On April 19 a year’s worth of planning and fundraising came to a close as 16 members of the BFA Fairfax High School Softball program journeyed to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for six days of softball spring training and community service.
This trip is taken every other year to ensure that every player who participates in the softball program for four years of high school will have at least one opportunity to attend. Although practicing on the world-class fields and scrimmaging against teams from other areas of the country is a focus, the trip’s benefits extend far beyond the softball diamond.
For many of the players, this was their first time on a plane, their first time to Florida, their first time being away from their families for an extended period of time, and most importantly, an opportunity to gain priceless worldly experience and independence. From traveling through two of the world’s biggest airports (John F. Kennedy in New York City, and Orlando International), to playing at the Atlanta Braves Spring Training complex, and enjoying the Walt Disney World parks at night, the players took part in valuable life experiences.
One of the most memorable parts of the trip each year is the time committed to community service. This year the team ventured to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida to assist in Friday activities. Their impact was immediately apparent as children and staff at the club bonded with the Fairfax girls through homework help, games, and simply talking about their different lives and home regions.
The team was also fortunate to develop a fantastic relationship with New York’s St. Lawrence Central School who was also attending softball spring training. Considering that our new friends from St. Lawrence are right across Lake Champlain, we are considering adding each other to our non-league game schedules in the future.
This experience could not have been possible without the overwhelming support of the school, the families, and the entire Fairfax community. We were also fortunate to have some local faces make the journey down to Florida to spectate at our scrimmages. The entire team and program cannot begin to thank everyone for making this once in a lifetime experience a reality. The only regret was leaving the sun and 80-degree weather behind.
Thank you to all, and Go Bullets!
Geri Witalec-Krupa is an Athletic Director/Assistant Principal at Bellows Free Academy Fairfax. You follow her @GLWit