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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DC SCORES summer camp wraps up with action-packed night at Maryland SoccerPlex

DC SCORES’ hugely successful summer camps wrapped up last week, but not before several participating students went on an action-packed field trip. The evening’s events were representative of everything the students learned about and had fun doing throughout the busy summer. Here’s a brief recap:

Campers from the Bruce Monroe Soccer & Arts Summer Camp slowly arose from their naps as the charter bus pulled up to the turf fields at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, home to the Washington Freedom of the Women’s Professional Soccer League. They were quickly escorted to a section of the playing field space reserved just for them to compete in a 3 v 3 soccer tournament.

As part of a combined effort by the Washington Freedom, Grassroots Soccer, and Citi, DC SCORES students were invited not only to participate in the tournament last Wednesday, but also attend the Washington Freedom game and present a poem during halftime.

After a discussion about the importance of staying fit and their work in the African region, representatives from Grassroots Soccer split the group up by age and each captain picked team names (for example one team called itself Barcelona, another was D.C United, and another The Warriors). When the whistle blew, the games were underway and teams competed to be crowned champions of the tournament.

After the tournament winners were given autographed mini soccer balls, and all participants received gift bags and T-shirts from Grassroots Soccer and Citi, the campers headed over to the Fanfest area where they practiced their aim at a soccer shootout game, bounced on the moonwalk, and navigated their way through a blowup maze.

Before entering the stadium, campers fine-tuned their group poem performance entitled “My World,” a compilation of ideas about their ideal world.

Glory, the Washington Freedom mascot, greeted the campers at the stadium entrance and posed for pictures, and the kids grabbed complementary hot dogs, hamburgers, and water before taking their premium seats. For many, this was their first professional soccer game. Campers pointed out the communication, teamwork, and determination the women showed on the field – all skills and values they improved on during the summer.

The only hiccup occurred when the crowd was forced to evacuate the stadium for precautionary reasons during a rainstorm. The delay meant that unfortunately the campers had to head back to DC earlier than expected and missed out on their performance.

Despite the slight disappointment, however, the bus ride back was filled with energy. The campers perused through their gift bags, discussed the earlier 3 v 3 tournament, and explained how they would brag to their friends who missed the trip.

It was an epic eight-hour field trip, and while the weather refused to cooperate, the campers appreciated the opportunity to play some soccer, get educated, and be “VIP’s” at a professional sporting event.

Not a bad event to help wrap up the last week of summer camp.

-- Written by Zach Elkin, Elementary School Program Coordinator

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