Nicole Manning, 7 year Phantasy Camp Alum, sang the National Anthem at Citizens Bank Park for our 2019 Phantasy Camp Reunion. Below she reminisces on her favorite memory from camp:
I have so many memories from my last 7 years at camp that it is really difficult to pick just one. I learned quickly that my teammates would become Phamily, that the legends were regular, down to earth, fun guys and that the ESF staff are the gold standard when it comes to delivering your Phantasy Camp Dreams.
If I have to pick a favorite memory, I have to say it was when I went in 2016 and a friend of mine asked me to do a favor for him. His grandmother’s health was ailing and he wanted to try and cheer her up. He thought what better way to do so than to show her videos of her favorite athletes? But not just any videos, personal messages.
He knew I had been going to camp and would be returning that year. So prior to my departure he reached out and asked me to help him. I told him I would try, but I promised nothing. Over those 5 days in Clearwater, I was in awe at just how many of the Legends, special guests and newscasters listened to my “pitch” and never hesitated with their “Yes,” “Absolutely” and “Let’s do it” responses. I managed to send him 6 video messages that year and even got two more the following year.
Those videos meant so much to her, especially her video from Dutch. She showed that video off as if it was a picture of one of her grandkids. No matter how many memories I have from playing baseball, laughing and even crying with my Phantasy Camp Phamily, being able to hear about the joy those videos brought to his grandmother and to see it reflected in his face tops it all.
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