Packers outreach camp received with open arms in Hartford

It’s time to get out and play.

"It’s really nice out and I’m having a lot of fun," said Jordan, a fifth grader from Erin Elementary.

Around 170 kids from second through fifth grade at Erin Elementary in Hartford got that chance thanks to the Packers Outreach Football Camp, which is part of the NFL’s Play 60 campaign.

"We want to get kids outside playing at least 60 minutes a day," said Ryan Fencl, Packers Football Outreach Specialist. "You know especially with today’s world, with technology and everything being on their phone, being on a screen, we want them to be outside playing. We’re not doing any kind of X’s and O’s. It’s more of having fun."

A welcome change coming off a trying 2020 year.

"It’s a lot of fun because last year we were quarantined at this time and it was like pretty boring, and this kind of feels like a summer," said Jordan.

"I’m pretty excited because we haven’t had any field trips in a while," said Brady, a fifth grader from Erin Elementary. "This is kind of like a field trip and it’s kind of cool."

For many of these boys and girls, it’s their chance at tackling something new. The camp featured five different drill stations (a relay race, throwing a football, kicking a football, diving for a touchdown, and leaping for a catch), so kids got the opportunity to test out their football skills in those drills and obstacle courses.

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"It’s super cool because we get to do a bunch of things that usually we don’t get to do," said Kendall, a fourth grader from Erin Elementary.

Helped by Packers staff and Hartford High School athletes, making sure these kids were outside and active was priceless.

"Every time we go to a camp, some kids you can tell (when) they come out, they’re quiet, they’re shy," said Fencl. "Once they start getting going, you hear the screams and you’re hearing them having fun. They’re smiling and especially in a year like this, it’s extra special to be able to get them outside and doing something outside of the norm for them."

This is one of the four outreach football camps the Packers will have this year.