Camps For Champions
Dream, Believe and Achieve
The Department of Children and Families "Camps for Champions," in partnership with carefully selected foundations and other community partners, provides an opportunity for hundreds of children and young adults from Florida's foster care system to participate in a unique summer camp experience, including the chance to spend time with state and national athletes.
“Many of these children have never been to a summer camp before. Each one of them deserves the opportunity to learn, grow and understand what it takes to become a true leader,” said DCF Secretary David Wilkins. "Sharing experiences with great athletes and other positive role models will help these youth believe in themselves and aspire to live the American dream."
The camps will include mentoring, personal interactions, team-building skills and leadership opportunities. Nationally recognized role models, community partners and DCF staff will serve as volunteer mentors to guide these young adults as they acquire knowledge, life skills and memories to last a lifetime.
Four camps will be continued this year, with superstar athletes leading the programs to teach fitness, wellness and leadership to the children. NFL Pittsburgh Steeler Myron Rolle, a Rhodes scholar and former Florida State football All-American will headline his fourth year at Camp Blanding in Starke, where 100 foster youth will have the chance to learn from the smart, talented, ambitious star. Since 2009, Myron has been working with DCF to bring foster youth to summer camp, and his camp has become the cornerstone for the Camps for Champions expansion.
Former NFL star tackle Corey Simon will bring 100 children to Corey’s Kids at the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee. The Derrick Brooks Foundation, led by the former Tampa Bay Bucs Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks, will host more than 50 kids in Tampa. James Jones, a Miami Heat small forward, will work with more than 50 youth in Miami.
In addition, in an exciting new partnership this year, NBA Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore will headline a camp in Jacksonville for more than 50 children. Other camps will focus on therapeutic horseback riding, technology, and the arts, including painting and culinary skills.