I’ll begin by stating the obvious; this is Clayton writing, not Amanda. Amanda did not lead a youth baseball camp this past week; however, I couldn’t have pulled it off without help from my beautiful wife.
So what is the More than Skills Baseball Camp? It’s a skills camp for little league-aged children (8-12 year olds) that a buddy of mine (Andrew Howerton) and I started in 2006 after our first year of college. Our goal was not only to teach kids the skills required of a good ballplayer but to also instill the virtues of honor, integrity, and respect into each camper throughout the week. We always funded the camp through partnerships with local businesses…by asking them to purchase advertisements in the camp handbook and on the back of our t-shirt. This year was no exception; the only differences were that the camp took place in Fayette, and all the proceeds are going to help fund our adoption.
God blessed us with some amazing local sponsors, and we were able to raise a total of $1,190 (after all camp expenses). Thank you to each of the 16 kids who attended the camp as well as to their parents. AND thank you to our tremendous partners: G3CFO, Inovatia Laboratories, Maxwell Chiropractic, Central Methodist University, Exchange Bank of Missouri, Frank Flaspohler Attorney at Law, and Claybrook Concepts.
As far as the actual camp…it was a ton of fun! I was able to take one of my lifelong loves (the game of baseball) and use it in a way that benefited some great causes…raising money for our adoption, giving businesses an opportunity to give back to the community, and impacting kids in a positive, godly way. On top of all of this, I also got to coach alongside two of our college students, Landon and Drew. Another unforeseen gift was that one of my oldest friends, Andrew (…aka the best shortstop to ever dawn a field as far as I am concerned), and I were able to do what we love together.
Putting this camp together also helped me come to an interesting revelation. Through our adoption journey, I’ve had the opportunity to take a much bigger role in bringing this child home than I got to with Zoe. (For one I’m a man and can’t carry a child in my non-existent womb.) But this time I’ve been able to participate in the process just as much as Amanda. This has been a real joy for me! I’m so excited to meet this little boy or girl who God will bring us. Doing all of the funding and recent trainings has made it more real that our family will be growing before too long. I’ve been praying for this little precious gift as well as for his or her birth mother and father. I would like to invite you to join me and Amanda in asking that God would let this little one know just how much he or she is loved and was loved even before birth.
You can check out the More than Skills Baseball website here. There you’ll find various drills and can even tour our More than Skills “Hall of Fame,” which currently features six all-time greats who displayed outstanding character as well as skill. I’ll also mention that Amanda and I are beginning to think about how we can sernve and encourage other families who want to adopt, specifically families in the Fayette and Columbia community. I wouldn’t be surprised if we keep this camp going in the future in order to raise money for families with a heart to adopt.