I love living in the Boston area. I always tell people that this is the best place in the country to live and I honestly mean it. One of the things I love the most about living here is our awesome sports teams. I love them all, but when I tell you that there is nothing like spending a day at Fenway Park watching the Red Sox play is one of the best ways to spend three hours in the city, I speak the truth. Sure, the Sox have their ups and downs, but whether they are winning or losing, they always put on a great show. I learned something new about the Red Sox this year, though. They hold a summer camp for ballplayers ages 5-13 every summer. How did I not know about this before?
**Disclosure: Both of my boys attended Red Sox Camp at no charge in order to share our experiences with you. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.
I am happy to say that my boys recently had the opportunity to attend Red Sox Baseball Summer Camp.
The Red Sox Camps curriculum is highly organized based on age & ability and is infused with lots positive energy to get kids excited about baseball. Along with instruction, the camps include:
- Full Red Sox uniform including hat, jersey, pants, socks & belt
- Field trip to Fenway Park on a Major League charter bus, including exclusive tour of the stadium
- World Series Ring or World Series Trophy Experience
- An autographed photo of a player on the Red Sox current roster
- Camp curriculum specific to campers’ age and ability that builds character, teamwork & develops leaders at all ages
The goal at Red Sox Camps is to strengthen the bond between your ballplayer and his or her favorite team, while also developing individual skills, understanding of the game and building curiosity about the physical principles required to improve as a player and athlete. The application of the basic skills learned during Red Sox Camps will provide each player with a springboard for future baseball learning — regardless of whether your camper is just learning the game, or is a seasoned travel ball player.
At camp, they will learn about Hitting Mechanics (things like proper hitting stance and the 3 components of swing mechanics) and Pitching/Throwing Mechanics (body positioning and throwing mechanics).
At Red Sox Camp, they divide campers into groups and teams by age using these designations: “Rookie”, “Single-A”, “Double-A”, “Triple-A” and “Majors”. These designations are not connected (in level of instruction or otherwise) to similarly named divisions in local youth leagues with which you or your ballplayer may be familiar. The curriculum is tailored to the age and ability of each of campers, regardless of which Red Sox Camp division they are assigned to.
Sounds like fun, right? My boys thought so and after talking it over with their dad, I went ahead and registered them for camp. I signed the boys up online and the whole process for both boys took about 20 minutes & it was really easy. When we arrived at the school for their first day of camp, everything was clearly marked so we knew exactly where to go when we got there.
Full uniforms were handed out on the first day of camp (Monday) at check-in. The kids were then sent to the bathrooms to go change into them and were told to wear them to camp every day for the rest of the week. My two went to camp on Monday in a regular t-shirt and shorts & I just took them back home with me once they were in their uniform.
Know Before You Go:
1. You will need to do laundry every night that the kids attend camp. Did you notice that the uniforms come with white pants? Let’s just say that after a day of sliding into home, they’re not so white anymore.
2. In addition to packing your camper a lunch everyday, you will need to pack them some extra sunblock and lots of extra water! My boys told me that they took lots of water breaks throughout the day. I sunblocked my boys before I dropped them off each morning and was really happy that the camp staff took time for the kids to reapply more sunblock several times each day. Don’t worry, if you forget to pack the sunblock or extra waters, the camp has some if the kids need either one.
If you don’t have time to pack your camper a lunch every day, Red Sox Camps have partnered with Smart Lunches this summer to provide healthy, locally prepared lunches delivered straight to camp as an optional add-on. Lunches can be ordered by the week or the day with just two business days notice. What an awesome solution for busy families! Visit www.smartlunches.com for more information.
3. Bring a photo ID for pick up. When you register your child for camp online, you will be able to list all people who are authorized to pick up the kids from camp (including yourself). If your name is not on the list and/or you don’t have proper identification, they are not going to let you take your kids.
4. You will be required to fill out some health forms before your child can attend camp. It’s pretty standard stuff (vaccination and last physical records), but you need to obtain them and upload them to your account.
5. You should send your child (or children) to camp with a baseball glove. They have enough helmets and bats for campers to share but if you prefer, you can also bring their own.
6. Write your camper’s name on all belongings! I’m talking their glove, the bottle of sunblock….everything.
7. The trip into Fenway is the last day of camp (Friday). The kids will get a tour of the entire park, get to go on to the field and even meet a player. My kids met rookie pitcher Matt Barnes! Barnes, a former 1st round draft pick out of the University of Connecticut, has pitched in 21 games for the Red Sox this year with a record of 3-2.
Parents are not allowed to accompany the group to the park (I asked) and kids are not allowed to bring cameras, iPods or their own memorabilia with them. The camp will take photos of all the kids and you will get an email a few days after camp ends with an opportunity to buy photos from their day if you want them.
Each session of Red Sox Camp is one week long (Monday-Friday) and it goes from 9 am until 3 pm. Regular drop-off time begins at 8:55 am and afternoon dismissal begins at 2:55 pm. On Monday mornings only (the first day), they segment drop-off times based on the camper’s age:
- Rising 4th graders and older were told to arrive at 8:15 am
- Rising 3rd graders and younger were to arrive at 8:45 am
**Note: Campers enrolled in morning extended day may arrive at normal extended day hours (as early as 7:30 a.m.)
At drop off, each camper was checked in by the Red Sox Camp staff and at pick up, the kids lined up on the grass next to the school according to their division. As soon as ID’s were checked by the camp staff, the kids are free to go.
The Fenway Park visit took place on the last day of camp (Friday) and pick up was a little later that day (3:15 as opposed to 2:55). Parents were sent multiple email reminders about it and were also reminded at drop off that morning.
If the regular camp hours of 9-3 don’t work for you, they offer Extended Day programming in the morning (from 7:30-9:00 am) and in the afternoon (from 3:00-6:00 pm) for your convenience. You can enroll either by the day or for the week, whichever you prefer based on your family’s schedule. Extended Day rates are:
- AM Daily Rate – $10
- AM Weekly Rate – $30 (save $20 by enrolling for the whole week)
- PM Daily Rate – $25
- PM Weekly Rate – $90 (save $35 by enrolling for the whole week)
I bet you are wondering by now where this camp is and I have good news for you – Red Sox Camp is held in multiple different locations. My boys attended Red Sox Camp at The Rashi School in Dedham, MA, but camps are held at locations throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island all summer long. All dates and locations can be found here.
I want to take a minute to give a shout out to the staff at the camp. They were truly, truly wonderful. The first day the kids started, they were each assigned to a division based on age. The coaching staff made note of each child’s skill level and made appropriate changes the following day by holding a “draft” at camp. My little man, who has never played baseball for a day in his life, needed to be moved down to a lower level (from AA to Single A)and one of the camp managers was waiting for me at drop off on Tuesday morning to talk to me and see how I felt about it. Of course, I was totally fine with it because I really just wanted my kids to have fun and get something out of camp.
Well, that afternoon (the second day following the “draft”) when I picked up my little guy, I could tell he wasn’t happy. He finally told me that he didn’t like his new team. Apparently he felt like he didn’t fit in and was having trouble making friends. The next morning, I went back to that same camp manager and told him what my son told me. He was super understanding and switched my son to a new team right then and there. His third and final team ended up being a perfect fit for my son and he ended up having a great time. And that’s all I want for my kids.
I was extremely impressed with the way the camp was run, how the children were handled and by the staff in general. Everyone that I dealt with personally was very helpful, understanding and it was easy to see that they all really enjoyed working with the kids. This was the first time I have ever left my kids off at a day camp like this and I was pretty nervous about leaving them with complete strangers at first. By the end of the week, all my fears were completely put to rest.
I am thrilled that my boys had such a great experience during their week in Red Sox Camp this summer. Not only did they learn a lot about baseball, they had fun! My favorite part was that they both passed out around 7:30 pm every night that week. Did you catch that – 7:30 pm. That’s basically unheard of in my house. If you’re kids love baseball or even if you just want them to have a little fun while learning about the game, consider sending them to Red Sox Camp this summer (or next).