At the time, Hare was told he could not host the venue on school district property. Rules have loosened over the past two years, leaving more coaches across the state to host their own full-contact summer camp, some even on their own school's campus.
Hare likes the results he's seen.
"I love it," the Cougars' coach said. "The savings are huge from a money standpoint. We were up to 12 and 15 thousand dollars when it came to bus fees, food and a camp fee. I asked, 'what am I getting out of this? I'm still coaching my kids.' So I think hosting your own camp is a great thing."
After a decade of taking his team to the University of Nevada's summer camp, Reed football coach Ernie Howren has joined the ranks of coaches planning to host their own camp.
"We have loved going to Nevada camp," Howren said. "We've done it for over 10 years and they've been nothing but awesome to us. It's been a great atmosphere for our kids. But this is a different opportunity and we won't know about it until we try it. We'll do it this year and see how it goes."
Cost and freedom are the two biggest reasons many coaches are making the change from attending a third-party camp to hosting their own. A team full of players may pay a few hundred dollars per athlete to attend a camp at a university or out of state venue. By hosting a camp, a coach saves his players lodging costs and the event can be a fundraiser for his program, not someone else's, still at a drastically reduced costs to student-athletes.
Additionally, coaches can host the camp when they choose and set a camp agenda best fit to maximize their individual team's needs.
"Hosting our own camp definitely saves us money," Howren said. "But we'll have to decide if saving money and doing the camp at home is worth not getting the competitive reps against another team like we'd get at Nevada's camp."
Reed will run its camp with just RHS athletes in the fold. The Spanish Springs camp is a multi-team event. The past two years, Reno, North Valleys, Galena and Wooster among others have competed in the SSHS event, which is hosted at Golden Eagle Regional Park. Perennial northern Nevada power McQueen is gearing up to host its own camp as well this summer.
The growing number of programs deciding to do so does not surprise Washoe County School District Coordinator of Athletics Brian Rothe, who coached football at Reno from 1998-2002.
"This is good planning on their (coaches') part to meet the goals of their program," Rothe said. "So, no, I'm not surprised ... I also think this is in response to our new school calendar that forces two-a-day practices to go away. In the eyes of coaches, these camps help offset that. They still allow the athletes to be properly conditioned. I think the coaches see these as essential now to have competitive programs."
Given the growing shortage of public dollars going to schools and athletics, and in turn the higher costs associated with playing athletics for families, NIAA Assistant Director Donnie Nelson said it shouldn't shock anyone that prep programs are looking for ways to save money and football camps are in that cost-saving mix.
"Certainly schools are facing financial challenges," he said. "The idea that local schools can conduct their own full-contact summer football camps is not a bad thing. In a school-conducted environment, athlete safety will probably be even better. You know the schools' equipment will be updated and safe and every precaution will be taken to the fullest extent. This may be a positive growing trend."
While many schools are utilizing their full-contact camp week later in the summer, closer to the start of official practice on Aug. 10, Reed's camp is right around the corner. Howren said it will run June 6-9. Reed has almost always gone to a team camp in mid-June so the timing won't be much different.
"The system we have in place right now is working well," said Howren, who has watched his Raiders win three of the last four North region crowns. "It helps when you have the kids walking around the hallways that we do. That makes it easier, but at the same, our system is working well and we'll stick to it.
"We want our kids to get hitting. We want them to get a feel for the pads again and then take a break. We feel like if you do it at the end of July or beginning of August, if a kid gets some bumps and bruises, they may not have time to recover for the start of the season.
Howren said his Raiders camp will consist of incoming sophomores through seniors and will be split into a varsity and JV group.
"We'll see some kids get their feet wet," Howren said. "There's good and bad that comes with camp. It's a teaching moment for all the kids. Whether they are successful or struggle, this will give us an opportunity to see where we're at and where we have to go."