For the first time since 1997, Bitburg didn’t host DODDS-Europe’s annual summer football camp, but the camp’s three days of intensive instruction remain solidly in place, according to someone who should know.

“The template of the camp has been developed over the years,” said Bitburg’s Len Haristone. Haristone was the assistant to longtime coach Rik Carr, who retired after last season. “The only thing that’s missing is Rik.”

Players who attended previous camps noticed one other difference.

“The only difference,” said Wiesbaden’s Paul Fry, “is that it’s farther to walk to the commissary here than in Bitburg.”

Special instruction

In addition to the instruction in football fundamentals and physical conditioning, football campers here also prepare for their special situation in the wide-ranging landscape of DODDS-Europe football.

All 425 campers, along with their coaches, sleep on cots in Bitburg’s gym and wrestling room, just as they’ll often do on road trips during the season.

Bumps and bruises

Army medics from the Würzburg Hospital are on the scene at camp.

“I’d say we’ve treated about 25 injuries,” said medic Megan Kalbfleisch, a Reservist from the 348th General Hospital in New York. “That’s less than I’d expect from a group this size.”

Kalbfleisch, who said she enjoyed this break from the routine at the clinic, admitted that she hadn’t had much experience dealing with sports injuries.

Not that it matters.

“A medic is a medic,” she said.

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