Each June, campers comprised of Potawatomi tribal members and children of tribal employees gather at FireLake Ball Fields to take part in the now annual tradition of the Day of Champions Football and Sports Skills Camp.

Campers spend two days going through drills, playing games and learning leadership from coaches with a vast array of professional, collegiate and high school experience. In 2015, the camp expanded its offerings to include softball instruction for numerous female participants who wanted to attend. A total of 185 campers attended, with 30 female campers joining in. Approximately 80 percent were Native American, 55 percent of those were Citizen Potawatomi.

• Football skills instruction includes position-specific drills, strength and conditioning, nutritional instruction and individual competitions. 

• Softball instruction includes pitching, catching and softball skills. Sports skills includes hand-eye coordination, speed and agility training, strength and conditioning, nutritional instruction.

On the second day of the camp, June 28, parents or guardians are encouraged to attend and participate in camp events with their campers.

“Last year we had 65-75 parents on the field for fantasy day. We had a parent that attended out first camp as a 18 year old, 11 years ago. He brought his son to camp last year and said he wanted his son to learn the same values that were instilled in him,” said CPN’s Sarah Lawerance, who organizes the event.

The camp is led by former collegiate coach Ken Heupel and his son, former University of Oklahoma standout and current University of Missouri Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel. The camp’s other staff members are all former collegiate or professional players and coaches.

Applications are still available for this year’s June 27-28 camp, which takes place immediately following the annual CPN Family Reunion Festival. Students from first through eighth grade are eligible to participate at $15 per camper. Camp runs from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. each day.

Campers will receive lunch each day, a camp T-shirt and only need to bring a bottle of water with their name on it. Girls and boys are encouraged to attend; with both groups able to receive either football or softball sports skills instructions.

To download the full registration form, visit http://cpn.news/DOC16 or contact Sarah Lawerance at skessler@potawatomi.org.