Camp on Tuesday and Thursday were quite similar to Monday — station rotations followed by games in the pool play. Throughout the two days, you could tell that the kids were steadily improving their skillset, and enjoyed the friendly competition during games. As a station leader working with the older campers (ages 13-19), it’s always fun to see the returnees and the excitement that they share for the little things that we take for granted in baseball – base hits, catching fly balls, putouts, etc.
During the evening portion of the camp on Tuesday, we hosted a Texas night – which played to nearly all of the stereotypes you hear of Texas – I’m not sure if this was a good or bad thing. Regardless, we brought the game corn hole over to Germany and it seemed to be a big success. The night featured everything from country music, two-stepping, balloons for the little Germans, and corn hole.
Because this was the 10th anniversary of the baseball camp in Germany, Wednesday was a bit different than usual. In years past, we’ve taken half of the day to either visit various sites or play an exhibition game against a local baseball club in the region.
This year was different.
Rather than hosting camp for the morning, Wednesday was just a full day off that we spent with the Germans and the translators who do so much to make the camp a possibility each year. We began the morning at 11 a.m. with a brunch and tour of a local mill that played a large role in the region’s economy in the 19th century.
Following the tour, we went with our host family to a famous eis café in town before we met up with our team at the camp fields at 3 p.m. for a field day full of games, human foosball, and the new German pastime – corn hole.
The day concluded with a BBQ and reflection time on the past 10 years and perhaps what is to come with the future partnership of Synergy and EFG Lübbecke. It was fascinating to hear many of the stories from those that have either attended the camp from the start and/or had just attended for the first time.
If you were looking for two words to describe Friday: record heat. According to the local paper, Friday’s temp approached nearly 100 degrees – well above average – and was the hottest recorded temperature in Western Europe that day. Needless to say, it was the hottest day of the year.
While we’re familiar with warm temperatures in Texas, Germans aren’t – and it showed with the campers. Much of them displayed visible signs of fatigue, so it was critical that we hydrated them and kept them in shaded areas as much as possible. The day was spent entirely playing baseball as part of the pool portion of the camp, so finding proper shade proved to be difficult at times.
Following the camp in Lübbecke, I traveled to Bramsche to immediately lead/coach a follow-up camp that EFG Bramsche was leading nearly two weeks after their camp. I had been to Bramsche for two prior camps – 2010, 2011 – so it was great to see many familiar faces. The evening began with a non-traditional dinner – at a local Chinese restaurant – and the night ended up around 10 or 11 p.m. as we wrapped up the extra training session.
Saturday marked the end of the baseball camp as it concluded with the tournament. We had great crowds on hand as many parents and members of the community came out to support the kids. We wrapped up the day by reflecting on the camp as a group and spending time with our host families and German friends.