Camping with the Seahawks

Linebacker Will Herring is hosting a Skills and Drills Football Camp on Sunday, which is providing Seattle Seahawks tight end John Carlson with an opportunity to give something back to the next generation.

And on the final afternoon of his 10-day break from the Seahawks’ offseason conditioning program and OTA sessions, John Carlson will …

Help teammate Will Herring at the linebacker’s Skills and Drills Football Camp at Juanita High School in Kirkland?

What’s up with that? Is this any way to get the respite from football that coach Pete Carroll intended?

It is if you’re Carlson, the tight end who has caught 106 passes in his first two seasons with the Seahawks but is willing to drop everything when presented the opportunity to help the next generation.

“Any time you have a chance to interact with kids around the community I think it’s great,” Carlson said Thursday. “We’ve been given this platform as professional athletes to be examples to kids. I think you have to maximize that opportunity and give back.

“Besides, I enjoy working with kids.”

He is not alone. Linebacker David Hawthorne, running back Justin Forsett and safety Jamar Adams also are scheduled to help Herring from noon to 4 p.m. at his first annual camp that is open to those from 7-18 years of age.

The camp is free, but limited to the first 250 who register at

Hawthorne is hosting his own event – a second annual Youth Sports Festival – next Friday and Saturday, June 11-12, at Rainier Beach High School. Enrollment for middle, junior high and high school students is free for Saturday’s activities. You can register and find additional information at

Carlson’s involvement with Herring’s camp stems from his own experiences as a young athlete growing up in Litchfield, Minn., who harbored dreams of ascending to the next levels.

“There were a few athletes from kind of central upstate Minnesota that I followed growing up,” he said.

One of them was Craig Sauer, a linebacker at the University of Minnesota who went on to play for the Vikings as well as the Atlanta Falcons.

“He came in and spoke to my high school basketball team when I was in the ninth grade,” Carlson said. “It was fun for me as an aspiring college athlete – and hopefully professional athlete – to just kind of hear from these guys and pick their brains.

“I used what they could give me to become a better athlete, and a better person.”

The kind who doesn’t hesitate when asked to spend the final afternoon of his coach-imposed break from football giving something back to the next generation of aspiring athletes.