Thumbs up to the city of Mankato and the Vikings agreeing to a three-year contract that will keep the team coming to Mankato for its summer training camp.
The deal, announced just before the start of this year's camp, is especially satisfying because it guarantees the team and city will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the camp being here in 2015.
Over the years there have been been a few occasions when area fans and city leaders worried the team could be lured to another city for camp or that the Vikings could move camp to their new stadium when it is finished in a few years. But the team and city and Vikings officials recently reiterated that their long-term plans are to continue coming to Mankato.
Holding camp in Mankato has been mutually beneficial. The team gets all their needs met with high-quality facilities and a professional MSU staff and the city's businesses and fans benefit.
MoonDogs fitness program a real hit
Thumbs up to the Mankato MoonDogs baseball team and Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union for support and management of a summer fitness program for area youth.
The program has the college baseball players running a fitness camp for about 450 youth in the Mankato area. About 20 MoonDog players have been advising the kids ages kindergarten through 7th grade on healthy eating and outdoor fitness activities.
The program has a set curriculum through the ACES child care program through Mankato Area Public Schools Community Education and Recreation Department.
The players serve as mentors and help reinforce the idea of making health choices early in life. The program is a win-win for the players, the kids and their parents. Players get an opportunity and feel for service work while they are in college and kids have a fun activity that promotes good health.