Camp for Ohio National Guard families a success for all, Tressel greets participants

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – “Hero Saves the Day” is a commonly seen storyline in fiction and fact, but on July 27 Ohio State saved the day for  the heroes.

Members of the Ohio National Guard and their families converged at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center for a day of sport and learning, lending tribute to those who serve our country.

Operation Military Kids Hero Camp, sponsored by the OSU Department of Athletics, Ohio State University Extension, its Ohio 4-H program and the Ohio National Guard, welcomed approximately 65 children from service families for a full schedule of fun and perhaps also a distraction from reality.

“Anything we can do for the families of the men and women that serve and of course their children who are sacrificing not being with their mom or their dad and realize they are appreciated is truly special.” Jim Tressel, Ohio State football head coach, said. 

“You’d have to really not be paying attention if you didn’t know the impact that our military has had and those that have served over the course of our history,” Tressel, who greeted the families prior to their lunch break, continued. “We take any chance we can get to let them know we appreciate them. When you see their families having fun, it’s a bonus. It is those people back home that really are sacrificing as well.”

The children learned about living a healthy, active lifestyle while their parents attended a STRONG Family Workshop session at the university’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Fred Taylor Drive.

Campers participated in activity sessions on the Buckeye outdoor practice fields at the Harmon Family Football Park. The children were instructed by Ohio State student-athletes from the soccer, lacrosse and track teams. Groups also enjoyed tours of the Les Wexner Football Complex and Ohio Stadium.

Mark Wilson, compliance and camp coordinator in the OSU department of athletics, served as the event director and envisions a strong future with “Operation Military Kids Hero Camp.”

“It truly was an exciting day for all parties involved,” Wilson said. “From the campers, to the families and our staff, including the student-athletes, the time spent together today truly was priceless and a win-win event for everyone. We’d like to thank our partners at University Extension, 4-H and the National Guard as we look forward to working with them in the future and developing this into an even better event next year and well into the future.”

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