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Besides regular camp, the Greater Marco Family YMCA's specialist series of camps are now in full swing.

A free, week long football camp conducted July 30 through Aug. 3 by former NFL players Jimmie Bell and Steve Grant highlights these camps.

Also on offer are two theater camps (with shows for parents) July 23 through 27 and Aug. 6 through 11; and a special child diabetes camp July 30 through Aug. 3, presented by the Y and the Help a Diabetic Child Foundation.

The two former football players are no strangers to the Y, having previously conducted camps which they combine with faith and motivational talks.

"They teach not only a love for athletics, but also teach tolerance, kindness, and empathy among the kids," said the Y's Youth Development Director, Stephanie Pepper.

At a previous football camp, Grant outlined his, and Bell's approach: "We tell the kids that a lot of success is mind over matter. When we do these (field) drills, in the first hour they often say they can't make it; but four hours later, they've finished the camp for the day. They've achieved," Grant said.

A perk arising from the two men's visit is that they will appear in the evenings of the same week from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Vacation Bible School (K through 6th Grade) at the Marco Presbyterian Church. Grant will also speak at the church's Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.

For registration or more information on these camps, as well as the wide variety of programs and activities for youth and adults visit marcoymca.org or call 394-3144.

For information about the NFL players’ appearances at the Marco Presbyterian Church, visit marcochurch.com.

If you go

  • Football camp: 9 a.m. to noon, July 30 to Aug. 3 – Shoes, no cleats, sunscreen, water and hats required. Boys and girls from K through 5th Grade. Free.
  • Diabetes camp: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (extended hours are available) July 30 through Aug. 3 – This is planned by the Help a Diabetic Child Foundation and the Greater Marco Family YMCA, and is for children 8-14 with Type 1, II or prediabetic diagnoses. Some scholarships are available.
  • Theater camp: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 23 through July 27 – Gina Sisbarro directs "Goldilocks on Trial" by Stuart L. Sheeley for 3rd through 8th Graders July 23 through July 27 (performance on July 28). Cost is $100 per child.
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