Jacob's Soccer Camp & Fun Bunch Soccer
Jacob's Soccer Camp 2016, Richard Montgomery High School
| ||Jacob’s Soccer Camp was originally started by Jacob Cohen, a youth soccer player from Philadelphia, PA. During his time volunteering at the Variety Club in Philadelphia, Jacob observed that many of the physically or developmentally challenged children he was working with demonstrated a real enjoyment of the game of soccer and he felt that these kids would likely enjoy the opportunity to receive more specialized training. At the same time, he felt that many of his soccer friends would gain a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment out of helping other kids.|
Fun Bunch Soccer was created in the fall of 2011 by Gena Mitchell and her husband Brian who have spent many a weekend afternoon cheering on daughter Emme’s BSC teams. All the while Emme’s sister Devin, who has Down syndrome, spent the time on the sidelines watching her sister play soccer and frequently asking when it would be her turn to play. Having played sports as children and young adults themselves, Gena and Brian knew the benefits children get from being on a team. When they could not find a soccer program for Devin, they created Fun Bunch, starting with five players in the fall of 2011. With each season the Fun Bunch roster grew, and last fall Fun Bunch reached an all time high of 122 players and 99 volunteers.
In September 2016, Bethesda Soccer club became Fun Bunch’s first club sponsor. “As a premier club, Bethesda Soccer Club is training leaders on the field and now with the addition of a Fun Bunch team, they are showing their commitment to building strong community leaders as well,” said Mitchell.
Hale Lieberman (BSC 2000 Blue) learned about Jacob’s Camp in Philadelphia and was so inspired by the concept that he took on the task of starting the first Jacob’s Camp outside of Pennsylvania. With field time and equipment donated by Bethesda Soccer Club, last year’s first run of Jacob’s Camp in Bethesda was a rousing success. This coming summer, Hale is looking forward to growing the camp to include the Bethesda Soccer Club Fun Bunch players as well as other campers with disabilities, in addition to more volunteers.
“Volunteering at Jacob’s Camp is very rewarding and a great environment to make new friends. Each volunteer is paired with a physically or developmentally disabled child, and has the opportunity to build an unforgettable relationship with that camper during the course of the week. It's a great way to leverage Bethesda Soccer’s training for community service.”
This year, Jacob’s Camp runs from June 26 - June 30 at Wootton High School. Campers are signing up now and volunteers are needed every day from 9am - Noon ET for the camp. For more information on Jacob’s Camp including camper sign-up, click here. To sign-up as a volunteer at Jacob’s Camp click here.
Fun Bunch soccer’s spring season starts later this month (March 2017) and they are looking for players and volunteers. For more information on Fun Bunch soccer including camper sign-up, click here. To sign-up as a volunteer for Fun Bunch soccer click here.