Ben Stille doesn’t know exactly when the light bulb went off to host a youth summer camp. What he does know is that he and teammate JoJo Domann—both Blackshirts on the Nebraska football team—were in Colorado Springs, Colorado, visiting the Domann family. The new era of name, image and likeness in college athletics was still a couple of months away at this point, but Nebraska was preparing.
The Huskers had a number of meetings—both in-person and over Zoom—with Opendorse in preparation of NIL.
“And they had given us ideas and stuff to do,” Stille told Hail Varsity. “Being myself, just every idea that they had sounded like a good idea to me. I was like, ‘I want to do them all.’
“A camp was one of the ideas and I’m trying to do them all.”
Domann’s parents, Craig and Teddi, had plenty of experience with camps themselves. They had started a yearly instructional camp for youth in 2006, with Domann participating both as a camper and as a volunteer.
For Stille, the Ashland, Nebraska, native grew up meeting Huskers and participating in camps around the area himself. He also likes working with kids—same as Domann—and has wanted an opportunity to give back to the Nebraska community in some way. All of that, alongside Domann’s knowledge in the camp world, was simply “a good fit.” The “Stille & Domann Youth Football Camp” was born.
Scheduled for Saturday, July 17 at Speedway Sports Park in Lincoln, Nebraska, the camp features both Stille and Domann as instructors, as well as a number of other Huskers. They will lead “the camp participants in drills and skills to teach them the proper fundamentals of football, both offense, and defense. This is a non-contact camp and hydration stations will be provided.” The camp is open to both boys and girls, ages 7–14.
Stille and Domann know the registration fee won’t be possible for every youth that wants to attend. That’s why the two are offering a number of scholarships, encouraging families to get in touch if they’d like more details.
“The main objective was really just to provide the camp to as many kids as possible and not let distance, not let money be an issue for any of that,” Stille said. “We’re just trying to make it as accessible to everyone as possible.”
Part of that accessibility is also making the camp a welcome space for boys and girls. It was even the woman who helped put Stille’s personal website and the camp information together that asked: “Is this open to girls too?”
“‘I don’t know why it wouldn’t be,'” Stille responded. For Stille and Domann, there was never a question about how the camp should be run. “Really, our goal is to just make it so everyone of all ages, all genders, from wherever they are, can attend,” he said.
The two Blackshirts are looking forward to a number of aspects about the camp, but especially the opportunity to work with the youth in attendance. Domann has spoken about what camps did for him as a child, and how it brought a “realness” to the sport. He saw those he looked up to in person and was able to then see himself in their shoes.
The same could be said for Stille every time he met or saw a Husker growing up.
“It closed, bridged that gap between the two and made it seem more of a possibility,” Stille said. “Really, I think that’s a huge part of it. Just interacting on a more personal level with the kids and making their dreams become more of a reality to them.”
Registration for the Stille & Domann Youth Football Camp is now open. Pre-registration is $49, with walk-up on the day of increasing to $59. Campers will receive a T-shirt, lunch and the opportunity for autographs from Stille, Domann and additional Huskers following the camp.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.