Former Packers greats Johnnie Gray, Charles Jordan and Bill Schroeder showed members of the "Junior Power Pack" how to practice like a pro at the 14th annual "Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic" on Saturday at the Don Hutson Center.
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To be a pro you have to practice like a pro, and members of the Green Bay Packers official kids fan club attending Saturday's clinic were treated to a practice fit for a championship team.
Taking the field inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers' official practice facility, more than 1,000 kids were eager to work out like the pros. Led by former Packers greats Johnnie Gray (1975-83), Charles Jordan (1994-95, '99) and Bill Schroeder (1994, '97-2001), "Junior Power Pack" members were challenged to a series of skills and drills performed by Packers players during a routine practice. The skills and drills included catching and throwing passes, hitting blocking pads and running through a speed and agility ladder.
While there was a fair share of laughing and goofing around, Saturday's pros in training definitely got a workout.
"This is a great clinic," said Schroeder, a former Packers wide receiver. "Anytime you can get the kids out here and be active and healthy is important. I know the kids and their families really enjoy coming to Lambeau and into the workout facility here.
"I never got the opportunity to go to clinics like this as a kid, I would have loved that," Schroeder added.
Many of Saturday's participants may not have been old enough to remember watching Gray, Jordan and Schroeder play, but it was clear they knew they were learning from "old" pros.
Matthew Melsheimer of Hartford, Wis., looks forward to the "Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic" every year and was participating for his fifth time. Matthew's father, Rick Melsheimer, admits he looks forward to the clinic just as much as his son.
"This is such a great clinic," Melsheimer said. "Matthew has been coming for the past five years and always has fun. It's great that the Packers open up their facility and let the kids use it. I know I enjoy coming to the Don Hutson Center. It's just as much fun for me as it is for him."
Participating kids were not the only ones having a good time Saturday as parents and family members enjoyed watching the kids run around and have fun with the players. In its 14th year, the "Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic" has grown in scope every year. The line to get into the Don Hutson Center wrapped all the way around the outdoor practice field.
As a member of the "Junior Power Pack," the $20 yearly membership includes an official JPP membership card, player pictures, trading cards and magnets, free admission to the Packers Hall of Fame, a 10 percent discount on regularly priced merchandise at the Packers Pro Shop, a back-to-school packet, holiday and birthday greetings, and an invitation to the "Junior Power Pack Clinic" for members ages 5-14.
Those interested in joining the "Junior Power Pack" can visit http://www.packers.com/fan-zone/kids-club.html.