Dolphins academy hosts youth camp

Akilah Laster | 8/8/2013, 4 p.m.
Dolphins youth camp Photo by Akilah Laster

The Miami Dolphins Academy hosted its second annual youth camp last week at Felix Varela High School. The weeklong camp gave some 60 participants ages five to 14 an opportunity to interact and train alongside former Dolphins players for five full days.

The Dolphin Academy organization wanted to provide opportunities for the youth in all of the supporting South Florida counties to get a top-notch training experience. Offering camps in Jupiter and at the Dolphins’ practice facility in Davie, this particular camp was a part of an expansion to make sure they recognized the Dolphin supporters in the South Dade area.

“Sometimes you can take things for granted and ignore your fan base,” said Troy Drayton, Dolphins Academy youth program coordinator. “We figured we needed to add another camp on and this was a central location for the south.”

Aside from working with former NFL players, the camp provides five full days, where campers work at six stations a day and go through a “junior-training” process. The final days the campers get to simulate a real Dolphins’ game day experience, including running through the smoke-filled inflatable helmet onto the field and listening to the national anthem before each age group’s game.

“When the kids see the helmet they just let their hair down and [are ready] to play some football,” Drayton said about the camp that costs $250 for the week. “We really just want to make the experience a great experience for them.”

The camp is growing in popularity, doubling in participation since its commencement year. “The parents said the camp is great [and] we got a lot of kids back from last year,” Drayton said. “The potential for growth is good.”