Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp
Sept. 6, 2003
By John Lata, Office of Student Services
Community service is a continuing priority for all student-athletes at Florida State University. In any given year, our student-athletes, will do between four and five thousand hours total of community service in an incredible variety of locales and with an incredible variety of constituencies.
This summer, two of our Seminole football student-athletes participated in a different kind of summer camp. Kevin Emanuel and Greg Jones took a full day out of their already amazingly busy schedules to visit with the kids at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp 2003 at Cape San Blas.
The Florida State University Athletics Department has a motto that "To whom much has been given, much is expected." And this summer, Emanuel and Jones took that motto and ran with it.
This is the second straight year that our football student-athletes visited this camp, and the kids were very quick to inquire how one of last year's guests was currently doing. Former Seminole Nick Maddox, now with the San Diego Chargers, made quite an impression on the camp, and the kids wanted to know where he was, how he was progressing in the pros and even discuss some of the plays they remembered from last year's season - and they remembered quite a few!
The kids took rather quickly to both Emanuel and Jones, doing a little fishing together, tossing the Nerf football around the pool, playing cards and, of course, the inevitable Madden 2004 football challenge between the kids and Emanuel. Apparently he held his own, but there was some discussion of a rematch.
Cape San Blas is a scenic location. The drive down was nice, the food was good, the people were exceptional, but the day was all about camaraderie and getting a chance to spend time with some kids who will no doubt be Jones' and Emanuel's biggest fans this season.
It was a day that won't soon be forgotten by quite a few people, but probably mostly by our guys.
"The kids come to the camp only for one week every year to relax and play and to have a good time. The symptoms that the kids face are a generalized weakness of their muscles, affecting the limbs and the trunk area first. On top of all that, the disease progresses slowly and their likely survival is only to the age of 25. My visit with these kids was joyful and meaningful. To see these kids having fun as if nothing was wrong with them was a joy to my eyes. An experience like this really makes you realize how lucky you are just to walk and live life normally." - Greg Jones