Howdy, as the Ump of the Ole Ball Game, I take the 4th week of Camp – though I hear it is also the 1st week of Camp for a handful of youngsters – very seriously. Everything I do at Camp is in a dedicated and specific effort to prepare the boys for the single most important event of their young lives. That’s right the Ole Ball Game. A North-South senior section game of Softball that takes place during Friday evening activity.
I remember when the previous Camp Director founded the Ole Ball Game and brought me in to Ump all those years ago. He tried to make it worth more Stars than the Senior Flag Trip. As well it should be! But I digress…
The first thing we did this week to prepare for the Ole Ball Game was regular afternoon activities, but for the courageous we also offered Home Run Derby practice! That evening we had the Juniors play a game of kickball, to get their base running in. Also, it was my goal for them all to understand what “tagging up” means on a flyball.
On Tuesday we played Water Polo for the Seniors and Soccer for the Juniors. Also known as, two evening activities that did not progress meaningfully toward a successful Ole Ball Game. Though I’ll concede the spirit of Sportsmanship and Positive Competition were extremely high at these two events, so perhaps we are molding a more complete individual through this process. (chin scratching emoji)
On Wednesday they really overturned the apple cart in terms of my singular focus and goal of creating the greatest Ole Ball Game Camp Leelanau has ever seen. They sent a whole bunch of Cabins on Cabin Trips! Can you believe it? Camping! Can’t be good for the throwing arm. Black Swan hiked the Platte Plains, Barbados canoed the Platte River, Sea Hornet biked the Heritage Trail, Cherokee hiked and orienteered to the Palmer Woods. The other Cabins explored various reaches of Leelanau County for their Cabin Day. Madness, I say! Though, I’ll concede the camaraderie developed within those cabins on those trips was very impressive, and perhaps will prove useful for the Ole Ball Game.
On Thursday, now t-minus one day away from the Ole Ball Game, HQ mixed up the schedule again and sent the entire Senior Section out into the woods for the afternoon for something called the Flag Trip Combine. I mean, I’m all for a good combination of outs in a single play, but a whole afternoon dedicated to running through the woods, learning to lash, building fires, and tackling each other just seems odd. But again, those boys sure had a good time and seemed to grow closer to God for it all. That evening they played various versions of Dodgeball, some in the Woods, some on the Courts. At least that will keep a kids arm loose for the Big Game.
At last, Friday arrives, the day of the Ole Ball Game – the single most important event at Camp Leelanau, and perhaps at all or ever in these young mens’ lives…
-From the Desk of HQ (sorry we had to cut off that long winded Umpire. But we figure you got the important parts of what happened at Camp this week.)