Imagining summer camp with international footballer Emeka Ezeugo

What do the Nigeria Super Eagles and Camp Chateaugay in the Adirondacks have in common?

Mr. Emeka Ezeugo.

Anyone who knows international soccer – football, for our purposes here – will recognize the name Ezeugo. He is lauded for his illustrious 15-year career as a football defender/midfielder and a skilled coach.

“Emmy” played professional football on five continents, including countries like the USA, Nigeria, India, Peru, and Bangladesh. Some of his most notable accomplishments were playing for Nigeria in the 1994 World Cup – that team is still regarded as the finest team in the country’s history – and in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Later in his career, Ezeugo made the move from player to coach. He is currently the head coach for the Abia Warriors, a Nigerian Premier League team.

During the summers of 2004-2006, Chateaugay campers between the ages of 7-15 got the chance to have him as their coach. Camp Chateaugay is probably most well-known for its stunning geographical location, a draw for campers and staffers alike. Set in the Adirondack Mountains in rural New York State, the camp is a quarter-mile away from the shores of Upper Chateaugay Lake and attracts campers from all around the world.

Imagine all the things a kid could learn from a world-famous Nigerian footballer. Perhaps he taught his students how to kill it on the green pro-style – I can just see a whole team of campers on the field practicing bicycle kicks, scissor kicks, and headers. Glory.

Or, more likely, a pro like Ezeugo taught campers about the passion and dedication it takes to become a professional – I was married to football when I was born,” Ezeugo once said. Lessons like that stick with a kid. How do you get a job you love? Love what you do, work hard, and dedicate yourself to it fully.

I’d say that’s a pretty good take-away for a couple weeks at sleepaway camp.

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