Soccer and Fun Come to National City Children

Created: 13 July, 2017
Last update: 20 April, 2022

By Mario A. Cortez

Photo courtesy of The First Goal

National City kids were treated to a week full of activities through a camp at Las Palmas Elementary School this past week.

The First Goal, a local nonprofit which works with volunteers in both San Diego County and Tijuana, organized the five-day camp with the intent of promoting education and healthy lifestyles among children.

Laurel Swanson, co-founder of The First Goal, spoke with La Prensa San Diego about the activities held during the camp.
“An average day begins with check-in at 9 a.m. and then we have we have rotating stations,” Swanson said. “Each station features a different activity such as soccer, arts and crafts, and a guest speaker.”

During a regular camp day, three groups made up of children ages seven and eight, ages nine and 10, and ages 11 and 12 rotate through the various stations and activities set up as part of the camp.

This past Tuesday, July 11, members of the National City Fire Department were invited to interact with the kids and to talk about what they do and how to become a firefighter, as well as partaking in other activities.

“The firefighters are professionals and can provide examples of someone they might want to be when they grow up, which will have a lasting impact on the kids,” Swanson explained. “The purpose behind the guest speakers is to show the kids that they can accomplish whatever they want to in their lives and we try to cover different professions in order to show the kids careers that they might not have exposure to.”

This week, guests included members of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Humane Society, and FIFA women’s World Cup winner Shannon MacMillan, who brought her first-place medal with her.

Volunteer soccer coaches run drills with the children in all three age groups and help them polish their soccer skills. At the end of the day, the kids get to participate in a end-of-the-day game.

“It’s a safe, fun learning environment to help them grow and become healthy people,” Swanson said.
The First Goal’s next camp will be held next month in Tijuana and will feature similar activities.