Where has the year flown? On May 29th, we welcomed kids from distressed communities in Mississippi and Georgia to our first camp session of the year! Thanks to friends like you, these kids came to Maryland all expenses paid. They were able to play ball at our picture perfect fields in Aberdeen, while also meeting new friends and trying new activities (like a climbing wall and ropes course) at an overnight camp site.
Later this month, we’ll be hosting another group of great kids at an overnight camp in Washington, DC! And of course, in addition to baseball/softball and fun camp activities, we will also be taking in some sights in our nation’s capital.
While a fun and exciting reward for our kids, summer camp is only a small portion of what the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation does. The rest of the year, the kids participate in programs like Badges for Baseball (where law enforcement officers serve as coaches and mentors) and Healthy Choices, Healthy Children (a curriculum mentors use to talk to kids about making healthy and productive choices for their futures). To learn more, visit our website or check out our annual report using the links below!
Foundation staff have been busy launching another year of Badges for Baseball and Healthy Choices, Healthy Children—now with a new Fitness Edition—in communities around the country.
The Healthy Choices, Healthy Children curriculum helps mentors talk to kids about the choices they make and teach them how to think through the consequences. While Healthy Choices, Healthy Children is usually taught alongside a team sport, we wanted to help our mentors and coaches incorporate fun and fresh ways to keep kids moving during all types of activities.
With the help of experts in youth development, fitness, and medicine, we developed the Fitness Edition as an additional tool to help our mentors and coaches. We piloted the Fitness Edition with a few program sites last fall, and this spring we are rolling it out at all our sites.
While it seems like it was just winter, the school year will be wrapping up before we know it! And do you know what that means? Time for summer camp! Our first camp session will be at the end of May. We can’t wait to share some great pictures and stories with you!
You can learn about all of the Foundation’s activities (like our Youth Development Park initiative) by visiting our website, signing up for our e-mails, liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter (@CalRipkenSrFdn).
Last summer, YOU gave hundreds of kids from across the country experiences of a lifetime. Many of these kids have never traveled outside their home state, never been on a plane, never been given a glove to call their own, never played on a synthetic turf field. Each year, even the staff are surprised by what is new to our kids—often many things that we take for granted. But don’t take our word for it!
We asked our campers what new things they tried at camp:
“Playing with different people from different places and making them your team!”
“I gave up a position I wanted to a kid who also wanted it. I had to try a new position, and it felt great what I did.”
“I tried to climb to the top of the rock wall. The reason it’s special is because I planned to go to the middle, but I pushed myself to go to the top.”
“My goal tomorrow is to try to do the obstacle course without hesitation and face my fear of heights.”
“Eat lazarna.” (We assume he meant “lasagna,” since that’s what was on the dinner menu.)
We also asked the kids what they would try to do in the future to be a leader and help improve others around them, whether it be at camp or after they went home:
“When my younger brother does something wrong, instead of yelling, I will teach him the right way so he will get it right the next time.”
“Congratulate the people that I play against tomorrow in baseball, even if we lose.”
“Push myself like I did today.”
“Help others and encourage them that they can do anything that they put their mind to.”
We have also attached a letter sent in by one of our campers, Santana, a 10 year old girl from Columbus, Georgia. This thank you letter goes to you!
It may be cold outside, but our staff is busy getting ready to serve more kids in 2012 through our national programming, which includes trips to our summer camp. Your support of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is making these experiences and life lessons possible. Thank you!
Unfortunately last August, Mother Nature got in the way and some of our kids were unable to come to camp, so we found a way to bring the camp experience to them. On Saturday, October 8th, we brought camp to 40 kids from our Wisconsin Badges for Baseball sites in Milwaukee, Beloit, Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, and Keshena.
In the morning, the boys and girls checked in for their team assignments and uniforms, including a baseball glove for each camper. Warm ups included relay races, agility drills, and lots of running around. Then the kids were off to various stations to work on their skills in throwing, hitting, and fielding, thanks to some help from the Wisconsin Lutheran College baseball team. The morning wrapped with fun competition drills and a Quickball tournament. Quickball is a fast-paced game similar to baseball, yet it can played by kids at all skill levels and can be played indoors or out. Then it was on the bus to Adventure Rock for—you guessed it—rock climbing. The kids had a blast pushing themselves to the top, testing their limits, and cheering on their friends. At the end, when asked, 100% of the campers said they pushed themselves higher than they ever thought they could on the rock wall.
We are grateful to the Wisconsin Department of Justice for their commitment to youth and also to all the coaches, chaperones, and local partners who helped on Saturday. The kids had great day, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our partners, volunteers, and generous donors like you! Thank you so much!
Thank you for helping to give deserving kids a wonderful summer camp experience! We’ve welcomed boys and girls from our program sites across the country this summer, and we’re gearing up for two more camp sessions later this month before the kids go back to school. Here’s an article from the Kosciusko Star Herald about few of our campers from Mississippi—kids who had a great time at camp because of you!
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