The Chicago Blackhawks today announced the organization will host a free Virtual Summer Camp for the team's youngest fans via Blackhawks.com. Kicking off on Monday, July 6, this 4-week virtual camp is ideal for children approximately ages 8-12 who may be missing out on their traditional summer camp or other youth activities due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.
The marquee session each week will focus on nutrition and culinary skills through the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation's Healthy Hawks program, presented by AT&T Believe Chicago. Healthy Hawks teaches children about making nutritious food choices and fueling their bodies for exercise -- and in this virtual setting, participating youth will learn how to make healthy snacks at home and the importance of each ingredient from a chef from partner Pilot Light and special guest Tommy Hawk.
"As our city and state cautiously reopen, we know many camps and other activities remain limited or canceled entirely for our youth community," said Sara Guderyahn, Executive Director of the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation. "Hundreds of students from local non-profit organizations have enjoyed the Healthy Hawks program at our community rink, Fifth Third Arena, so we are excited to transition the offering to online virtual learning not only for our Foundation partners but for all local children free of charge during this COVID-19 pandemic."
Each week will also feature supporting activities focused on physical fitness and Blackhawks-themed arts & crafts such as Ten exercises with Tommy Hawk and a design-your-own jersey guide, respectively.
Virtual campers will also be encouraged to take advantage of existing free and fun digital resources available through the Blackhawks One Community initiative. In the "Kids Club" section, parents and guardians can find activities to help keep children entertained including Blackhawks Story Time, a puzzle & coloring book, access to a hockey-themed STEM education program and more.
While all Virtual Summer Camp activities are free and open to all, advanced registration by a parent or guardian is required for digital access and is now open at Blackhawks.com/VirtualSummerCamp.
Additionally, the Blackhawks will launch a special supplemental offering for youth hockey players who wish to continue their training and practice from home this summer. The Blackhawks Virtual Academy, a pilot program in affiliation with HHD Hockey, will run for eight weeks beginning Monday, July 6, at a cost of $80 per participant.
This 8-week progressive program is designed to work on a flexible, on-demand schedule. The 40-day sequence will feature daily workouts, where participants can choose between two video options based on skill every weekday. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays will focus on full body hockey workouts, while Tuesdays and Thursdays will supplement through agility, shooting and stickhandling skills.
Video: Blackhawks Virtual Academy
"Although we will miss seeing all of their smiling faces at the rinks for Blackhawks Hockey Camp this summer, we still want our youth players to know the Blackhawks are here for them as they continue to learn the great game of hockey," said Annie Camins, Chicago Blackhawks Sr. Executive Director of Fan Development. "Safe and specialized at-home training has never been more important, and we are proud to partner with HHD Hockey to bring the Blackhawks Virtual Academy to life for our youth hockey community."
Participants will also have access to motivational morning messages, weekly chalk talks and more from Blackhawks alumni, ambassadors or staff members including Eddie Olczyk, Jamal Mayers, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Brian Campbell and Troy Murray, among others. Special theme days will allow Virtual Academy participants an opportunity to interact with @bhyouthhockey through social media for their chance to win "Hockey At Home" series prizes.
The Blackhawks Virtual Academy, which is supported by Floor & Decor and NBC Sports Chicago, is open to all ages and skill levels. Parents and guardians can find more information or register their child at Blackhawks.com/VirtualAcademy.