MARSHFIELD — The semi-professional football players of the Marshfield Hurricanes and members of the Massachusetts National Guard towered over the herds of 5 to 13-year-old campers at the Boys and Girls Club of Marshfield, guiding them through relay races and obstacle courses.
The Boys and Girls Club of Marshfield hosted a football clinic on Friday, Aug. 5 during the final weeks of its 10-week summer program. Attendance at this year’s camp almost doubled from last year with 220 campers, jumping up from 130 in 2021. The kids hail from towns across the South Shore.
The Hurricanes, who play in the semi-professional East Coast Football League, came to town Friday to teach the campers throwing and catching skills, and held relay races.
Madeline Frank, 8, of Marshfield, said she enjoyed cheering on her teammates in the relay races.
“It’s pretty fun and I like learning new things, especially sports,” Madeline said.
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Sean Blanchard, general manager of the Marshfield Hurricanes, said that he hopes the campers learned about the sport of football and he was excited to see both boys and girls playing out on the field.
“We also really want them to have fun,” Blanchard said.
Colleen Benedict, camp director, said that the day’s clinic offered a fun activity and an opportunity to promote fitness.
“We really like the kids to be active in the summer,” Benedict said.
The Massachusetts National Guard members brought an inflatable boot camp obstacle course for campers to run through, and they ducked through tunnels, swung on ropes and cruised down slides.
Carter Flaherty, 5, of Pembroke, said that the obstacle course was his favorite activity and he flew down the slides three times.
Sgt. Matthew Russell, army National Guard recruiter, said that it is the second year they have run the clinic.
“It connects both the Hurricanes and the National Guard to the community,” Russell said.
The football camp was divided by age, so 5 to 6-year-old campers could run and practice basic skills. Up next, the 7 to 8-year-old campers had a dose of competition with relay races, and the 9 to 13 year olds were able to learn more advanced skills and maneuvers later in the day.
Billy Kerrigan, 7, of Marshfield, said that he was excited to do the football drills and thinks he wants to play football when he is older.
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Jim Bunnell, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Marshfield, said that the camp focuses on being an inclusive space and he reaches out to local organizations to help cover the cost of the camp for some of the children and their families.
Bunnell said that connecting with other community groups to support the campers “is a top priority.”
“We’re building a culture of fun, trust, and respect and developing a culture of feeling safe, where kids can express themselves,” Bunnell said.
For more information on the Boys and Girls Club of Marshfield, visit bgcmarshfield.org.
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