Sheriff’s office leads youth flag football camp
Sheriff’s office and school system hold youth flag football camp
More than 90 elementary schoolaged kids were out on the fields of St. Charles High School for a football camp last week led by members of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
Helmed by 16 school resource officers (SRO), the camp was held June 22 to 24 for students in third, fourth and fifth grades, with some sixth graders also in attendance.
“We want to give back to our community that we serve,” Officer Patrick Mann, an 11-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who has been a SRO for nine years, said in a release. Currently serving at St. Charles, Mann has helped with the camp since its start five years ago.
“I like working with kids, it’s like being in a neighborhood,” Mann said. “But the school is my neighborhood.”
Christopher Baldwin, an incoming fifth-grader at T.C. Martin Elementary School, attended camp with his twin brother, Kenneth. It was their first time at football camp.
“It helps you work on your speed, on your technique,” Baldwin said. “You can work on your athleticism a little.”
Waiting their turn to get timed — best out of three — for the 40-meter dash, Elijah Beckwith, a fourth grader at William B. Wade Elementary School and Sion Bell, a fifth grader at Eva Turner Elementary School, held similar views to Baldwin’s.
“You learn a lot,” Beckwith said about the camp.
“Cuz I love it,” Bell chimed in, adding that his family members played football, fostering in him a love of the game.
The first two days of camp were spent running drills and learning skills, said Janelle Love, a CCSO spokeswoman. The final day included tournament games and when not playing football, campers took turns in a bounce house or at the games trailer that was there to celebrate the end of camp.
The resource officers held a Badges for Baseball camp this week, with the month of July devoted to its invitation-only Youth Achievement camp.
“The summer youth camps organized by our school resource officers are invaluable to the community. They allow the officers to continue to build relationships with the students throughout the summer, and they also give the kids something positive and productive to participate in,” Sheriff Troy Berry (D) said. “Sports offer important life lessons about discipline, trying your best and trusting your teammates.”
The sponsors of the football camp include the Cal Ripken Senior Foun- dation, Charles County Board of Education, Waldorf Jaycees, Crown Trophy, UTZ, Little Caesars and Chick-fil-A. Kathy Almassey and Eileen Shlagel, registered nurses with the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center volunteered as well, stationed near the misting tent.
Andre Freeland, left, a rising fourth grader at J.C. Parks Elementary School, and Carter Austin, a rising fifth grader at Dr. James Craik Elementary School, do warm up exercises during a football camp led by school resource officers with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
Kenneth Baldwin, a rising fifth grader at T.C. Martin Elementary School, gets ready to run a 40-meter dash during a football camp led by school resource officers with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
Joseph Zanko, left, a rising sixth grader at Milton M. Somers Middle School, and Cayden Williams, a rising fourth grader at Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School, stretch before practicing drills during a football camp led by school resource officers with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.