Summer is time for camp and fun, but for some children having a good time is the last thing on their minds. That’s why Camp Kesem was founded nearly 20 years ago. Camp Kesem, operates free summer camps for children who have been impacted by a parent’s cancer. Camp Kesem has expanded to 116 chapters in 42 states across the country. Our athletes have been spending the day with Camp Kesem campers for several years now. It’s a big ask to have an athlete spend the whole day and often travel long distances to go on a visit. This year, the Seattle Reign lead by Megan Oyster, was up for the task!
“We had the best time spending the day at Camp Kesem!! The camp leaders were so welcoming and gave us a tour of all of Camp Kesem right when we arrived. We got to experience some of the fun activities that they do each day. We were dancing and singing along to camp songs a few minutes after we arrived. We also had so much fun playing soccer with everyone! We set up a few small goals and just played endless games. Everyone was giving it their best effort. It was definitely a day to remember and all of us from the Reign are so happy we made the trip!”
Thanks to Megan Oyster, Rosie White, Morgan Proffitt, Christen Westphal and Sammy Jo Prudhomme from the Seattle Reign for spending the day with the kids. If you’re an athlete and are interested in getting involved in a Camp Kesem next year, please contact us!
In honor of those committing to healthier and more active lifestyles this New Year, we’re announcing our newest pilot project for kids called the AFH Fit Monthly Challenge Video Series.
Our AFH Fit program (link) incorporates all our AFH Member connections to physical activity programs like Marathon Kids, Active Schools and Power Up! and now, we are adding a series of videos. Although we connect hundreds of AFH Members to schools and clubs all over the country, the demand is greater than the number of available athletes. That’s where the new videos come in! Videos will feature professional, Olympic and college athletes performing a variety of warm ups, stretches and activities and will help bring an AFH Member visit to schools and clubs no matter of location or athlete availability.
Each month, AFH will release a new video with a new monthly challenge. Physical education teachers and classroom teachers can share the videos with their kids and perform the monthly set of activities. Children are encouraged to perform the monthly challenge activity and log their progress. Our hope is that these videos will increase physical activity levels in kids and keep them excited about getting fit.
The new AFH Fit Monthly Challenge videos are being produced as we speak! We’d like to thank professional soccer player, Megan Oyster for being the star of our first video. If you are a school or club and are interested in taking part in this pilot program, or an athlete interested in connecting with an AFH Fit program school, please contact us. We are excited to launch the project and reach even more kids in 2019.
Athletes for Hope intern and professional soccer player for the Boston Breakers, Megan Oyster, visited the kids of Orchard Gardens School chapter of Marathon Kids in Boston last week. Marathon Kids and Athletes for Hope are partnering to help introduce kids to the sport of running. This mission resonated with Megan and she wanted to get involved. Giving back is at Megan’s core and it shows! We sat down with Megan and debriefed with her on her visit this week.
Why you wanted to give back?
Marathon Kids sounded like an awesome program to be a part of. I love how the kids set a goal and go after it and I wanted to be a part of their team and show them that we can all do it together.
What you did at your visit?
I arrived at Orchard Gardens School and met up with Daniel Schultz who was the coach for the Marathon Kids group. He guided me to the classroom where all of the kids were waiting. I introduced myself to the kids and shared some information about my soccer career and why it’s important to take care of your body and eat healthy. They asked me a few questions about soccer, informed me that they eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and even challenged me to a push up contest! After we finished talking it was time to head out and run. I lead the kids in a warm up that I do with my soccer team and then we started running and counting our laps. The kids raced me, we held hands as we ran together, and I cheered them along as we ran around the track area. We finished up our last few laps and then the teacher called us in. We all headed back to the classroom and then counted the sticks they had collected while running and colored in the circles on their Marathon Kids logs. One circle was equivalent to 5 laps so most of them colored in 4 circles! They were all so proud of themselves and overwhelmed with how much they had ran! We finished up the day by taking a group picture and then it was time for me to head home.
We were told the kids improved their laps run while you were there. Tell us about that.
It was the second time running for this group at Orchard Gardens and they informed me that the last time they ran they did 4 laps. I challenged them to beat that score and work really hard while I was there with them. They ended up running an average of 20 laps that day! They were so happy and proud and told me they were going to beat their score again next time!
Do you have to give back again soon? And if so what are your thoughts about causes that interest you?
Yes, I definitely want to give back again soon. I think it’s important to go out and support causes that interest you. There are so many positive results from going out and giving back, especially when it comes to kids. They are so transparent with their emotions. You can see it on their face how much it means to them to have someone there to support them and guide them. I can’t wait to go back again!
Great job, Megan! We can’t wait to see what else you do in the Boston Community. Megan’s work serves as a testament to the power of athlete involvement in communities. We encourage all interested in Marathon Kids, or other volunteer positions, to contact our team for more information. We can’t wait to find the best fit for you.