The New Orleans Saints Youth Programs department extended their reach into Northwest Florida when they partnered with the Bonifay Bulldogs summer camp last week from June 25-29.
More than 100 campers between the ages of five and thirteen from across the Florida Panhandle attended the event and were greeted by the club's Ambassador Michael Lewis as well as members of the youth programs staff and two members of the Saintsations.
This is the first time that the Saints have joined up with the Bonifay Bulldogs Pee-Wee Football Association. Chris Massey, Vice President and Camp Coordinator, was very excited about the Saints' participation.
"It was an experience that both the kids and I will never forget," said Massey. "The kids really enjoyed it. It was just an awesome event."
Lewis addressed the campers before providing instructions on the football drills. On the first day of the event, students were taught some of the basic fundamentals of the sport. Those lessons were later put to the test with a seven-on-seven contest.
The next day allowed the campers participating in the football activities to enjoy the Saints Junior Training Camp experience. Students were able to participate in drills actually used by NFL teams including a quarterback pocket presence drill and a defensive tackling drill among others. On the final day of the event, the camp held a punt, pass and kick event on Family Fun Day.
Members of the Saintsations joined the event as well, teaching those not participating in the football action some steps necessary to be a cheerleader as well as a choreographed dance routine.
Looking to the future, Massey wants to continue the partnership with the Saints that proved to be a fruitful and educational experience by all involved.
"It was an unforgettable event and we hope that we can put it on again," said Massey. "This is a relationship that I would like to keep and turn into an annual event. It is a partnership we want to continue."