Longtime Toledo educator hosts 21st annual football camp

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:56 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2023 at 3:18 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) -A Toledo educator and former football star continues his mission of giving back to the youth.

Fueled by his strong sense of service, Dr. Carnel Smith will kick off his 21st annual football camp.

With decades of supporting, encouraging and inspiring youth in the Toledo area, the mission of the camp continues to instill far more than just offensive and defensive football skills.

“Along with that, we want to teach social skills. So we teach that based off the words of the day each day. It may be respect. It may be discipline. It may be character. All of these words all blend in with football and we believe that football in sports, in general is a great metaphor for life,” Dr. Smith said.

The free camp is for boys in third grade to eighth grade. It is not a contact camp but a safe space for kids to fall in love with the sport.

“There are many kids out here that have never played football, and never will, and they come to get the social skills to get the interactive move,” Dr. smith said. “It builds confidence in what we see a lot of time. The confidence is built in those kids eventually become leaders. And sometimes they catch a bug and they become players to.”

Dr. Smith said the youth are fed up with the violence on the streets of Toledo and want to be a part of something positive.

“This is why the community hast to come together, and we work together. I’ve been working with other agencies with their youth summer program, so during the week of June 12 or the 16th, many of them who have young men third through eighth grade will bring them here to be a part of the camp. It’s going to take all of us because our kids desperately need all of us,” Dr. Smith said.

The first 100 kids will get a free book bag and shirt.

Longtime Toledo educator Dr. Carnel Smith hosts his 21st annual football camp
Longtime Toledo educator Dr. Carnel Smith hosts his 21st annual football camp(WTVG)