Cub Scouts score day of training with Frankfurt Galaxy
Stars and Stripes June 26, 2003
HEIDELBERG, Germany — Midway through a five-day Cub Scouts summer camp in Heidelberg, the Frankfurt Galaxy held a one-day football course for children from five military communities in the first through fifth grades.
Ralf Kleinmann, the Galaxy’s place-kicker, stressed conditioning and football technique for every position and then led the children in flag football competitions.
Franky, the Galaxy mascot, helped the Scouts do passing drills with an inflatable trainer. Posters and autograph books were given as prizes to those who threw a pass into the trainer.
“This is cool. I’ve never really played, but I like it,” said Christian Sanchez, 9, a Webelo from Mannheim. He received both prizes for his talent on the field.
Harold Conway, 10, a Webelo from Gräfenhausen, said he enjoyed meeting a professional football player. He said he just wishes they could play football more often.
The Cubs had their T-shirts, posters, books and football trading cards autographed.
Kleinmann, 32, and one of the top scorers in the history of NFL Europe, has just been signed to a contract with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will leave for the States on July 15. Though Kleinmann is German, he said he gave up soccer for football 16 years ago. He said he began playing the American sport by accident.
“I had been playing soccer for six years and I wasn’t growing,” he said. “I couldn’t go up any further and I wasn’t satisfied. A friend of mine told me there was a new American football team in Cologne. We went to see it and one week later I was in practice.”
While with the Galaxy, Kleinmann received three World Bowl rings, awarded to the league champions.
Kleinmann, who has a 14-month-old son, said he enjoys teaching children and giving them motivation to become better.
Ted Odenthal, camp leader, asked the Frankfurt Galaxy if it would teach Cub Scouts the sport to help them earn their sports belt loop.
“Sports are stressed in Cub Scouts,” Odenthal said. “I thought rather than just have them out there playing Ultimate Frisbee, I could get a professional out here teaching them,” Odenthal said.
The camp started Monday and will end Friday. Its theme is Sea Adventure, with the majority of activities geared toward marine life. Other camp activities are computer programming, arts and crafts, orienteering, archery, BB gun target shooting and field training.
The Cubs will end the camp by making sails out of bed sheets and flying them on flag poles put up with mariner knots.
Other camps are scheduled throughout Europe. For details, contact the Transatlantic Council of the Boy Scouts at DSN 375-4039 or local Cub Scouts.