Lightning’s camp-filled summer helped keep kids cool

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Take a look at everything that went down during the Tampa Bay Lightning's handful of summer camps.

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JASSEN CULLIMORE: We're in Ellenton today. finishing up our summer camps. We've had a girls camp, two entry-level camps, and then two week-long camps, which we've had two groups in those, so it's been a good summer, and we're just finishing up here in Ellenton.

Our numbers are up. We had the most ever kids in camp, so we see that the programs that we're involved in here with the Lightning are doing their job. They're growing the game, and we're getting those kids out here in camps. And it's just great seeing these kids. A lot of them we've seen in past years at our camp. So seeing them grow and develop as people, and as hockey players.

AARON HUMPHREY: So as far as on ice workouts, you know, something that we need to continue working on with the kids is their work ethic, you know. When you're coming out on the ice, you want to make sure that you're trying your hardest each and every day, that way, you know, you keep getting better. You're trying to work towards something to better yourself as a hockey player. You know, it also correlates to off the ice.

All the conditioning drills that we went through, it's very important for these kids because it keeps them going, you know, not only on the ice, but off the ice. You know, they're pushing themselves as hard as they possibly can. Because that's the whole point of this kind of program is you want to make sure that the kids are getting up and out and having fun, and trying their hardest, and also making friends while they're here.

JASSEN CULLIMORE: I enjoy bringing the soccer ball out on the ice. I don't know if you'd call it "sockey" or "hocker," but-- Yeah, I think it helps them develop their edges, their balance, because they're kicking the ball with their skates. And they don't realize they're doing it, so it's a way to include some learning, some teaching, with them having fun, and not even realizing it's going on.

Hockey, here in Tampa area, it's very exciting to see the growth, to see these kids develop, like I said. The Learn to Play program, we have anywhere between 300 to 700 kids signing up new, who have never even tried the game of hockey, and they're doing that every year now. So we're seeing those kids progress to our camps, and they come out, and hopefully we can develop them to get to the point where, you know, we just had a local kid, Nathan Smith, here in Florida who got drafted to the NHL in the third round. So that, you know, it would be nice to hopefully see that happen more often here in Florida.

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