Good Evening Courageous Travelers!
All I can say is “GO PACK GO!” I heard that all the way back to all of the drop off locations after this huge event! What an amazing opportunity that our travelers had today! They were full of excitement, joy, happiness, and some even had goosebumps, as the majority of them had been waiting a long time to meet their favorite Packers players.
Our journey started off in Maquoketa, picking up traveler, Spencer, who was decked out in all his Packer gear. Our next stop was in Davenport, where we welcomed Packer fans, Kathy, Kevin, Jim, and Tom. Kevin was all ready with his cheese head on top of his head! Our next stop was in Iowa City picking up Packer fans Austin, Abraham, Justin, Alexis, Brian, Afton, and Darlene. We also picked up volunteers Russ and Tara. Brian was one of the many travelers who kept shouting “GO PACK GO!”. We made our way down Hwy 1 to pick up Packer fan, Daniel in Anamosa. Our final pick ups were in Monticello, where we picked up Packer fans Ronnie and Allen along with volunteer Treva.
The gate opened promptly at 4:30pm. Our group was already cheering and shouting for the Packers. They even shouted “hi” to Charlie Becker. Sonya led us through the gate where we unloaded everyone right in front of the pavillian. Before we knew it, the Green Bay Packer bus came rolling through the Camp Courageous gate. Everyone was in awe when they saw the bus pull up. The travelers took many pictures, bought some hats and shirts for souvenirs, participated in the silent auction, and more. Traveler Kevin even won his prize. At the Tailgate event they served brats, hot dogs, chips, cookies, and drinks. The travelers really enjoyed it very much.
Before we knew it, the line was already forming for the autographs, so we stood in line to make sure we had a good spot! All of a sudden at 6 o’clock on the dot, the Camp Courageous train came rolling into the depot with the players! It was a great sight to see. The train dropped off the players right in front of their bus, they got out, and made their way to the stage. The CEO, Mark Murphy said hello to the crowd and everyone started cheering “GO PACK GO”! The CEO introduced three alumni players, Rob Davis, Daniel “Bubba” Franks, and Antonio Freeman. He also introduced three current players, Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez, and Ty Montgomery. The crowd had the chance to ask questions while we listened to the players as they explained the future of the Packers. After the Q&A was over, we started the autograph line as we made our way into the pavilion. We made our way through the line, cheering for the Packers, while talking to many other fans while we waited. At that moment, Spencer said “I’m having a blast.”
Before we continue, I’d like to mention that two of our travelers, Kevin and Austin, and volunteer counselor Russ, were chosen to be VIP guests before the event started. They were super excited about it, and so grateful for the opportunity to meet the players up close and personal. They didn’t share much about their experience, but what I do know is that there were a lot of smiles, high fives, and excitement. Be sure to check out the Courageous Travels Facebook page for an insider’s look at their behind the scene experience.
After awhile we finally made it to the front where the players were signing autographs. They were signing footballs, hats, and posters. All of our travelers were able to get a poster signed by each of the players and Alumni. It went quick, but we did get some fun picutres of them talking to their favorite players. Before we knew it, it was time to load the bus and make our way back. The travelers were cheering “GO PACK GO” all the way to Maquoketa. Spencer carried on about much fun he had. The travelers from HDC were telling their staff how much fun it was for them as well. The travelers in Iowa City told their staff of how much fun they had too. Volunteer Tara and mother of Austin, said how amazing it was that we had the chance to experience something so great. She was very thankful that we gave the travelers the opportunity to go to this event.
We arrived back at camp around 11:45pm. All of the travelers were dropped off and picked up.
Thank you SO much to the Green Bay Packers for choosing Camp Courageous as their stop in Iowa during their Tailgate Tour. Thank you to all of the volunteers and staff who made it such a memorable afternoon!