MDA Camp profoundly impacts Plant players

By Katherine Smith, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Judge Culpepper’s run routes hundreds of times. But this week, it’s different.

“A whole different outlook now," Culpepper said. "You’ve got kids that would do anything to go out and do what I’m doing and sweat and feel tired, you know.”

A week at Muscular Dystrophy Camp has a way of altering the way you see the world. Plant High players came back from camp with a different perspective, not just with football, but with life in general.

“They learn not to take for granted some of these blessing that they’ve had,' Plant coach Robert Weiner said. "In fact, some of these blessings are things that they complain about. The sun is beating down on us and the turf is hot, but we just spent a week with kids who would literally die if they could do one push up.”

At MDA camp, players work with children with varying degrees of disabilities. But it was more than helping someone in and out of the pool, it was a life changing experience.

“They attack every single day with the same fire that we attack football practice," Culpepper said. "And it’s really inspiring and humbling and it was amazing.

 “I came back and I kind of took a deep breath and I was like, wow, I’m so happy I did that," Panthers linebacker Micah McFadden said. "It was for the kids, but I think I got more out of it than any of the kids did.”

That’s the byproduct of a week at MDA Camp. A greater appreciation for everything.

“The more that we can engage ourselves with things like Muscular Dystrophy Camp, the more that we can realize how we can be our best selves every single day,” Weiner said.

MDA Camp has a way of showing up on the football field on Friday nights. That team unity forged off the field during that one week spent with campers, carries over onto the field.