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Campers in the Community

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
A Blast From the Past

REVERE, Mass. --
It wasn’t long ago that the rookies attending the Boston Bruins Development Camp were in the shoes of those they were mentoring on Sunday during the team’s scheduled off-ice community related event.

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The B’s were split into three groups, each of which took part in an event that would give back to the community that supported the Black & Gold throughout their magical Stanley Cup run.

Prospects Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Spooner were among the players who went to Revere’s Cronin Arena where they offered their knowledge and skills to children with dreams of one day donning the Spoked-B.

“It’s pretty special,” Hamilton said about being able to skate and play with some of Boston’s youngest fans. 

“I’ve had the chance to do a few of them with the Ice Dogs and stuff like that but not with a Bruins jersey on so it’s pretty special for sure.”

The B’s took part in scrimmage-like drills on ice that was split into three different sections. These sections divided the kids into age groups, each having at least two Bruin mentors partaking in the drills.

While playing their favorite sport with adoring fans, the new B’s found themselves reflecting back to when they were in the same skates as those they are now teaching.

“It’s awesome,” Spooner said.

“I can kind of remember when I was that young. It’s a fun time for them and they have a long road ahead of them until my age but it’s a fun time.”

“It definitely brings back a lot [of memories],” added Hamilton. “For me, I got a chance to skate at the Toronto Maple Leafs Skills Challenge and it brings back that memory and it’s special.”

While the 2011 Development Camp attendees were in Revere to teach, they also took notice of how talented these kids are at such a young age.

“[They are] pretty good actually,” said Spooner. “I was surprised by some of the kids. I think they’ll be some good players.”

Being on the ice with such young players and giving the rookie B’s a chance to reminisce a little can really help calm a player down after what has been a so far, physically demanding week.

“Obviously when we’re on the ice at the development camp it’s pretty strenuous and then you just kind of relax and have fun,” said Spooner.

Giving back to the community is something that anyone wearing the black and gold ‘B’ is willing to do. While those attending development camp didn’t have the opportunity to actually hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, the Boston faithful have still come out to Wilmington to watch and support the future of the B’s franchise during camp.

“There’s just so many [fans],” Hamilton said. 

“In junior, there’s a few that can kind of recognize you and ask for autographs but here there’s a lot. It’s pretty cool seeing kids walking around with Bruins shirts down the street and stuff like that.”

“It’s great to see that the fans care about us young prospects and it was really good to see,” Ryan Spooner added.

---John Smith

B’s Show Their Colors at Cradles to Crayons

BRIGHTON, Mass. --
Sunday was a day of service for the young players attending the Bruins Development Camp.

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Seven of the prospects (Marc Cantin, Zane Gothberg, Michael Hutchinson, Josh Jooris, Jared Knight, Rob O’Gara and David Warsofsky) spent their afternoon volunteering for Cradles to Crayons in Brighton, Mass.

Cradles to Crayons, a Boston-based non-profit organization, distributes daily living essentials to local children in need. In a typical week, five-hundred children receive a package including everything from clothes, shoes, and socks to toys and books.

After a long day of hockey including a practice, scrimmage, and off-ice workout the youngest members of the Black & Gold managed to find the energy to give back to the community. Seven of the prospects packed outfits and cleaned toys at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse.

The players enjoyed working with some of the young children who frequently volunteer for Cradles to Crayons. Gothberg even turned to his helper for advice on making outfits for the girl packages, “I’d ask her questions like hey would you wear this, and tried to interact a little bit “

Jennfier White, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships for Cradles to Crayons, was impressed with the Bruins continuing commitment to service.

“It goes to the character of the players obviously," said White. "And it goes to the deep partnership that the Bruins have had with Cradles to Crayons.”

Knowing that they were helping the children of Boston was especially poignant for former Boston University student and Marshfield, Mass. native Dave Warsofsky.

“I think when you have an idea of where these products are going and what you’re making them for, it kind of hits home a little bit more," said the defenseman.

The day provided the young players with an insight to how much of an impact they can potentially have being successful professional athletes. At the same time the afternoon was full of fun and laughter as the campers joked around with their kid helpers and each other.

“I’m having a blast,” said Gothberg.

A little friendly competition took place to see which group could put together the most packages and clean the larger number of toys, but at the end of the day, everyone won because the players helped over 250 local children in need.

---Erika Wentzel

Rookies Score at the Library

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- It was a special afternoon at the North Andover Library. Seven members of the Boston Bruins Development Camp (Ryan Button, Tommy Cross, Alexander Fallstrom, Alexander Khokhlachev, Tyler Randell, Steven Spinell and Lars Volden) lent their time to read, color and play outside with the children of the community.

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Wide-eyed elementary schoolers warmed up to the rookies quickly. Group one made its way outside with Fallstrom, Randell and Volden to play bowling games, while Button and Khokhlochev led group two in coloring. 

In the reading room Cross and Spinell kicked of the Bruins Summer Reading Program “When You Read You Score.” 

As the three groups rotated throughout the afternoon, they listened to student-athletes Cross and Spinell read “Number Four, Bobby Orr” and “Casey and Derek On the Ice,” aloud to groups of about 15. The readings were followed by Bruins Trivia. 

“Its very nice to have a break in our schedule to get out of the rink and spend some time with these kids. It’s good to see the smiles on their faces and feels good to help out,” said Cross, a rising senior at Boston College. “Athletes are in a good position to have a big influence. I like to think that we can make of a bit of a difference.”

Spinell acknowledged the responsibility that comes with being a role model for youngsters.  

“It’s a big responsibility because you’ve got to be in the straight and narrow. And even though this is a break in the schedule its just nice to give some time to kids that look up to us and give back even a little bit. So that’s really rewarding.”

Children and parents alike were impressed with the products of Boston College and Miami University. A rising junior at Miami, Spinell revealed that he was looking forward to reading to kids and representing himself as a student-athlete. 

“For me, getting my education has always been important. My parents made sure that it was the top priority growing up. I had to make sure I had good grade to play sports. I’m looking forward to getting my college degree. It’s something that means a lot to me.”

---Rosemary Moran
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