The Bears were excited to return to the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais again this summer for 7UP Chicago Bears Training Camp. Thousands of fans attended practice during the three weeks the Bears were in town, and off the field, the Bears were working to make an impact in the Bourbonnais-Kankakee community.
Nearly 600 children from various charitable organizations were guests of the Bears at practices during training camp, including BOUNCE Children's Foundation, Catholic Charities – Diocese of Joliet, Chasing Dreams, Christ the King Jesuit College Prep, Leo Catholic High School, Northwestern Settlement, Special Olympics Chicago, Special Olympics Illinois, TomCat Youth Football, UNO, and USO of Illinois. The kids received lunch and Bears goodies, watched practice from a private set of bleachers, and had the chance to meet some of their favorite players and receive autographs following practice.
Additionally, over 2,000 young football fans participated in the Bears Mini Monster Zone, brought to you by Advocate Health Care, throughout camp. Mini Monsters was set up each practice day from 10am – 2pm and gave kids of all ages the opportunity to run through a variety of fun, non-contact football drills, while stressing the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
The Bears closed out camp on Sunday, August 13 with a beloved training camp tradition, when Head Coach John Fox and his staff participated in the annual Coaches' Bike Giveaway. As has become custom, all of the Bears coaches use bicycles instead of golf carts to get around the ONU campus. The coaches then donate the bikes to deserving youngsters from the Bourbonnais-Kankakee area following the last practice of camp. The Bears worked with Catholic Charities and the Illinois State police to identify 25 deserving recipients. After presenting the kids with their new bikes, as well as a lock, water bottle and helmet, the coaches enjoyed visiting and taking photos with them on the field. A few players, including quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Mitchell Trubisky, even stopped by to admire the kids' new rides!
Thank you for a great camp, Bourbonnais! We'll see you next summer!