Mike Bush Baseball Camp for Deaf Children

10:01 PM, Jul 22, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Bush

St. Peters (KSDK)- Every summer on fields across America, the sounds of happy can be seen.

The game of baseball brings joy to any kid that loves to hit or throw.  But on these fields in St. Peters, it's also about opportunity and heart.

This is the Mike Bush Fantasy Baseball Camp for the deaf and hard of hearing.

"They're not singled out here. When they come to camp here they are just like everybody else, " explains Camp Director Cari Hampton.

11 year old Paige Hall has been wearing hearing aids since she was diagnosed at age 3.

"It was tough. I would say the first two weeks I did a lot of crying, " says her mom Lori Strubberg.

"Sometimes, it's just embarrassing that I'm the only one in my class that wears hearing aids, " says Paige.

But Paige says she never feels embarrassed at camp. For the last four years, instead of sticking out because of her disability, she gets to standout because of her ability.

"Then you get to realize that other people are like you too, " she says.

More than 50 campers spend the week learning the game from almost as many volunteer coaches,. With the help of interpreters, the message of how to play and have fun comes through loud and clear.

"Open your glove really wide and then you close it, " explains 7 year old Addison Fenneberg.

"Really , I just love baseball, " adds 7 year old Harrison Beck. "I like catching and hitting."

The camp started more than 20 years ago because of an 8 year old boy who was deaf and loved baseball and just didn't have anywhere to play

Now because it meant so much to some, former campers are coming back to be counselors.

"It made a difference in my life, " says 23 year old Britney Tresch. "And so I want to make a difference in these kids lives."

Even Paige's mom decided to become a volunteer coach.

"I thought this is silly for me to just sit back and watch, why don't I help out?, " she said.

It's scheduled for only one week every year but for these kids this camp lasts much longer.

"We look forward to it, 360 days out of the year, " explains Strubberg.

Kids just being kids at the Fantasy Baseball camp- where the game never sounded so good.




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