As Bill Ripken often reminds us, simplicity should never be mistaken for a lack of substance. We use the word simple – simple concepts, simple ideas, simple programs – so often it seems as though everything we do is, well, simple. While our strategies, our tactics, and our goals may be complex and lofty, our program mission during Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Summer Camp remains quite simple.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once commented that “our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Seems so fitting for our time at #CRSFCamp.
For us, it’s about so much more than baseball. It’s about the police sergeant who volunteers for the Badges for Baseball program and spends his first night at camp being serenaded by the sounds of snoring 12 year olds. It’s about the youth development professional in her first six months on the job spending her entire day at the hospital with a young camper feeling the pain of a broken ankle. It’s about the Unit Director volunteering for his fourth stint as chaperone-extraordinaire. It’s about the young teen struggling in school whose parent dreads to answer the phone, waiting for yet another disciplinary call from school, only to be surprised when it’s the Badges for Baseball coach offering a trip to CRSF Summer Camp because of her young son’s new, improved attitude.
It’s about the young camper who tugs at Coach Brooke only to offer, “I appreciate what you’re doing for me.”
Small acts, some would say. It is, after all, the smallest sparks that often fuel the hottest fire that burns within us when we are inspired to achieve, to believe, and to ultimately become. We do this to light a fire. We do this to inspire. We do this to be inspired.