It was a beautiful Saturday for football at Ray Nitschke Field. Fans from across the state of Wisconsin turned out to watch practice. They did not come out to see names like Donald Driver, Ryan Grant or Aaron Rodgers practice, but to watch for some of the youngest Packers backers like Hunter, 9, Miles, 8, and nearly 1,150 other youngsters get a chance to actually practice on the same field as the Green and Gold.
The 11th annual Junior Power Pack Experience is a skills camp for members of the Packers' official kids' fan club. This unique experience allows members of the club the opportunity to work on their football skills and run through some of the same drills that the Packers do everyday at practice.
"I think this will help me become a better quarterback," said Miles, a first-time participant from Appleton, standing in line waiting for the next drill. "Throwing the ball was definitely my favorite drill."
Another exciting part of this camp for the youngsters was not just practicing on Ray Nitchske Field but learning different football skills from some of the best young up-and-coming Packers players.
The youngsters had the opportunity to run through blocking drills with Jason Hunter, play catch with Charlie Peprah and catch over-the-shoulder passes from Aaron Rouse. Players from the De Pere High School football team also helped lead Power Pack members through some drills on the fundamentals of the game.
"It's real rewarding to be out here and get to see the smile on kids faces, getting them away from video games and come out here and play football," said Packers safety Charlie Peprah.
"This is a lot of fun," said Hunter, a first-time participant from Wonewac, Wis. after just taking on Packers defensive end Jason Hunter in a blocking drill. "It's pretty fun and cool to go up against a Packer player,"
Jason Hunter can relate to this experience, "When I was 10-years-old I did a punt, pass, and kick camp like this with a whole bunch of high school football players who I really looked up to. I'm just glad that I am able to do something like this and give back and share what I know now with these kids."
This event is unique and popular for a couple of different reasons.
"The opportunity for this many junior Packers fans to be able to practice with Packers players in a football type setting makes this event unique," said Packers marketing assistant Jade Schiegg. "Seeing how happy these kids are to run around on Ray Nitschke Field is truly one of the most rewarding parts of the day."
Members of the Junior Power Pack could take part in either a morning or an afternoon session lasting about an hour and a half. The Junior Power Pack boasts over 3,500 members, having grown by more than 700 members in the last year. When joining the club, members receive a membership kit that includes trading cards, player photos, a membership card that allows them to get into the Packers Hall of Fame for free, a 10% discount at the Packers Pro Shop, a back to school mailing, team photos and a birthday card.
The Junior Power Pack is open to children between the ages of 5 and 14. Click here to sign up. Registration forms can be found online.