Tampa Bay Lightning Girls host summer camp

- After practice, Tampa Bay Lightning Girls Captain Alyssa Kent gathered a room full of around 40 young ladies, ages roughly 6-10, for a team-building activity.

She told each girl to find a friend nearby and say "you are amazing." And repeat six times.

That's the second annual Tampa Bay Lightning Girls Summer Camp in a nutshell. The ladies who spend hockey season cheering on the Bolts and pumping up the crowds spend their off-season showing future generations of Lightning Girls how to be a great teammate.

"We're making all the activities fun and relatable to all the girls," Kent said.

Activities include street hockey, yoga, cheerleading, and dancing.

The girls are learning and practicing a routine they will perform for parents and coaches at the end of the five-day camp Friday.

"I get to meet new girls. I get to dance, and I get to have a lot of fun," 8-year-old Sydney Brannon said. 

As the girls learn more of the routine each day, Kent says it's more than just memorizing steps.

"It's more about letting their confidence shine," she said.

That's also the message that Girls on the Run - Greater Tampa Bay hopes to spread. The group has partnered with the Lightning Girls for this year's camp and is sharing daily lessons about socials skills, conflict resolution, and helping others.

"Growing up right now, as a girl, it's hard," GOTR Greater Tampa Bay Executive Director Laura Moore said. "When they're trying to figure out who they are, it's so important to put them in an environment that they can do that in a positive way, so that can be their best selves."

But in the end, those lessons are part of the daily activities. An 8-year-old may sum it up best: "A lot of people should come to it, a lot of girls, because it's a lot of fun," Makaia Mohammed said.

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