The New Orleans Saints brought elements of the Saints experience to Ripples Summer Day Camp on the campus of Tulane University on Tuesday with the Junior Training Camp program.
Ripples Summer Day Camp is a Nationally Accredited Summer Day Camp as recognized by the American Camping Association. This accreditation has only been received by about 2,000 camps across the United States and Ripples Summer Day Camp is the only recipient in Louisiana. Ripples hosts 19 groups of campers between the ages of three and 15.
Each week, campers participate in more than 850 activities mostly held at Tulane. Today's festivities were held at Brown Field of Memories, an outdoor field at the site of former Tulane Stadium.
More than 425 campers participated in Tuesday's Junior Training Camp program. The event was split into two separate sessions and divided by a discussion with members of the Saints Youth Programs department and the Saintsations. Saints Youth Programs Manager Andrew Remson discussed the NFL's Play 60 program and the importance of working hard in and out of the classroom and being a team player.
"The Saints players go to the facility every day and go to a classroom," said Remson. "Learning in the classroom is essential to your success down the road. Your teachers are like coaches."
Campers were able to participate in five different football related drills including a tackling drill, the quarterback challenge, and a diving catch opportunity. Campers not interested in participating the football action were given the opportunity to learn a dance routine from members of the Saintsations. At the end of the session, the campers joined together to watch the choreographed routine.
According to Ripples' co-directors Bruce Bershad and Dean Hinton, Ripples' partnership with the Saints goes back at least 17 years and includes annual visits by the Saints Youth Programs staff and the Junior Training Camp Program.
"The partnership with the Saints has been great," said Coach Bruce. "This is my 45th year working year-round with different facilities. When you meet an organization that is passionate and children-driven, it makes with worth-while for everybody. It is all about giving back."