The occasion was the 2010 DC SCORES Fall Frenzy, and I was filling in for a coach who was unable to make the event. When I arrived outside Wheatley Education Campus around 8am, I was quickly awakened out of my grogginess by a group of enthusiastic -- understatement -- kids decked out in purple soccer jerseys, adidas shorts, shinguards and socks.
The Wheatley team wasn't large that day -- there were maybe nine or 10 of them -- but they treated every minute of the five-hour event as if it was the greatest day and the most amazing experience of their lives.
Even if they were just playing soccer games, getting their faces painted, and writing poems.
This Saturday, over 800 DC youth will get that same experience when DC SCORES' 27 elementary schools take over Anacostia Park for the 15th Annual Fall Frenzy. You can still sign up to volunteer for the event, which runs from 9:30am until 2:30pm.
As was the case for those Wheatley Whales, there will be round-robin soccer games throughout the day. What makes these games special is that students of schools from different parts of the city who don't play each other during our regular game days get to compete against one another, interact with one another, and often form friendships that continue during DC SCORES' summer camps.
When students aren't playing soccer games, they're at one of our stations where the fun doesn't dissipate. They're:
- Getting their faces painted, always a favorite station, by our amazing volunteers!
- Doing arts and crafts at our Starbucks station. Our long-time partner also provides coffee in the morning.
- Learning soccer skills at the Penya Barcelonista Washington D.C. fan club station (be like Messi!), where ABC sports anchor and former college soccer player Britt McHenry will also be.
- Writing haikus and learning all about poetry with our awesome friends from 826DC.
- Getting free sunglasses, magnets, bookmarks and T-shirts at The Century Council's table!
- Eating lunch or taking a short break from the action!
And I can't imagine how disappointing it would have been for them had they missed out on the DC SCORES Fall Frenzy.
We hope to see you -- and over 800 exuberant youth -- Saturday at Anacostia Park!