Helping ensure all practice sessions at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., go smoothly, get to know all that the Redskins Training Camp Ambassadors do on a daily basis.
Training camp is just around the corner at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, and while all eyes will be on the Redskins' 90-man roster as they look to compete for a spot to help defend the NFC East title, the 18-day training camp wouldn't be complete without the work of the Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors.
Who are the Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors?
A Richmond Training Camp Ambassador is either a resident of the city of Richmond, the surrounding areas, or even from another state who provides high levels of customer service for all fans and guests that attend the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.
They also ensure each day is fun and safe for all attendees.
Among their duties, Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors greet attendees as they arrive, assist in parking operations and assist with daily setup and breakdown.
The approximate 250 Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors were chosen based on a selection process by the City of Richmond staff along with the Redskins' operations staff.
Redskins.com recently caught up with veteran Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors to share their experiences working training camps at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.
Robert Bryant What is a typical day at Redskins training camp like for a Richmond Training Camp Ambassador?
"This will be my fourth year as an Ambassador and HR Ambassador. I usually arrive at noon for my afternoon shift. Everyone is usually smiling and full of energy. We check everyone in [and] I usually bring Krispy Kreme doughnuts several times for my fellow Ambassadors and tomatoes from my garden. We are like one big family. We get out on the field and I enjoy talking to the fans, building a rapport with them and trying to make their experience a great one! I walk around talking to the fans and answering any questions they may have. It is a long day, but the fans keep your adrenaline flowing. It is not until the day is over that you feel the aches and pains from being on your feet all day. It is all worth it though!"
What are the perks of being a Richmond Training Camp Ambassador?
"The perks? Just being there on the field with the players and fans is the biggest one! I am working all 13 practices so I get an autograph and photo session with the players the day after training camp at their last walkthrough practice. They give us a Panel football after nine days and after 12 days we are given two tickets and a parking pass to either the Cleveland Browns or Minnesota Vikings game. Last year, for being an HR Ambassador, I got a field pass for me and a friend for the Buffalo Bills game. My friend John who has been battling cancer, really enjoyed the experience!"
What is your advice for the first-year Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors?
"I would tell any first time Ambassadors to enjoy it and make it the best experience you can. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, keep a smile on your face and talk to the fans! I tell them the camp is as much fun as you make it. I also tell them to tell the fans to not come with huge expectations. If you get an autograph it is awesome, but some days it just won't happen with so many fans and so few players to sign autographs and to take pics. Let them know what to expect. Tell them the rules ahead of time and tell them to keep hydrated. My fans never get angry. They leave with a smile and I know they will be back again! YES! They are my fans! They love the Redskins like I do! We are Ambassadors for the City of Richmond and the Redskins. We are volunteers and that means you are doing something because you love it and you don't expect anything in return. If that isn't why you are here other than to see what you can get out of it from the Redskins and the City of Richmond, then you are here for the wrong reasons."
What has your experience been as a Richmond Training Camp Ambassador?
"My experiences in the past few years have all been great, to include meeting/talking/assisting many fans who would travel for thousands of miles to see their team."
What is a typical day like for you?
"[My main job has been] checking in other Ambassadors. Once checked in, I tend to do my rounds to make sure they are at their assigned locations, then approximately one hour prior to practice I would make my rounds again, to make sure they have water, snack and bathroom breaks! While, chatting with them and asking how their day is doing and other things."
What advice would you give for new Richmond Training Camp Ambassadors?
"They have to be customer service-oriented, able to stand for long periods of time and withstand heat. Most importantly, flexible."
For more information on the 2016 Redskins Training Camp Ambassadors, check out http://www.richmondgov.com/NeighborToNeighbor/TrainingCamp.aspxwww.Richmondgov.com.