So leaving hurt. Leaving meant, for the boys, saying goodbye to the friends they had made from all across the nation; it meant that all that remained were memories of the times they had together, both on the field and later at night in the bunkhouses, keeping their coaches up late and playing games that only boys staying in a bunkhouse - away from their parents - will play. I have only heard half of the stories, I'm sure, and that's okay with me. That is as it should be with the summers of our childhood.
Regardless of how many games they won (or lost), what matters is their experience and the memories they created. These are the things that will last a lifetime. Sure, they picked up a wealth of knowledge about the game of baseball - after all, they were playing teams from all across our great nation; teams from California, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and New Jersey. There was even a team from Canada. 34 teams in all, some of whom play all year round. But it is the life experiences that will stick with them, and I began to think about school (of course), and what it is we really hope kids walk out our doors knowing, remembering, feeling, thinking and caring deeply about. This will be the subject of my next post.