July 21, 2017 / Sam Nagurny
Today we want to highlight the experience of another program intern, Anthony. Let's hear from Anthony about his internship so far!
Here is Anthony pitching during a scrimmage at June camp!
 
It has been an honor representing the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation as a Program intern this summer. My time with the organization has been beyond meaningful and has certainly been an experience that I will never forget. I have learned to emphasize the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership, work ethic, living a healthy lifestyle, and many other life values that are so important for our youth to understand at such a critical time.  
 
The highlights of my time as an intern extend beyond the field, but many of the special moments have taken place on it. This is especially true for all of the connections I made during our June camp, which we host for at-risk youth who come from all over the country. On the second day of our June camp, I met a camper who was nervous about going through with the morning baseball activities mostly because she had no prior experience playing ball. While at the throwing and catching station, I noticed that she was clearly afraid of the ball while playing catch with her partner. I walked up to her, asked how things were going, and with a distraught look on her face, she told me that she was not good enough to catch a baseball. That day, I wanted to teach her that she is not only good enough to catch a baseball, but most importantly, she is good enough to catch everything thrown at her in life. I worked with her on the mechanics of catching a baseball for the next fifteen minutes. I emphasized the importance of having her hands up and glove ready to go, to watch the ball all the way into her glove, and to focus on maintaining a strong athletic stance. This camper bought in. Despite my mentoring, she continued to struggle with catching the ball, but she was determined, she shook off every mistake she made, and got ready for the next ball coming her way. I was impressed. This camper did not shy away from the challenge. Though at first it seemed intimidating, she stuck in there. Eventually, Coach blew his whistle to signify the conclusion of the drill, and instructed the campers to bring it in and get ready for the next rotation. At that moment, when the drill was over and she still hadn’t caught any baseballs thrown at her, instead of dropping her glove to move on to the next station, she told her partner to make one more throw. Her partner reared back, gave a nice toss to my new friend, and wouldn’t you know it, she made the catch! The way this camper’s face lit up when she made that catch is something I will never forget. 
 
This is why we do what we do at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. I have found through my experiences that baseball can relate to a lot in real life. In life, you are going to miss the ball a few times, you will have to work through some obstacles, but if you keep your head up, focus on the ball, and stay positive and determined, you will make the catch. This camper did just that, and her big smile on that day is what makes all of our hard work worth it. Nothing beats what I have been able to do here so far with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. This is only one of many stories and connections that I have already made during my time here. I look forward to continuing the impact, and I am excited to see what else is in store for me with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
 
Be sure to follow the interns on twitter at @Intern_CRSF to see what they are up to throughout the summer!
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