I have mixed emotions. Of course I am sad, sad to say goodbye to all of these awesome kids whom I have met, but I am also excited. I was excited last night when we went over our goals with everyone, and I’m excited for these kids to go on with their lives. Hopefully, I'll see some of them next year and they can tell me about their year and about the things they have accomplished.
We had a full day yesterday. We headed over to Aberdeen again in the morning to focus on our baseball skills along with all of the core values we have been learning along the way.
As the morning began, an awesome flash mob ensued at second base on Cal, Sr.’s Yard the moment the song “Cupid Shuffle” came on over the loud speakers. That was definitely a highlight.
After our morning portion, we focused on baseball games in the afternoon. These games were a little bit longer than two previous days, and you could tell the kids were having a little bit more fun. They were using the skills that they had learned all week and were applying them in the games! We saw a few more home runs. A few were inside the park, while others were sky rocketed over the fence!
Back at camp, we had free time as usual but it was our nightly programming that I want to focus on. To wrap up the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation camp experience, we focused on reflection and goals.
We asked the kids to reflect on their time at camp and share some of their experiences with us. We asked four questions:
What was your favorite part of camp?
What is one thing you learned?
If you could change something about camp what would it be?
What is the first thing you’re going to tell you parents when you get home?
The answers we got back were adorable, practical, helpful, and some were extremely grown-up. Here are a few examples of the answers we got back,
“My favorite part of camp was getting to meet new people from different states.”
“I learned to be a leader you don’t have to be the loudest or the best.”
“I would change the snoring person in my bunk.”
“To me there wouldn’t be a first thing to tell her because it’s a lot to tell and I wouldn’t know where to start off at.”
After we talked about our reflection on camp, we as camp counselors shared our goals from when we were 12 years old. My goal when I was 12 was to play college basketball. I knew that it was going to be a tough goal to accomplish, but if I worked hard enough, it was going to be the greatest feeling ever.
I made it. I accomplished my goal. But as soon as I got to college, I realized that playing basketball was not the important thing. Sure, I accomplished what 12 year Brooke set out to do, but what was important was what 18 year old Brooke really wanted to do, and that was to graduate from college with a college degree in four years.
Graduating from college opened so many doors for me. It allowed me to get a job I love, doing the thing I love. If you set your mind to something and allow a little bend along the road to your goal, you really can accomplish anything.
After we all shared our goals, we let the kids share their goals. Clearly they got the message that the sky is the limit, and they can be anyone they want to be if they work hard and make good choices to achieve their goals. We had kids stand up and tell us they want to be when they grow up:
The coach of the New England Patriots
In the Army
A Player for the New Orleans Saints
One camper has had the same goal since he was four years old: he wants to be the president of The United States of America!!
This group of kids who came to see us this week was one of the most amazing, positive, incredible, diverse group of individuals that I have ever met. I really do feel like a better person for knowing them, and I really can’t wait to watch a Saints vs. Patriots game in 15 years and know who I am watching or to take my dog to the vet and know who I am talking to!
My new goal is do whatever I can to help these kids reach their goal. It’s in writing, and it’s here on this blog for the world to see. They’ve made me a better person, so if I can help put a kid into the Oval Office, I would love to do that.
Until next camp…ROOKIE OUT.
More pictures to come next week.