GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- Friday put a cap on another successful year of the Grand Rapids Griffins youth camp held at Griff's Ice House at Belknap Park. Kids from ages 6 to 16 were able to get eleven hours of on-ice instruction as well as eleven hours of dry-land training and video sessions. The camp was led by former Griffin defenseman and NHL veteran, Joel Kwiatkowski and Griffins assistant Matt MacDonald.
"Whether it's to see sick kids, whether it's going to play street hockey, a hockey camp here, giving back to the community is something we have a lot of pride in," MacDonald mentioned.
Griffins players Chris Terry and Dominik Shine also made appearance throughout the week as well as assistant coach and NHL veteran, Mike Knuble.
"All the players and coaches want to be a part of it, from day one we make sure guys know that's something that's expected," MacDonald said on community involvement. "99-percent of guys want to do it anyway so it's just an opportunity to go out and give back to the community that gives us a lot."
Of course, the kids got a lot out of the camp as well.
"Some of the things I learned were like transitioning from skating forward to backwards and starting and stopping," said 10-year old camper, Reilly Meyer from Byron Center.
Some campers came to Grand Rapids from hours away just to get instruction from the professionals, such as 13-year old Luke Anderson from Saginaw.
"I wanted to get some experience and become a better hockey player," Anderson said, "plus some skating experience from the pro players."