I can’t believe it’s over. To be honest, I can’t believe it happened. The boys left this afternoon, and it already feels like weeks since I’ve seen them. I miss them.
It was a bit of a slow start to the day with the late return from the Curve game last night, not to mention that the boys didn’t really want to leave. I didn’t realize how much stuff they got until they started packing up. From sheets and blankets to hats and pants, these kids are loaded. Soon enough, though, they were all packed in the vans, ready for one last game.
The Friday baseball game is the real deal. Two umpires come to make the calls, starting lineups are announced, and the national anthem is sung. It’s what they’ve been practicing for all week, this red versus blue showdown. I was a bit nervous. The boys were all about the score keeping- Who’s winning? What’s the score? How many runs do we have?– which had me concerned for the losing team. How would they react?
To my surprise, I needn’t have worried. The kids were so encouraging to each other and such good sports. It blew me away. The team in the field would start a cheer for the batter. The first baseman would high-five a camper who made it there safe. One boy’s home run had everyone screaming and cheering. They truly learned a lot about teamwork and being good sports and weren’t afraid to put it into practice.
Another super cool thing that happens on the last day is the awards ceremony. Because the Olympics is this year, that theme was used for some activities, so each boy received a gold medal. They also got a baseball signed by their coach, a photo album, and other pictures of themselves. My favorite part was when each boy’s coach got to get up and say something about him and his week. It was an awesome time of honoring the campers.
After that, it was time to head out. The kids said goodbye to their coaches, everyone young enough to return swearing they’d come back next year. Even some twelve year olds claimed they’d find a way. A few kids had their coaches and other staff sign their hats; I was honored to be asked by two boys to sign theirs. The ride back to the church seemed too fast, pick-up even faster, and suddenly they were gone.
The Friday night after Camp ends, there’s always a “welcome home dinner” where the staff can relax with their families and share about their week. The time was full of story after story about how kids stepped up and showed unbelievable kindness and growth. We truly became our own Camp family this week.
After a game in basically any sport, the teams line up to high-five and tell each other good game. The final contest between the teams red and blue really was good; so was the entire week. A good game is something you want to look back on, something you remember for a long time and smile. I’m sure that’s what this week is for these boys. That’s what it’s been for me.