I took my two kids to camp yesterday--ages 4 and 7-- and had a good time, but felt that it was still missing a pure focus on the family, that the event title was a little misleading. A fellow member suggested a new thread cause folks in the organization will listen. Here's my take, trying to keep it mostly in the realm of possibility.
1. Move the start time to after practice (11:00) and inside the practice bubble. That way it works in stages. Families can sit in the stands and actually see some of the practice with the kids, with the promise of bounce houses and what not to come. Or not. They can just show up at 11. Also it was one thousand degrees outside yesterday, and it would allow for some of the players to perhaps sign autographs at a table for the KIDS, at a specific time.
2. Let the kids run on the field. I remember to this day my mom taking me to the Orange Bowl during the offseason and being allowed to run on the field. Part of the problem yesterday was that the team was working. I get it. The bubble idea would help. I just ran that past my older kid and it brought an instant smile to her face.
3. Get the players involved. That was really what was most disappointing for me yesterday. The only option I had for getting my kids to meet a player was to submit them to the autograph horde, which I was not about to do. Again, have appointed time and place for the players to sit for thirty minutes like the cheerleaders did. It would mean so much to the kids. My daughter was stoked to meet the cheerleaders. I just don't have any idea how to keep it from becoming an opportunity for adults to make some money.
4. Music/performance stage. Mini-pep rally for the people? Have the cheerleaders do a set. Have Coach Philbin speak to the fans for a minute. Have one player come and say what's up and then have a band play so that the kids can ran run around.
5. Keep the volunteer folks from yesterday. They were awesome. Spoke to the kid manning the first bouncy house and he is living a dream. Really wants to work for the organization eventually and was willing to come down from his home in Tampa to do it. Everyone was over the top nice and gracious.
6. Keep the bouncy houses and face painting. Obviously. The face painter yesterday was very good.
7. Prize wheel. Free spins for the little ones for the totally cheap swag, like the foam footballs that were given away. The foundation wheel was cool too.
8. Food trucks. Three food trucks outside. One with ice cream.
Ok. That's all I got. Again, I am not proposing a highjacking of practice, just dreaming up an event for families with kids.