The 10th Annual 2013 Community Patrol Summer Camps kicked off on Tuesday, June 18 at the New Orleans Saints facility in Metairie.
The New Orleans Saints and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana joined forces to put on six separate one-day camps where over 600 local children between the ages of 9-13 will benefit from this safe, fun, and educational experience.
The Community Patrol Camps use football to teach participants skills that will improve their behavior and attitudes in preparation for the new school year.
The children broke into five groups where they participated in quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and defensive drills, while the fifth group went to a session put on by the Children's Bureau of New Orleans. The session involved the children learning about anger signs, how to relax, the difference between healthy and unhealthy lifestyle choices, and how important it is to have a support system in life.
New Orleans Saints Rookies Terron Armstead, Ryan Griffin, Tim Lelito, Brent Leonard, Elliott Mealer, Khiry Robinson and Chase Thomas also made a surprise visit to the camp. The players signed autographs and even raced the 40-yard dash for a chance to win a signed Saints hat.
"For the past 10 years the New Orleans Saints and United Way have teamed up to host camps for the children of Orleans, Jefferson and five other neighboring parishes that we proudly call 'our home field'," said Saints Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson. "Each year we gladly interact and make a positive impact on the lives of over 600 children and introduce them to the benefits of safe, fun, exciting and educational experiences. We believe that the programs we have implemented through our youth programs department and the United Way help to improve attitudes and encourage positive behaviors among the participants."
"The United Way and New Orleans Saints Community Patrol Camp represent yet another way that we are working, in partnership, to positively impact the lives of our regions' children," says Michael Williamson, incoming President and CEO of United Way of Southeast Louisiana. "Not only will these children meet Saints players and coaches; they will learn valuable conflict resolution and life skills they can carry with them forever. We are truly thankful for the New Orleans Saints continued support of this partnership."
The Community Patrol Camps are provided free-of-charge to participants through the United Way and Saints partnership.