Editor’s Note: We are right at midnight here in Germany so my thoughts are a bit jumbled. Please excuse the poor grammar – hopefully I’ll have the time to edit and format this later.
The first day of baseball camp in Lübbecke is in the books. Below you will find highlights of each day since we left Houston on Friday.
After arriving at IAH, we departed for Newark at 11:01 a.m. and left the Garden State for Amsterdam just after 7 p.m.
I’ve always been a fan of window seats so that I can try and capture cool images from the plane. As we wrapped up our approach to Newark, I snapped this photo of Lower Manhattan and the Freedom Tower to the North and topped it with this photo as we were taxiing the runway prior to our departure to Amsterdam. Because our flight was not direct, I didn’t sleep much on the flight across the Atlantic. However, it allowed me to take this picture of the rising sun as we entered Irish airspace.
We arrived in Amsterdam shortly after 7:45 a.m. on Saturday and met representatives from Lübbecke at the airport where we had a bus waiting for us that would take us to Germany. Unfortunately the weather is unseasonably warm right now, and the bus didn’t have air conditioning, so it made for a long four-hour ride to Lübbecke.
However, it was great catching up with my host family—the Wache’s—when we arrived.
We met up at EFG Lübbecke Sunday morning and followed with a lunch at a local Biergarten in which everyone in our party enjoyed Schnitzel – a German staple. After a bit of downtime, we began meeting with the translators for the camp – most of which were once campers themselves – and went over the logistics of the camp and began to sort equipment.
That evening we were informed that the field that we were going to use had suffered a slight mishap late last week. Apparently the grounds crew had fertilized the field, but failed to water the grass, which caused the field to burn. Luckily, we were able to relocate the camp to Blasheim and utilized two of their soccer fields.
We closed the night with a BBQ at the Hinnah’s household, and enjoyed great conversation with our team and Germany friends.
The camp this year is a bit smaller than normal with 75-ish campers … but we are also hosting another camp about 10 km away, so I imagine that has impacted the attendance total.
Camp began this morning with a team meeting at 8:30 a.m. and the campers began to arrive shortly thereafter. After a stretching session, the campers paired off into their teams and began rotations where they learned various offensive and defensive skills. I was one of the hitting instructors during the morning and taught them the basics before throwing BP.
We finished the day with a pair of six-inning games and I was the ump for the older campers. Many of the older kids have attended seven-plus camps, so it’s always nice to see familiar faces and to see many of them grow.
However, because we have so many campers that have attended over the years, it becomes difficult to recognize all of the kids, even though most of them remember the Americans. Oddly enough, I think that is one of the coolest things because I hope that it means that we’re actually making a difference in their lives.
Due to some inclement weather, we had to cut the games short which allowed the coaches to build stronger relationships and learn more about the kids on their team.
We closed the night back at EFG Lübbecke with some skits, worship, games and a great message delivered by a German speaker.
For a photo montage of day one of the camp, I’d recommend checking out this photo gallery that was put together by Krischaan Albrecht.
Tuesday is Texas night here in Germany and I have two words: Texas Forever.