Produced by the reporters, editors, photographers and designers of the 2013 newspapers2 high school journalism jounralism workshop
Surviving Summer Surving Summer Summer
Camp instructor plays with a student during a swimming lesson. By Mandy Lu and Emma Hodge While some kids waste their summer laying around and staring at electronics, kids attending the Long Beach 49er Summer Camp have been exercising and playing sports regularly for the past four weeks. Kids ages 5-12 are split into four groups: Nuggets, Prospectors, Miners, and Sourdoughs. At the camp, they participate in various sports including swimming, archery, basketball, gymnastics, bowling and hockey. During the last week of the camp, the kids enjoy the festivities of “party day” on Wednesday afternoon. Slip ‘N Slide action and water balloon fights are all part of the reward for the kids’ hard work. “It’s the best day,” Nathan McConnell
I love working with kids because I get to act like a kids—to a certain degree, Drennan said. said. McConnell, 23, is a swim instructor at the camp for the fourth year in a row. He is currently a student at CSULB majoring in American Studies. In the future, McConnell sees himself teaching and coaching water polo because he likes working with kids, he said. “I like seeing how they progress through the four weeks,” Stephanie Armstrong said.
The 21-year-old Health Science major attends CSULB and plans on working as a physician’s assistant. This is Armstrong’s second year as a swim instructor in the program. Michelle Drennan, 22, graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied kinesiology. As a kid, she went to the Long Beach 49er Summer Camp and she is now part of the swim staff.
“I love working with kids because I get to act like a kid—to a certain degree,” Drennan said. According to Austin McElrath, 20, he is the most disciplinary on the swim staff. Like Drennan, he also went to the camp as a child. He now attends Pepperdine University, where he studies philosophy. “The kids who really want to work hard and excel—I connect well with them,” McElrath said. The swim instructors find working with the kids at the camp to be very rewarding and enjoy helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle in a world dominated by technology. They recognize the importance of helping kids to get out of the house and stay active.
Baseball recruits compete in tryouts This year, California State University, Long Beach hosted baseball tryouts that invited top players from all around the country. By Catt Phan and Luke Goldstein High school baseball players from all over the country were recruited to the Area Code Baseball Games to showcase their talent for scouts at CSLUB’s Blair Field on Wednesday. Although it was the off season for the CSULB baseball team, there was still a murmur in the crowd and a crack of the bat on their field. There were more than 50 major league and college scouts from California to Florida scoping new talent. The games provide one of the biggest events where scouts can find new players for their organizations.
“From watching these players there is the best talent in the country,” Scott Fairbanks, an Area Code Scout for the Pittsburg Pirates, said. Blair Field, a 40-minute walk from campus, sported the best high school players from around the country who went through an intense tryout before making the team for their respective regions. Prior to tryouts, players had to be invited based off the recommendations of major league scouts. About 3,000 are invited each year to participate but more than 90 percent are cut. Those who made their regional
team made it through two tryouts. The games have more than 200 players who make up eight teams who compete against each other from Aug. 5-10, Kealani Kimball, Area Code employee, said. Jeff Latz, who traveled with his son Jake from Chicago to represent his region said “competition is incredible. They started practicing on Sunday.” As parents watched their kids anxiously, there were plenty of highlights. Although the games have no overall winner, there is still a competitive environment as the players try to stand out.
“It’s an intense atmosphere which shows how players handle themselves under pressure,” said Fairbanks. The players have put years of hard work into their game as many of them started playing at a young age. Baseball runs in the blood of Nick Valaika, who comes from a legacy of major league players. A senior from Hart High School, he has played since he was six years old. Baseball has always been his passion. “As an athlete you want to play with the best which is what you get to do here,” Valaika said.