First STARFISH Ceremony of 2013

It was an exciting night at Tyler Hill as campers and counselors gathered in the social hall for the first STARFISH Ceremony of the summer! The themes were “Sportsmanship” and “Tolerance.” There are 2 STARFISH winners in each division – The energy in the room was high as each division leader announced the campers from their group who exemplified these qualities during the first week of camp. As each name was announced, a loud cheering erupted from the crowd!

At every STARFISH ceremony, our Director/Owner Wendy Siegel gives a speech to set the tone not only for the rest of the night, but for the rest of the summer. Here is an excerpt of her inspiring words from our first STARFISH ceremony of 2013:

The scene was the NCAA Softball Playoffs in the Northwest Athletic Conference. With two runners on base and a strike against her, senior Sara of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. She hit her first home run, which cleared the center field fence.

But it looked like the shortest of dreams-come-true when she missed first base, ran back to tag it, and collapsed as her knee gave out on her.

She crawled back to first base but could do no more. The first base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her.

And suddenly, the first baseman from the opposing team, Mallory, approached the umpire to ask if she and her teammates could help Sara. The umpire said there was no rule against it. And so, as if in a movie, Mallory and a teammate put their arms under the injured batter’s legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the base paths, stopping for Sara touch each base with her good leg.  And as they approached home plate, the team members, the coaches, the stunned crowds in the stands and even the umpire were in tears.  To make it even more incredible, Sara’s three-run homerun meant that the opposing team team would be eliminated from the playoffs.

“It was the right thing to do,” Mallory said.  “She’d hit it over the fence and she deserved the home run. And we just wanted to help her.”

And help her they did.  Sara got her first homerun in her softball career in the hands of the opposing team.  If that’s not sportsmanship then I don’t know what is.  And I imagine that most of you out there right now are imagining yourselves in that position and wondering what you would have done if you had been there.  And I think – knowing most of you here at Tyler Hill – I know the answer…

It was indeed a magical first STARFISH Ceremony here at THC, and with Wendy’s inspiring words telling the story of true “Sportsmanship and Tolerance,” we cannot wait for many more STARFISH Ceremonies to come!

Check out the below pictures of some of our STARFISH winners and also of last week’s video highlights. If you want, speed up to 1:30 minutes to catch a glimpse of the infectious high energy at our STARFISH Ceremony!


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