The sun is shining brighter, the weather is getting warmer, and women are wearing less. It’s a great time of year. The summer is approaching.
The summer has always been a very special time to me. From ages 8-18, I attended summer camp. Camp Tel Noar was 8 weeks of pure fun and mischief (http://thecorner33.blogspot.com/2008/07/oh-camp-tel-noar.html)
Unfortunately, I will not be headed back to Hampstead, New Hampshire this summer. But I’m still looking forward to my favorite season of the year.
It may not be camp, but the next two months still offers an array of activities that will make my summer.
Here’s the first of many more to come:
Every other day at summer camp, my bunkmates and I congregated at the wiffle ball diamond otherwise known as the “corral.” Our field paid homage to Fenway Park; our own Green Monster made out of plywood stood in left field. The “corral” was tiny and the home runs were plentiful (it made new Yankee stadium look huge in comparison.) There was a sense of pride and accomplishment every time you whacked the ball over the Green Monster. There were smiles; there was fun; there was a sense of youth and innocence. And then…
…my friends and I forgot about wiffle ball for about 15 years.
This changed when I moved to NYC four years ago. It was a reunion of sorts; I had friends from summer camp, elementary school, high school, and college, all in one place. I don’t know how it started, or whose idea it was, but one day, a group of us hung out and decided to play wiffle ball.
We headed down to Central Park and took part in the first of dozens of games of home run derby. We took over sections of the park and even hopped fences in order to create the perfect wiffle ball field. We felt like kids again. There was homerun hitting, bat flipping, and trash talking—the basic ingredients to a great game of wiffle ball. Random onlookers stopped by to watch our game. “If you build it, they will come.” We secretly included spectators in the game; if they caught a homerun ball, it was actually an out. I once had a bomb taken away when a woman made a one handed stab while on a picnic.
I did some research and was happy to see that wiffle ball has sprung up all over the country. There’s an official wiffle ball site (http://www.wiffle.com/), wiffle ball associations, networks, clubs, teams, and tournaments. In Essex, Vermont, a man by the name of Pat O’Connor erected a 1/4th scale replica of Fenway Park purely for wiffle ball. (http://www.littlefenway.com/) The field has held events and helped raise over a half a million dollars for various causes. O’Connor and his friends just recently unveiled another wiffle ball field—Little Wrigley.
I’m no longer at camp, and my friends and I have don’t have a Little Fenway. But what we do have is a bat, a set of wiffle balls, some green grass, a homerun fence, and a youthful spirit
Now that the weather is warming up, it’s wiffle ball time again. It’s time to be a kid again. It’s time to have fun.
Well Played, Ben Cherington
2 days ago