sponsor"?

Hello yoyo world,

First I would like to clarify that I’m posting this in the correct section, if not, will the mods move it please?

So I am a teen counselor at the 4H center for summer camps. Last summer, I decided to enter the camp’s talent show. I got an huge applause from all the campers because yoyoing was something they have never seen before. Because of the popularity of my yoyoing, the camp director wants me to teach a yoyo class this summer because I’m the only person in my area who can teach this unique skill. Basically it will be a one hour class for 3 days in a row. My goal is to teach two groups of 10-12 campers how to yoyo. I have some experience teaching tricks because I make tutorials and put them on youtube.

The camp would like to have some decent quality yoyos that they can give to the campers. But the lowest price I can find for a good beginner yoyo that is capable of responsive/unresponsive play is about $10. I was thinking along the lines of a Yoyofactory Velocity because the starburst response requires little maintenance, and the Velocity is capable of beginner and advanced play. Now there are other yoyos from other companies that will work also, but this is just a first thought.

My question to you, do you know if there is someone I can talk to who can give me a discount/donation for this yoyo event? Like I said before, the camp wants to give yoyos to the campers. If I have two groups of 12 campers, that means I will need around 24-30 yoyos. If these yoyos cost $10 each, thats $300 the camp will have to spend on one class. The camp director said she can not fund the class at this cost. This is why I’m posting here. Is it possible to aquire a “sponsor” for this event? It could potentially mean two dozen new yoyo customers into the community.


Have you tried directly contacting yoyofactory yet? I think that is your best bet.

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I would add YoYoJam to that list as well.

I’ve been working on getting some yoyo meets rolling but it’s been slow going. I intend to fund, FROM MY OWN POCKET, a small amount of budget yoyos for noobs to play with.

Also, you’re forgetting stuff like strings. As you know, strings wear out. Lube is a trivial concern, 1 bottle should last you MONTHS, maybe even a season or a year, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. But, if costs becomes an issue, VM4 costs like a little more but has twice as much over YYJ or YYF lube.

You may also want loopers AND wing-shapes. I know that’s what I’m going for. Give some options.

Since I intend to do my own maintenance, I’m not worried about stuff like starburst response and whatever. I also scour BST for good deals on cheap throws that I can put into the "beater box/drawer/bag/container(haven’t decided how that’s gonna end up yet!). I’m by no means rich, but I figure 5 inexpensive wing-shapes and 5 inexpensive loopers is enough for me to get started. I can always add more to it later on. If I get a sponsor, great. If not, I feel fine doing it myself.

In your case, contact YYF and YYJ and see what they’ll do for you. That is a BIG savings right there if you can swing something. Stock up on YYE bulk strings. Learn to silicone yoyos and do maintenance or at least be willing to do it yourself.

Oh, and congrats! Always good to see people doing their best to help spread the love!

Contact Yoyofactory and Yoyojam. I contacted them for bulk orders and donations for my club and YYF responded by sending me a catalog. You have to tell YYJ how many yoyos your gunna order first and how many people are in your club first before you can request orders though.

This is the email I recieved from YYF:


I apologize for the very late reply. The yo-yos that I would recommend the most for your club would be:

FAST 201 - $6.00 wholesale
Velocity - $10.00 wholesale
Starlite - $12.50 wholesale

We can sell these yo-yos to you at the above price. For more information on these models and other YoYoFactory yo-yos, check out our 2011 catalog

Looking forward to hearing back from you!

All the best,

Patrick Mitchell

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Congratulations on the new task. It sounds like you will only have three hours total to teach the skill of yo-yo, and you will have some of the kids who learn faster than others. I would not consider teaching them any unresponsive play, because I don’t think you’ll get there in three hours of instruction anyway. Sounds like you will only get as far as the very basics in three hours. For funding, you may want to contact yo-yo companies, but you have lots of options.

  1. I think your best bet is to pass off most of the cost to the kids’ parents and the camp. You are finding out far in advance that you will be teaching the yo-yo class this Summer. See if there is a way for the camp to get the kids to sign up for the class with a fee for the yo-yo. That way you will find out who is really interested. If you don’t think that’s the right thing to do:

  2. Ask the camp what they can afford. If they can only afford $100, buy ten yo-yos, and you’ll just have to go slower and have the campers take turns throwing. Use what they give you, it’s their class, you’re just the instructor. Work within limited resources, if you have to.

  3. A third option is to start now, and take up a collection on the forum for everyone to donate responsive yoyos they don’t use, used ones, beat up ones whatever, as long as they are in good working order. You could start a yo-yo donation now, and collect 25 to 30. But, you have to be specific what type and shape yo-yo you are looking for, to get some uniformity.

I have a lot of ideas, but there may be reasons some of them are not practical for you. A fourth option is to do some of all of those things and put money together from different sources, ask friends and family for a donation to add to what the camp can afford. If you get $100 from the camp, the kids can pay $2 per kid, and family and friends of yours can donate a few dollars to support you.

But, if the camp is pushing for the class, and they need your skills, they should put most of the money up. Good luck with the new job…

If you do take up a collection then I might be able to throw one or 2(pun intended) in your direction although they will need slim bearings

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I might be able to donate one too…but not sure which style yo-yo you prefer to use.

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I’ve just learned in my experience that if I want to do something, I just go make it happen. But I figure, I can blow $150 or so on inexpensive beaters for noobs to work on. I don’t think I merit getting help from YYJ or YYF at this point in time. After all, honestly, who am I? Nobody to them really. I don’t offer them enough yet.

TotalArtist has a really good idea with the pre-registration for the yoyo class. Then the yoyo is pre-paid for and waiting for them when the kids get there. Or, kids could state that they’ll provide their own and are held to it. In this case, the kid walks away with it at the end.

It’s not perfect. Either way, the camp should ensure that something is provided because you should ASSUME that nobody will bring their own or have it paid for up front. You have to have a “camp cache” of equipment.

Since you’re doing this in a camp setting, that right there brings more value to the program than what I’m doing. You may be able to get a sponsorship to the camp itself for this.

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Thanks for the reply!

I will indeed have three hours to teach them the basics. I’m not going into unresponsive play. The whole idea behind this class is to get campers doing something they like and have fun with. That is why I would like the campers to have a yoyo capable of more than just up and down. When they go home, they can discover the amazing yoyo world and jump right in.

Charging parents extra for the class was discussed between me and the camp director. The problem is, parents are already paying 225 just to send their kid to camp. We are trying to do everything we can to keep that number from going up which would discourage people from taking the yoyo class. We might have to have a 5 fee but parents might not want to pay more than that for a yoyo class.

Studio42- I will cover the cost for maintenance parts. I don’t mind paying $15 of my pocket for 200 poly strings. I will give the campers 10 or more strings to take home. I will also bring my own bottles of lube for demonstration purposes.
The problem with sili reponse is they fall out. Once they fall out the yoyo becomes hard to use. I don’t want these kids to just say “my yoyo is broken” and put it in the closest forever. These are kids between 9-13 so the less maintenance is probably best. However this is just my initial thinking. Also Yoyofactory isn’t the only company I’m looking at.

The camp has offered some money into this program but not $300.

The yoyo drive is a good idea. I’ll have to look into this!

Contact the manufacturers as previously suggested. They are eager to help programs get started. YYF, Duncan, YYJ, and Yomega have helped me with the club in the past.

Another thing that may work: I worked out a deal with a toy store that I’d stand outside and yoyo. Instead of pay I recieved a discount for any of the club members that were beginners. It was fun for me and helped them get their first yoyos.

Good luck, starting a club is tricky but so worth it.

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One thing we’re overlooking:

Perhaps a “Care and Feeding of your New Pet YoYo” document. Fortunately I have been working on this. This would be a hand-out document that goes with each yoyo and each camper KEEPS. It can be specific or it can be generic. It can talk about response pads and systems, when to change the string and how to do it, bearings and lube, how to take apart and put back together. Plus, you can provide links to well known yoyo stores online for places to order small parts like respones and string and bearings and lube and how to get “the inside deal on cheap shipping”, such as asking YYE to use First Class mail to ship new response pads and other small items. Also explain the difference between response and unresponsive play in the document BRIEFLY and how them the difference in your demonstrations. ALSO, give them a phone number or email for support for after the camp. You might set up a disposable free webmail account on Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail for the purposes of this and then change it annually.

I agree. Any way you can request more teaching time during camp? It would be cool if you could get through all of the beginner tricks at least.

Where is the camp? :stuck_out_tongue: I am probably going to a camp this summer.

Jamestown 4H center in VA

OK, I’m gonna work on my “care and feeding” document. I may see about making some photos and making a PDF version for you. I’m putting out some of my yoyo writings and documents on my yoyo-oriented web site on my “toys and hobbies” domain. I’ve somewhat abandoned the video game stuff, but I need to retro-fit it with my new design. The yoyo site is being done properly from the get-go, but has its own problems.

PM me for information as the site isn’t presentation worthy at this point, but it’s OK for being checked out. I’ll go prioritize those documents

Regarding my collection, I am missing a yoyo that has an adjustable response system.

I’m going to go do a basic document, assuming no knowledge and not wanting to learn a whole lot. It might take me a few days to work out.

Personally, I’d start out with the dirt cheapest responsive yoyos I could find. These are 10-12 year olds here, many of whom have probably never thrown a yoyo. Over the course of 3 1-hour days I’d be surprised if most of your class had really mastered a good sleeper and return. Maybe a few could get as far as rock the baby, maybe. A lot of them will probably just have a blast tossing them around.

Anyway, point being that I think trying to provide them with the yoyo and knowledge to take them as far as they would ever want to go is beyond the necessary scope of the class. Seems to me it would be more realistic to simply offer advice and assistance for any kids who, at the end of the class, showed interest in moving to an unresponsive yoyo.

Might not be what you wanted to hear, but if the cost is prohibitive I think this is a fine alternative.

I was thinking the same thing myself. My main thing is that in my case, I am going to have to fund this myself. So, I’m looking at some ONE’s and maybe some non-package Duncan Bumble Bees. Might toss some ProFly, ProYo and Mosquito yoyos in there as well. I find having variety can help spark interest as well. But in my case, it’s for more casual passers-by, not a more “classroom” environment where standardization helps.

I’d say best you can get is sleeper and gravity pull, rock the baby, walk the dog and if you’re lucky, some picture tricks or stuff like motorcycle, bikini/bowtie. It’s not realistic to expect more than that.

Chances are also good anyone past that might bring their own anyways.

Ay, I see what you’re saying. However the camp doesn’t want to be so cheap they seem… stingy? They want to give the campers a yoyo thats capable of more than around the world. The 3, one hour sessions are just to get them started with up and down, walk the dog, sleeper, etc. But the point of the class is to give them something to take home, practice, and love. I won’t even adjust the yoyos to unresponsive during camp unless someone really wants it. I just thought it would be a + to have the unresponsive option. Although if I can’t get a “sponsor” I’ll have to go as cheap as dirt.

The past 3 weeks I actually did a Hour and a half yoyo class at a church. I just went out and bought a bunch of butterflys and imperials, and told them to get a FreeHand at toys r us if they wanted to get better with a good yoyo.It worked good and I had them practice picture tricks and stuff with a dead yoyo then practice while spinning at home. It worked pretty good and the yoyos were more than sufficient, the worked great.

Maybe the new bearingized Butterfly that Duncan is coming out with could be just the ticket. A-Bearing, Starburst response, under $10