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Colt Anderson's Dream Big Skills Camp draws hundreds of kids to Naranche Stadium

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jun 28, 2024

BUTTE — Friday marked the fifth year that Colt Anderson's Dream Big Montana Uptop Skills Camp overtook Naranche Stadium, and as the camp's namesake happily pointed out, "Every year we keep getting bigger."

"It's something we look forward to every year," said Anderson, who was hired as the Tennessee Titans special teams coordinator in February. "My wife (Keelie) and our board put a lot of time and effort into this event. It's a lot of work but at the end of the day it's all worth it.

"It takes an army of people. The community here, all the volunteers giving up their time to give back to the kids is truly a blessing. And we're so fortunate to have the support that we do."

Some 600 kids, from kindergarten through eighth grade, participated in a series of drills coached by a mixture of Butte High and Butte Central athletes, Montana and Montana State athletes and current and former NFL players, including Ryan Jensen, a former Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers center, and Lorenzo Alexander, who played in the NFL for 14 seasons and retired in 2019 after a four-year run with the Buffalo Bills.

Also in attendance was Butte native and former Montana football All-Big Sky Conference tackle Dylan Cook who is now entering his second season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His football journey followed a similar path as Anderson's. After graduating from Butte High and spending two seasons at MSU-Northern, he joined Montana as a walk-on, eventually earned a scholarship and then earned his first shot in the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

At Friday's camp, the 6-foot-6 Cook was a towering personification of the Dream Big message, and he said that his journey from the Mining City to the professional level required a lot of self belief.

"It's massively important because you talk to yourself more than you talk to anybody else," said Cook. "In my own head to tell myself that I need to dream big and have massive goals and that my dreams need to be huge. That was all the confidence I needed in myself to do it."

While the skills camp may be one of the more visible aspect of his foundation, Anderson pointed out that there's a lot more ways that they are able to support kids throughout the year, including a pantry program that works with Butte's schools to provide free essentials to kids such as clothing and hygiene products.

And while he and his family are settling into life in Nashville, he said he'll continue to call Butte home.

"This is where I was born and raised," Anderson said. "My kids still think they're from Butte even though only one of our four boys was born here. Butte's home."