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Campers feel the burn of Day 2

by Andrea Nelson / Detroit Red Wings
Youth Camp on the ice. (Photo by Dan Mannes, Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – There weren’t any whispers or downcast eyes Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. After enduring one day of hockey together, the campers had made new friends and were more than happy to share laughs, stories and tricks of the trade at Day 2 of the Red Wings’ youth hockey camp.

The three afternoon groups of campers arrived at noon, with sore legs carrying them back to their locker rooms.

“Tired, my legs were tired,” said Erika, a camper who experienced muscle soreness.

It was the same routine as the first day of camp for the 9- and 10-year-olds. But the instructors made sure to incorporate new workouts into their drills. On the concourse, the dryland exercises focused on lateral movements to strengthen their arms and legs.

The wall sits were the only consistent aspect of dryland, but they weren’t the favorite. One brave camper even said the wall sits were the one change that shouldn’t be included in the camp next year. He wasn’t a fan of the exercise. But the winners of the wall sits ate lunch first, so there were plenty of incentives for the youngsters.

After dryland the campers made their way back to the Wings’ locker room where they played trivia with the counselors. If they answered the questions correctly, they could win prizes such as Fatheads, T-shirts and towels.

All of the girls chose T-shirts as their prizes, and that’s all that mattered to them.

“I don’t remember the questions,” Erika said. “I remember the answer though it was Henrik Zetterberg.”

Then it was time for snacks. The four campers who won the wall sit challenge ate first and the others waited eagerly for their turn. The snacks disappeared quickly, though. Everyone was excited for what came next.

Youth Camp on the ice. (Photo by Dan Mannes, Detroit Red Wings)

It was time to lace up the skates.

Several snaps and ties later, the campers were ready to take the ice. And they were in for a great surprise. Wings forward Justin Abdelkader was waiting for them, ready to take the young hockey players through their drills.

“I liked the scrimmage because we got to versus each other and it was fun doing that,” a camper named Ashley said.

There were trips, falls, mistakes, goals and cheers for the hour and 15-minutes the campers were on the ice.

It will never be enough time to skate in Joe Louis Arena, though. Before they knew it, the campers were being ushered off the ice and out of their equipment. It seemed like they had just arrived, but the four hours went by quickly as they made the familiar walk back to their parents.

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