Rob Gronkowski football camp a 'touchdown' with youth at JBA

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, high-fives his team during a football camp on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, high-fives his team during a football camp on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, throws to a camper during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. Gronkowski ran through football drills at multiple stations teaching campers how to run routes and catch a football. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, throws to a camper during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. Gronkowski ran through football drills at multiple stations teaching campers how to run routes and catch a football. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, speaks with Britt McHenry, ESPN reporter, about his experience during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. The camp promoted health and wellness to military children in the NCR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, speaks with Britt McHenry, ESPN reporter, about his experience during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. The camp promoted health and wellness to military children in the NCR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, high fives a camper during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, high fives a camper during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, runs a route while a camper throws him a pass during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 kids during the two day camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, runs a route while a camper throws him a pass during a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 kids during the two day camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, runs football drills with participants of a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day football camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, runs football drills with participants of a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day football camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, clocks sprint times during a race at a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day football camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, clocks sprint times during a race at a ProCamps event on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day football camp. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, hands out medals at the end of a football camp held on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1-2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, hands out medals at the end of a football camp held on Joint Base Andrews, Md., July 1-2, 2015. Gronkowski, a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion, coached approximately 100 military children during the two-day event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Nearly 100 military children from the National Capital Region participated in a two-day Rob Gronkowski football camp promoting health and wellness among military children at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, July 1-2.

The camp came to JBA as a gift to the Youth Center here after the Andrews Commissary was announced one of 10 winners of a Procter & Gamble contest held during the Month of the Military Child.

During the event New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and his brother, Dan Gronkowski, former University of Maryland and National Football League player, spent time with military children offering football tips and instruction and playing in touch football games.  The first through eigth graders were placed in small groups with several other coaches attending the event to ensure maximum instruction of each of the children.

Suzanne Dubois, who retired out of JBA, had two children in attendance and was excited for them to be at the camp.

"I think it's fantastic," she said as she and her husband watched their eight-year-old twins run up and down the field with the Gronkowskis.  "They're having a blast. I really like that [the Gronkowskis] are rotating and going station to station and that it doesn't matter what capability the kid has, they're all still out here playing."

That's just the feeling Adam Ross, CEO of ProCamps Worldwide, hoped that everyone in attendance would have.

"I think first and foremost we want the kids to know that there are people that care. I think that's the most important thing," he said. "With what these kids go through -- with parents deployed and the challenges of military life, we want them to know that a guy like Rob Gronkowski, who could be sitting on a beach somewhere doing whatever he wanted, came to see them."

At the end of the day, the goal was simple: to have fun.

"I want them to have a memorable experience. I want these kids to watch Gronk on Sunday and be able to say, ' I caught a pass from that guy,'" Ross said.  "I want them to have something they'll walk away with they can say was a great, fun and unique experience with one of the biggest characters in the NFL."

For Rob Gronkowski, the event allowed him to give back to a group that he feels sacrifices so much.

"Everyone in the military and Air Force, thank you for what you guys do," he said as the second day of camp came to a close. "Freedom isn't free. Everything you guys do to come out here and support our country and go overseas helps me do what I do on Sundays and play the game of football.  It's just an honor to go out there and know that I'm protected and I have the freedom to go out there and play the game."

Col. Brad Hoagland, 11th Wing/JBA commander, was impressed with the camp.

"I think it's important for our youth to look at some role models who have competed at the National Football League level," he said. "These camps give them the skills and conditioning and motivate them to stay involved in team sports -- to be something bigger than themselves."

Additional ProCamps for military children are slated to be held throughout July at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.; and more.  For a full listing visit https://www.commissaries.com/procamps/index.cfm 
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