CORONA DEL MAR — Although the wall of the gym reads "Home of the Sea Kings," Thursday afternoon belonged to 152 Little Sea Queens, whose parents packed the bleachers to watch their young cheerleaders perform at the final day of cheer camp at Corona del Mar High School.
The wood floor boomed with the stomping of small feet at the second-annual event as parents lined the gym, documenting the performance with cameras.
"She's my little girl," Kevin Sharp said of his 8-year-old daughter Sydney. "She did great — smiled the whole time. She's having a blast."
Sharp, still wearing Hoag Hospital scrubs, said he wouldn't miss his daughter's performance.
The summer hadn't been an ideal one for Sydney, who had her tonsils removed about a month earlier, but the camp made her summer a little better.
"This has been good for her," Sharp said.
Even though each girl wore matching white T-shirts reading "Corona del Mar Little Sea Queen Camp 2011," few looked the same. Many had personalized their wardrobe with tassels, bows and knots.
Mark McFadin snapped pictures of his daughters Ella, 14, who is on the varsity pep squad, and Lucy, 10, who attended the camp.
"When they give back to the younger kids, it gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment," McFadin said. "It takes the focus off themselves."
As they waited their turn to demonstrate their cheer routine, the Little Sea Queens settled in to their CdM buddies' laps, with ribboned ponytails swinging.
Some parents carried flowers to congratulate their daughters on a job well done, but a resounding "There's my girl!" and words of encouragement could be heard across the gym. Parents unanimously praised their daughters on an excellent show.
The number of participants tripled at this year's camp, said camp co-Chairwoman Laurie Hudson.
"It was unbelievable to see how they blossomed in just three days," she said of the girls, who ranged in ages from 4 to 12. "It's exciting for me to see young girls gain self-confidence."
Thursday's performance won't be the last opportunity for the girls to show off their moves.
All 152 will be invited back to perform at half-time in a home game Sept. 30, according to CdM Song Coach Lauren Anderson.
A one-day spring camp is also being organized. The Little Sea Queens will be able to the perform at a basketball home game, she said.