Cincinnati Reds teach new skills at baseball camp
Lily Geiser | Staff Writer
With the help of the Cincinnati Reds, these kids took a swing at playing baseball.
This past week, the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Camp took place at Mason High School. In a five day intensive curriculum, kids were able to work with instructors to improve their skills at hitting, pitching, and everything in between. This annual camp was an opportunity for avid baseball fans and players to learn from the very best and even meet their favorite players.
An ardent fan of both the Reds and baseball, 11 year old Carter Phillips feels he benefited from the personal attention the camp provided.
“My favorite part of the camp has been learning new ways to do things so that it can help me continue to get better,” Phillips said. “I wanted to do it because I’m a huge fan of the Reds and baseball is my passion – I want to continue to get better at it.”
Jon Parks, the hitting instructor at the camp, enjoys being able to pass down his love of baseball to a new generation of players.
“That’s really something I’m passionate about – teaching kids,” Parks said. “I see a lot of good kids come through this camp. Kids that I saw last year come back this year – the progression and stuff like that.”
Despite the six year gap between the youngest campers and the oldest, the camp ensures its participants make friends of all ages. This is in part due to the camp’s practice of breaking the kids up into smaller teams, according to 13 year old Carissa Aiello.
“Everybody on my team is great,” Aiello said. “We have small teams and we became friends really fast. We share a dugout with other teams and the field with other teams but we do a lot of things as a group together.”
The last day was the most exciting for the campers, as they traveled to the Reds’ stadium. Jackson Elder, 11, has been coming to the camp for three years and still looks forward to the outing.
“Our field trip to the Great American Ball Park [is fun],” Elder said. “We all sit down by the dugouts and a player comes out by the dugout and he talks about himself a little bit.”
Having players come back year after year, as Elder did, is not something Parks is surprised by.
“We get a lot of repeats,” Parks said. “A lot of repeats and a lot of new kids. Most of our camps are full. It’s one of those things – when the Cincinnati Reds come into town, people want to try to get in if they can.”
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Photos by Henri Robbins.