Thanks to the support of the Naples Children & Educational Foundation (NCEF), the Ripken Foundation hosted our annual, in-person, weekend-long camp at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collier County with community-based program partners from Gargiulo, Grace Place, and Valerie’s House. Over 100 kids from Naples and Immokalee participated in baseball/softball drills and were coached by 60 college athletes from Florida Southwestern and law enforcement officers from the Naples Police Department as well as Naples Fire & Rescue. In the afternoon, kids learned more about a police motorcycle and firetruck and at the end of the day, everyone played a game of Quickball and enjoyed inflatables.
We also hosted an adaptive sports clinic for children with special abilities with the ABLE Academy at the Greater Naples YMCA. In total 22 youth with the help of 13 adult mentors went through a variety of baseball and softball drills before putting their skills to the test where many of the kids hit home runs in the game.
During this fun-filled weekend, the Ripken Foundation also hosted a STEM Day for 50 kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collier County, Nichols Unit. Youth worked with the STEM Pathways kit and learned the dynamics of what makes a strong bridge and how hinges on doors work.