ProCamps bring football stars to military youth


FORT LEE, Va. — Thousands of boys and girls in military communities, including Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, are seeing their pro football heroes up close and personal through youth football ProCamps sponsored by Procter and Gamble in partnership with the Defense Commissary Agency.

The Nellis ProCamp runs June 26-27 with Andre Roberts, wide receiver of the Detroit Lions.

Day 1 runs 1-4 p.m., and Day 2 runs 9 a.m.-noon, both at the Youth Sports Field. Day 3 starts at 11 a.m. with autograph signing at the commissary.

“Beyond the everyday savings our patrons receive by shopping their commissary, our industry partners provide millions of dollars annually in additional or ancillary benefits to our patrons because a commissary is operating on their base,” said Sallie Cauthers, DeCA’s marketing and mass media specialist. “Thanks to this partnership event, our patrons receive quality products at savings significantly lower than commercial stores and our military youth learn some football from some of the pro players they see on television.”

From March through April, nearly 100 installations competed for the opportunity to host a free, two-day ProCamp for first through eighth grade youth of active duty military, reservists, retirees, and DOD civilian employees. The 11 winning military installations qualify for a camp based on their patrons’ purchases of select items in their local commissaries.

Camp participants learn from and play with NFL players such as Andre Roberts (Detroit Lions), Alejandro Villanueva (Pittsburgh Steelers), Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals), Steve Smith Sr. (Baltimore Ravens) and Darren McFadden (Dallas Cowboys).

This marks the fourth year P&G has partnered with the commissary to run the NFL Military ProCamps program at installations worldwide, said Molly Fanning of Blue Chip Marketing, the firm handling publicity for this Procter & Gamble event.

“We have been throughout the United States, to Germany and also Japan,” she said. “We hope to continue to grow the program next year as well.”

ProCamps manages and operates sports camps around the world led by professional athletes. These camps take place on military bases and are designed to teach the fundamentals of football, teamwork and how to make new friends, Fanning added.

“ProCamps also uses sports to impart important life lessons in a safe place,” Fanning said. “This program is in line with the Department of Defense’s Healthy Lifestyles Initiative. The athletes infuse a message of healthy eating and staying active into every part of a ProCamp day.

“Our program started in 2013 with three camps and has grown significantly over the past few years,” Fanning said. “Our first camps were with Steve Smith Sr. and Andre Roberts. They are really the face of the program and both of them have done more camps than any other athlete.”