"They've always had it earlier here ... but this is really the best time to have it, right before youth football signups and before school starts," Settles said.
He admitted that the camp was later than it had been in recent years in part because of his transition into the job, but he said it will be good for those who plan to play youth football because their enthusiasm can carry over almost directly from the camp to their first practices.
"We also can have our youth coordinator here at the camp," Settles said.
About 80 kids attended the three-day camp for first- through eighth-graders. They got to work with Lincoln's coaches and many of the players, whose practices began only an hour or so after the daily camp sessions ended.
"We have about 95 percent of our high school players," Settles said. "They have a big time out there with the kids."
So do Lincoln's coaches. Assistant coach Daniel Foster was pressed into service at the last minute as a guest speaker at the end of Tuesday's session, and he said he had fun even though it was his first speaking engagement.
"I didn't know until this morning," he said.
Building skills and having fun
Settles said it's important to make sure the kids also have a good time even as they learn some football skills.
"Kids want to come back when they have fun, and that's our goal," he said.
"That's the main part, to make it fun for them, and hopefully they learn a little something," Foster added.
The coaches have learned a few things, too, such as why kids at different age levels have to be taught differently.
"With the youngest ones, you try to teach them stuff early while you still have their attention," Foster said. "Then you get into the competitions, and you wouldn't believe how competitive these first- and second-graders are. They all know who's winning and who's doing the best."
Settles wants them all to get better to ensure that Lincoln's high school program stays sound.
"This is our future, and it's an excellent chance for me to see what we have in the lower levels and to get to know the kids' names," he said.