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Traveling with sports team, wwyd?


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Ds11’s baseball team is playing in a Cooperstown tourney this summer. I’m not sure why we didn’t ask for more details before we agreed. Anyway, we thought my Dh could go with him and stay in the athletes village. Now the coach won’t let him because he said he would have to let any parent who wanted to and some of the parents aren’t positive and he doesn’t want them around the players.

 

Ds doesn’t feel comfortable sleeping in the players village. It is basically like a sleep away camp from what I understand, so now he doesn’t want to go. He is one of the better players on the team and we already paid and agreed he would go, so I don’t really want to pull out now.

 

Parents aren’t allowed in the players village unless they are staying there. Dh doesn’t want to take vacation time (and I agree) unless he is actually going to be able to spend time with ds. It sounds like parents just see the players at the 8 games and maybe go out to eat together. I also don’t want to take our other 3 kids to a baseball tournament for our family vacation.

 

We moved this year so it is a new team for ds. If he was still playing with his old team, he would have no problem going by himself.

 

How do you handle sports travel? This is our first real experience with it.

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My sister used to do travel ball.  I am not sure what a "players villiage" is.....Assume it's something like they have for the athletes in the olympics?  Anyway, my sister's team always just stayed in hotels.  Usually the hotels all over the area would be full of ball teams.  Families booked their own rooms. 

 

Couldn't your DH and DS just get a hotel room in the area and stay there?

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There’s enough to do in the area. Could you make it a family vacation and do things other than the baseball tourney?

My husband went to Cooperstown for tournaments many times as a kid/teenager. It’s some of the best memories of his life. His parents went but didn’t stay with him. He said he doesn’t remember any parents staying there, but it was a long time ago and he doesn’t remember details in general, so it could be wrong.

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There’s enough to do in the area. Could you make it a family vacation and do things other than the baseball tourney?

My husband went to Cooperstown for tournaments many times as a kid/teenager. It’s some of the best memories of his life. His parents went but didn’t stay with him. He said he doesn’t remember any parents staying there, but it was a long time ago and he doesn’t remember details in general, so it could be wrong.

They have 3 parent chaperones/coaches staying in the “players village†with the team. The rest of the parents/families are getting hotels. What is there to do in the area? I’m glad to hear your Dh had fun! I have heard adults say it was some of their best memories of childhood. My ds would love it, but he is nervous about going alone and so he is acting like he doesn’t want to go. Edited by lovinmyboys
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This is pretty common for many sports. I would encourage your son to go. It can be a real bonding experience for athletes and the kids usually have a great time. Several of my kids have traveled with all-star teams, or team sports at 10. Everything went well and for all of them, those trips (usually involving 8 or more hours on a bus) are some of their favorite memories.

 

I frequently went to watch and there were always other parents, but the kids were "with the team" and it was good for the kids and the parents.

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So, what are the options you are considering?

 

1. Ds goes with team alone. CONS: he's nervous about it

 

2. Ds doesn't go at all. CONS: he misses the opportunity, it's already paid for, bad for the team

 

3. Dh and/or whole family goes along and stays at a hotel with ds? Is that an option you are considering? I can't tell from the OP. CONS: extra expense, uses precious vacation time

 

I'm not sure if I've represented it accurately, but I always like to start by laying out what the actual options are.

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If your son is hesitant, I wouldn't make him. I'd say it was a learning experience to ask more next time and let him miss it.

 

With all of the sports team hazing (even as young as your ds) and abuse articles and cases in the world, this isn't something I would push him into. Maybe he knows something about the other players or coaches that you don't. 

Edited by texasmom33
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 I am naturally suspicious of people who want to separate children from their parents on overnight trips. I would send an email worded something like this to the coach, with a cc to the league organizer:

 

"In light of recent events in amateur sports involving children of all ages, I am hesitant to allow my son to participate in any event that discourages parental contact during vulnerable times, such as with sleeping arrangements. I hope you understand. If dh is unable to go and stay in the athlete's village with ds, we will be withdrawing him from the team and finding another team for next season. Please let me know your final decision by xx/xx/xx. Thank you."

 

 

"This is what it looks like when someone chooses to put their selfish desires above the safety and love for those around them and let it be a warning to us all and moving forward as a society, This is what it looks like when the adults in authority do not respond properly to disclosures of sexual assault.

This is what it looks like when institutions create a culture where a predator can flourish unafraid and unabated and this is what it looks like when people in authority refuse to listen, put friendships in front of the truth, fail to create or enforce proper policy and fail to hold enablers accountable.
This is what it looks like. It looks like a courtroom full of survivors who carry deep wounds. " Rachel Denhollander, Victim Impact Statement at the Sentencing of Larry Nassar.
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If your son is hesitant, I wouldn't make him. I'd say it was a learning experience to ask more next time and let him miss it.

 

With all of the sports team hazing (even as young as your ds) and abuse articles and cases in the world, this isn't something I would push him into. Maybe he knows something about the other players or coaches that you don't. 

 

This.

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I would encourage DS to go because he is committed.

 

I would talk to the chaperones and let them know DS is nervous and could they help him talk through his angst if things get rough.

 

Is there any chance that your DH could still be a chaperone?

 

Would DH be allowed to take DS to a hotel just for sleeping, if he is scared to stay at the village?

 

I had a somewhat similar situation with my then-10yo daughter.  She had had a bad camping experience and was distraught with the idea of sleeping away, but it was scout camp, her sister was there, and there was no good reason to skip it.  I took a hotel room nearby.  I tried to encourage my daughter to stay, but when it became clear that she was just going to ruin it for everyone else, I took her to the hotel to sleep and brought her back in the morning.  Meanwhile I was able to get my work done and her sister was able to enjoy the whole experience.  So maybe something like that would work.

 

In a couple weeks, my kids are going on a sleep-away camp with their school class, and my now 11yo DD just has to go.  I am not giving her a choice.  But I did warn the teacher so they can watch and help her out if she has a hard time.  Thankfully she knows everyone there well enough to trust them.

Edited by SKL
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I think there would be more trouble finding a sport where it isn't prevalent than one where it is. 

 

 

Yet, is still feels like the "elephant in the room" that people are hesitant to bring up in situations like this. Why is that?

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My husband is still fascinated by baseball and loves to go to Cooperstown. I am, um, less enthused and find other things to do with the kids. We love the interactive farmer’s museum, Glimmerglass state park, and mining for diamonds in Herkimer mines(that’s about a 50 minute drive though). We’ve never wanted for things to do in the area, plus there are some nice beaches.

 

https://www.familyvacationcritic.com/cooperstown-ny-family-vacation/dat/

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If your son is hesitant, I wouldn't make him. I'd say it was a learning experience to ask more next time and let him miss it.

 

With all of the sports team hazing (even as young as your ds) and abuse articles and cases in the world, this isn't something I would push him into. Maybe he knows something about the other players or coaches that you don't. 

 

 

 

 I am naturally suspicious of people who want to separate children from their parents on overnight trips. I would send an email worded something like this to the coach, with a cc to the league organizer:

 

 

 

 

I doubt I would let my 11 year old go alone even if he wanted to.  Just no.  There is just too much crap in the world.  There is a case in OKC now where high school boys are charged with rape of a team mate from last summer when they were all staying overnight at one boy's (the superintendent's son I think ) home.  

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If I understand, your ds is hesitant to sleep away with the new team but ds still wants to play in the games, right?  So, my first choice would be to have dh get a nearby hotel and keep ds with him at night. 

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Cooperstown is one of my favorite baseball memories, as it is for many, many baseball families.  I can only speak to Cooperstown Dreams Park (there are one or two more; CDP is the original and the biggest), but I wouldn't be terribly worried about the potential for abuse.  The boys all sleep in a one-room cabin with their teammates and chaperones.  Yeah, EVERYONE is in a single room.  Our boys took curtains for the windows because it is light until so late at night, but the park made them take them down because they were a fire hazard, supposedly, but the point is that there also are open windows.  Also, boys are swarming around the athletes' village all the time.  The arrangement is great for transparency, possibly not so great for sleeping.  The boys shower in a shower room, but they have to keep swim trunks on when they shower.  The boys and coaches do travel through the week as a team, but they are mostly playing baseball all day.  If you love to watch your kid and his team play, it's a great few days.  I was not excited, but I ended up loving it.  If your son goes up without you or your husband, he will likely be one of the few kids there without a parent.  That may or may not bother him, of course, but there really is a lot of interaction between the kids and parents during the week; it is quite different from summer camp in that way.

 

Most of the parents in our crowd rented houses for the week.  There aren't many hotels, as Cooperstown is in a very rural area of NY.  It is helpful to book a house as soon as you know your week; they book up fast.  (I booked in October that year.) There are a number of rental agencies that cater to baseball families, so their rental periods correspond with the tournament schedule.  

 

I hope you end up loving it more than you expect to.  Cooperstown is a beautiful area. If you decide to go, get some tips from other families who have been there more recently than I have as to where to eat, etc.  The one tip I am sure is still useful is to send your son with a box fan and an extension cord.  The cabins are not air-conditioned, and a couple of fans will make all of the difference.  

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Since this is planned for this summer and it is 3+ months away, I wouldn't assume he will still be reluctant then.  If this is a new team for him, and he was ok traveling with the old team, I am guessing quite a bit could change in the next 3+ months as he gets to know his teammates better.  Is there a teammate that he is friends with who he can buddy up with?  Maybe time for some sleepovers or hang out days to help him make some good friends on the new team so he is more comfortable going.

 

Otherwise maybe let the coach know your husband will be a backup chaperone if anyone backs out.

 

(((hugs))) Sports are so great for kids, but it is really hard on the family!

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 I am naturally suspicious of people who want to separate children from their parents on overnight trips. I would send an email worded something like this to the coach, with a cc to the league organizer:

 

Just some clarifications:

1.) Cooperstown hosts a national tournament, not a league.  There is no "league organizer" to CC.

 

2.)  The Cooperstown facility is set up like a camp.  There are 3 adult coaches/chaperones per team in the camp.  They don't allow additional adults both due to space and security.

 

3.) The coach cannot give permission for additional adults to stay in the athletes area.  If her DH is not one of the coaches, then it is not an option for him as I doubt the coach of the travel team would make someone else quit as a coach to accommodate a parent.

 

To the OP:

Your DH will have a lot more interaction with your DS than you seem to think, but it is an intense tournament and there are lots of games.  The teams usually do a lot together in the down time.

 

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Just some clarifications:

1.) Cooperstown hosts a national tournament, not a league. There is no "league organizer" to CC.

 

2.) The Cooperstown facility is set up like a camp. There are 3 adult coaches/chaperones per team in the camp. They don't allow additional adults both due to space and security.

 

3.) The coach cannot give permission for additional adults to stay in the athletes area. If her DH is not one of the coaches, then it is not an option for him as I doubt the coach of the travel team would make someone else quit as a coach to accommodate a parent.

 

To the OP:

Your DH will have a lot more interaction with your DS than you seem to think, but it is an intense tournament and there are lots of games. The teams usually do a lot together in the down time.

1) DS is on a team, is he not? The team is going to Cooperstown. I assume that team is in a league. How else would they play games against other teams? If he’s in a league, the league has a governing body, whether it be the town recreation department or a privately held company.

 

2) This sounds like one of those policies that enables abusers. Just because it is so doesn’t mean it should be. It’s time to change some things.

 

3) I am not accustomed to parents being refused access to their children or to their children’s sleeping arrangements. Again, this sounds like it’s a policy that would enable abusers. Just because those are the rules doesn’t mean they are good rules.

 

If parents don’t challenge bad rules, the rules will never change. This is our job. Do we care more about following rules and the limited opportunities provided by sports teams or do we care about our children? It’s time for adults to act like the grown ups in the room and to stop bowing down to the god of sports.

Edited by TechWife
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We had this situation with youth group this year.  They had an overnight early in the year, we had moved, my son didn't *already have* friends. 

 

Well, I really encouraged him, saying that THIS IS HOW he would make friends. 

 

On the other hand, if he didn't go, he would miss out on that time, and feel less and less part of the group. 

 

So I did push him to go. 

 

It worked out well.  He did find friends and feel more a part of the group.

 

Also, it's mid-March and this trip is in summer.  That's a lot of time for him to get more comfortable.

 

If he was having a bad time on the team, overall, and really dreaded going because of a negative atmosphere, then I would definitely not make him go and let him quit the team. 

 

I would not keep him on the team in that circumstance. 

 

I think. 

 

Edit:  To be fair, my husband would have to agree to any decision and I don't know what he would think. 

Edited by Lecka
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On the abuse issue, I would ask about their policies. 

 

If they have policies in place that make sense, I would be comfortable.

 

It sounds like they are making decisions based on safety to me. 

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1) DS is on a team, is he not? The team is going to Cooperstown. I assume that team is in a league. How else would they play games against other teams? If he’s in a league, the league has a governing body, whether it be the town recreation department or a privately held company.

 

2) This sounds like one of those policies that enables abusers. Just because it is so doesn’t mean it should be. It’s time to change some things.

 

3) I am not accustomed to parents being refused access to their children or to their children’s sleeping arrangements. Again, this sounds like it’s a policy that would enable abusers. Just because those are the rules doesn’t mean they are good rules.

 

If parents don’t challenge bad rules, the rules will never change. This is our job. Do we care more about following rules and the limited opportunities provided by sports teams or do we care about our children? It’s time for adults to act like the grown ups in the room and to stop bowing down to the god of sports.

 

1.) The Cooperstown Tournament is not affiliated with a league. It is a pay to play tournament. Considering literally hundreds of teams play there each summer, an email from an outraged parent who doesn't understand the facility structure is going right into the delete folder.

 

2.) I know how the facilities are set up, and they are more open than even the average summer camp. 

 

3.) Are you not familiar with summer camps?  I don't know a single sports camps that lets parents bunk with their kids.

 

These aren't bad rules - you just don't understand how the facility is set up or why they work.

 

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1.) The Cooperstown Tournament is not affiliated with a league. It is a pay to play tournament. Considering literally hundreds of teams play there each summer, an email from an outraged parent who doesn't understand the facility structure is going right into the delete folder.

 

2.) I know how the facilities are set up, and they are more open than even the average summer camp.

 

3.) Are you not familiar with summer camps? I don't know a single sports camps that lets parents bunk with their kids.

 

These aren't bad rules - you just don't understand how the facility is set up or why they work.

 

1) The OP’s son’s team is in a league. That is their governing body. That is who needs to get a copy of an email, not the camp in Cooperstown.

 

2) Okay, but that doesn’t change the situation.

 

3) Yes, I am familiar with summer camps. I’ll repeat my previous point though. Just because those are the rules, it doesn’t mean they are good rules.

 

If parents would wake up and stop allowing their kids to participate in sports or events with bad rules, then the sporting organizations would adopt better rules. Either that, or they would go out of business. Either one would result in decreased opportunities for predators, so that would do be fine.

 

ETA: Yes, I understand how the facility is set up. The set up needs to change if it denies parents the ability to access their children.

Edited by TechWife
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After reading all about Nassar, the Karolyis, and other gymnastics scandals, I am glad I never let my son go to gymnastics camp. I think last summer his coach took some of the high school boys to Michigan for a camp. I hope it wasn’t at MSU.

 

I have always been leery of overnight events. Now I am even more so. If it were my son, I’d find a hotel for him to stay in with his dad.

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ETA: Yes, I understand how the facility is set up. The set up needs to change if it denies parents the ability to access their children.

 

How would this access look?  Letting any and every parent go into the sleeping quarters with everyone else's kids doesn't seem right either.

 

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How would this access look? Letting any and every parent go into the sleeping quarters with everyone else's kids doesn't seem right either.

 

I wouldn’t be okay with this either. I don’t know that any of my kids will be interested in travel sports or this sort of thing, but I do expect them to go want to go to sleepaway camp. I would NOT be okay with just letting parents roam around and have complete access to the cabins whenever they wanted.

My six year old will be attending day camp this summer with an overnight Friday night. I don’t expect to have any access to her cabin and will change my mind if somehow the camp has a different policy(it’s 4-H camp, so I’m sure parents aren’t allowed to just show up and roam around).

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1) DS is on a team, is he not? The team is going to Cooperstown. I assume that team is in a league. How else would they play games against other teams? If he’s in a league, the league has a governing body, whether it be the town recreation department or a privately held company.

 

2) This sounds like one of those policies that enables abusers. Just because it is so doesn’t mean it should be. It’s time to change some things.

 

3) I am not accustomed to parents being refused access to their children or to their children’s sleeping arrangements. Again, this sounds like it’s a policy that would enable abusers. Just because those are the rules doesn’t mean they are good rules.

 

If parents don’t challenge bad rules, the rules will never change. This is our job. Do we care more about following rules and the limited opportunities provided by sports teams or do we care about our children? It’s time for adults to act like the grown ups in the room and to stop bowing down to the god of sports.

 

Actually I would assume it is set up this way to prevent abusers access to the teams.  If this is Little League the an n all coaches must have their background clearances done in order for them to actually coach a team.  If they were allowed to let other parents in to the facilities --parents that don't have their clearances--then an abuser could be allowed in.

 

*Note: Yes, I know that having clearances is 100% accurate but it is a start, it shows that there are no convictions on their records, etc.*

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1) The OP’s son’s team is in a league. That is their governing body. That is who needs to get a copy of an email, not the camp in Cooperstown.

 

2) Okay, but that doesn’t change the situation.

 

3) Yes, I am familiar with summer camps. I’ll repeat my previous point though. Just because those are the rules, it doesn’t mean they are good rules.

 

If parents would wake up and stop allowing their kids to participate in sports or events with bad rules, then the sporting organizations would adopt better rules. Either that, or they would go out of business. Either one would result in decreased opportunities for predators, so that would do be fine.

 

ETA: Yes, I understand how the facility is set up. The set up needs to change if it denies parents the ability to access their children.

 

1.) *sigh* Travel teams do not have to be part of a league.  They do not even have to be part of a club (some are/some aren't).  Most of their games are played in pay to play tournaments.  Some do play in leagues, but those are similar to the pay to play tournaments and do not get involved in team/club operations.

 

2.) It does.  The facilities are not set up to accommodate families/parents with players.  The cabins have room for the team and 3 chaperones.

 

3.) So are you suggesting summer camps shut down?

 

I don't think allowing random adults into the cabin area at all times makes the kids any safer. Quite the opposite.

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Actually I would assume it is set up this way to prevent abusers access to the teams.  If this is Little League the an n all coaches must have their background clearances done in order for them to actually coach a team.  If they were allowed to let other parents in to the facilities --parents that don't have their clearances--then an abuser could be allowed in.

 

*Note: Yes, I know that having clearances is 100% accurate but it is a start, it shows that there are no convictions on their records, etc.*

 

Not all the events at Cooperstown are Little League affiliated but coaches must have background checks.  As noted above, the cabins are very open and they do not even allow nudity in the shower area (and that seriously blew my son's mind lol).  If you don't trust your team coaches/chaperones in this environment, then you shouldn't let your son around them period.

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Thanks for the responses so far. I think I am comfortable letting him go, he just isn’t comfortable because it is new.

 

So, new question. If your family does travel sports, how do the siblings feel? This would probably be our family’s summer vacation. I’m not sure my other kids want to watch their older brother play 8 baseball games for vacation. I am leaning toward us all going and just trying to make it fun for everyone.

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1.) *sigh* Travel teams do not have to be part of a league. They do not even have to be part of a club (some are/some aren't). Most of their games are played in pay to play tournaments. Some do play in leagues, but those are similar to the pay to play tournaments and do not get involved in team/club operations.

 

2.) It does. The facilities are not set up to accommodate families/parents with players. The cabins have room for the team and 3 chaperones.

 

3.) So are you suggesting summer camps shut down?

 

I don't think allowing random adults into the cabin area at all times makes the kids any safer. Quite the opposite.

Granted, I only know because of Dh, but my understanding is that travel teams in our area are not part of any league. He was part of a league and then was asked to play on the travel team, which was not affiliated with any governing body. I honestly don’t know how it works other places. Baseball is completely not my thing.

I relayed this conversation to him. He agreed that the cabins are simply not set up at all to allow parents to stay with their kids, and he’s completely against that. Mostly because he is now a dad who doesn’t think all unscreened parents should have access to all the kids.

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How would this access look? Letting any and every parent go into the sleeping quarters with everyone else's kids doesn't seem right either.

 

Letting them go in as the only adult present or when there are other children present wouldn’t work, but the “two deep†concept might work. The second adult could be a fellow parent, coach or camp employee. It doesn’t get rid of risk, but it does lower it. I’m less wary of organizations that have rules allowing limited access than I am of those that say “you can’t go in there.†Organizations shouldn’t have rules that work to separate the parents from the child. The camp should have a minimum of “two deep†required no matter who the adults are, though. That way, any adult seen alone in a child’s cabin is immediately suspect - if they are breaking rules there is nothing good that could be going on (except a verifiable emergency, but in that case the adult would be calling other adults to help as well, so it would minimize opportunity).

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Granted, I only know because of Dh, but my understanding is that travel teams in our area are not part of any league. He was part of a league and then was asked to play on the travel team, which was not affiliated with any governing body. I honestly don’t know how it works other places. Baseball is completely not my thing.

I relayed this conversation to him. He agreed that the cabins are simply not set up at all to allow parents to stay with their kids, and he’s completely against that. Mostly because he is now a dad who doesn’t think all unscreened parents should have access to all the kids.

 

Around here that is mostly true, although some clubs run leagues of their own as fundraisers.  We never played in any so I am not sure how those worked.  My nephew played in a different state and his team did play travel ball on weekends and in a weekly league also. 

 

But you are correct that they did not have a governing body that could dictate rules to the clubs/teams outside of tournaments.

 

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1) DS is on a team, is he not? The team is going to Cooperstown. I assume that team is in a league. How else would they play games against other teams? If he’s in a league, the league has a governing body, whether it be the town recreation department or a privately held company.

 

2) This sounds like one of those policies that enables abusers. Just because it is so doesn’t mean it should be. It’s time to change some things.

 

3) I am not accustomed to parents being refused access to their children or to their children’s sleeping arrangements. Again, this sounds like it’s a policy that would enable abusers. Just because those are the rules doesn’t mean they are good rules.

 

If parents don’t challenge bad rules, the rules will never change. This is our job. Do we care more about following rules and the limited opportunities provided by sports teams or do we care about our children? It’s time for adults to act like the grown ups in the room and to stop bowing down to the god of sports.

 

ChocolateReign has done a good job of responding to this, but I would NOT be okay with random parents having access to the cabins at Cooperstown.  The athletes' village is fenced, and all (both?  there aren't zillions of them) entrances are guarded 24/7.  Parents who do not have a coaches' pass are permitted into the village only during the couple of hours of the move-in window.  Then they literally shoo everyone else out and don't let you back in, even when it's time to move your kid out.

 

And travel ball teams are the wild, wild west of youth baseball.  ANYONE can have a travel team.  Some are parent-run, some are owned by a paid coach who may or may not have a kid on the team, and some are affiliated with baseball academies, but there is no league, no governing body, no nothing.  Anyone who shows up to a tournament with a roster and an entry fee can play.  It's kind of awesome that way.

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Right or wrong, I've sent my kids to many camps that had a written policy asking parents to stay away.  They always say it is disruptive to all of the kids.  I think that's probably true.  I suppose if I showed up and demanded to see my kid, they would let me, but they would not let me hang out with the kids in their activities or their cabins.  They would probably ask me to go away with my kid and not come back.

 

Does this make my kids vulnerable?  I don't think so.  For my family, the stakes involved in staying or leaving camp are never so high that my kid would rather be molested than tell / leave, and the same would be true of most kids.  Having said that, I don't think it's the structure of the sleeping area as much as the nature of the "stakes" that sets some kids up for victimization.

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I wouldn’t be okay with this either. I don’t know that any of my kids will be interested in travel sports or this sort of thing, but I do expect them to go want to go to sleepaway camp. I would NOT be okay with just letting parents roam around and have complete access to the cabins whenever they wanted.

My six year old will be attending day camp this summer with an overnight Friday night. I don’t expect to have any access to her cabin and will change my mind if somehow the camp has a different policy(it’s 4-H camp, so I’m sure parents aren’t allowed to just show up and roam around).

  

No one has suggested allowing parents to just show up and roam around. That would not be safe. I’m quite sure that there are ways to control entry into a venue. It is done everyday in various scenarios.

 

Actually I would assume it is set up this way to prevent abusers access to the teams.  If this is Little League the an n all coaches must have their background clearances done in order for them to actually coach a team.  If they were allowed to let other parents in to the facilities --parents that don't have their clearances--then an abuser could be allowed in.

 

*Note: Yes, I know that having clearances is 100% accurate but it is a start, it shows that there are no convictions on their records, etc.*

 

Well, there isn’t any reason to limit background checks to coaches, is there?

 

 

Not all the events at Cooperstown are Little League affiliated but coaches must have background checks.  As noted above, the cabins are very open and they do not even allow nudity in the shower area (and that seriously blew my son's mind lol).  If you don't trust your team coaches/chaperones in this environment, then you shouldn't let your son around them period.

I agree, my point is that we trust too many people and too many situations with our children. Being in a group or with another adult doesn’t prevent all abuse, as the Nassar case taught us. I’m all about minimizing risk, though.

 

Again, just because something is currently set up in a particular manner, it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way, and it doesn’t mean that the parents have to go along with it. Cabins can be torn down and rebuilt, policies can change, etc..

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Thanks for the responses so far. I think I am comfortable letting him go, he just isn’t comfortable because it is new.

 

So, new question. If your family does travel sports, how do the siblings feel? This would probably be our family’s summer vacation. I’m not sure my other kids want to watch their older brother play 8 baseball games for vacation. I am leaning toward us all going and just trying to make it fun for everyone.

 

Our baseball player is the youngest, so his siblings have always been old enough to stay home when he's played tournaments.  For Cooperstown, we even left my then-16 yo home alone for the week.  She was fine.  But, plenty of other parents did have younger siblings along, and they seemed pretty content.  They trade pins, they roam around the campus, and I am sure they did fun stuff off campus between games.  By the end of the summer, perhaps your youngers will have made friends with other players' siblings so that they can amuse each other.  

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1.) *sigh* Travel teams do not have to be part of a league. They do not even have to be part of a club (some are/some aren't). Most of their games are played in pay to play tournaments. Some do play in leagues, but those are similar to the pay to play tournaments and do not get involved in team/club operations.

 

2.) It does. The facilities are not set up to accommodate families/parents with players. The cabins have room for the team and 3 chaperones.

 

3.) So are you suggesting summer camps shut down?

 

I don't think allowing random adults into the cabin area at all times makes the kids any safer. Quite the opposite.

1) Sigh. I learn something new everyday. Pay to play? No wonder travel clubs are so expensive. Seems like it’s an overly complicated way to run things, but whatever.

 

2) Tear the cabins down and build new ones. The solution isn’t that hard, change is possible.

 

3) They wshluld either have sound policies or shut down, yes. No problem with that idea at all.

 

Who said random adults should be allowed into the cabin area? I didn’t and I haven’t seen anyone else say that.

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Well, there isn’t any reason to limit background checks to coaches, is there?

 

 

So what do you say to a parent who doesn't pass the background check?  (Also, it goes without saying that a background check doesn't catch all dangerous people.)

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If there are 3 unrelated adults with the boys at all times, I think that is NOT enabling abuse. Letting any parent in and out would.

First, who says they are unrelated? Second, abusers enable other abusers. Nothing is ever guaranteed.

 

My concern isn’t with the coaching or the number of chaperones. My concern is with denying parents access to their kids. It raises my hackles.

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So what do you say to a parent who doesn't pass the background check? (Also, it goes without saying that a background check doesn't catch all dangerous people.)

They would have a choice, they can send their kid in care of others or they can keep their kids at home.

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1) Sigh. I learn something new everyday. Pay to play? No wonder travel clubs are so expensive. Seems like it’s an overly complicated way to run things, but whatever.

 

2) Tear the cabins down and build new ones. The solution isn’t that hard, change is possible.

 

3) They wshluld either have sound policies or shut down, yes. No problem with that idea at all.

 

Who said random adults should be allowed into the cabin area? I didn’t and I haven’t seen anyone else say that.

 

1.) Tournaments are usually either run as part of a business or a fundraiser.  We did more basketball than baseball over the years but honestly the tournament fees were not excessive (usually $25-35/player per tournament with a guaranteed minimum number of games). Pay to play simply means there is no qualifier to participate.

 

2.) I don't think they want to do that, and as noted on here, most of us who have experienced the set up are pretty happy with it.

 

3.) We differ on what constitutes a sound policy.

 

I consider parents wandering in and out to be "random".

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To clear something up: Dh was wanting to do the background check and be an official chaperone. We weren’t planning on all going and staying in a hotel room alone is not dh’s idea of fun and not what he wants to spend his vacation time on (I would love to do that). He didn’t want to just randomly show up. He feels like being a chaperone would be a good use of vacation time-not just sitting in a hotel other than the times he is watching ds play.

 

We may all go, which makes it more worth Dh taking vacation time. I just don’t think it sounds like a great family vacation, but it sounds like others here have had a good time.

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To clear something up: Dh was wanting to do the background check and be an official chaperone. We weren’t planning on all going and staying in a hotel room alone is not dh’s idea of fun and not what he wants to spend his vacation time on (I would love to do that). He didn’t want to just randomly show up. He feels like being a chaperone would be a good use of vacation time-not just sitting in a hotel other than the times he is watching ds play.

 

We may all go, which makes it more worth Dh taking vacation time. I just don’t think it sounds like a great family vacation, but it sounds like others here have had a good time.

 

I assumed you DH wanted to be one of the official chaperones.  DH found that experience to be...lacking lol and was jealous of us staying elsewhere.

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I think the Cooperstown set up sounds excellent. My kids always stayed in hotel rooms- the rules were NO adults, except for chaperones in an emergency could go into the room. Chaperones, like coaches, are all background checked and have a kid on the trip. I have worked as a chaperone and I think that the trips were a safe environment. 

Parents could stay in the same hotel, they could go to the hotel room, but they could not enter-because there were other kids in there. 

 

Not all parents provide excellent love and support on travel sports trips-not all parents are nice or kind to young athletes. For several kids, I know personally, they performed much better and had a better time without the constant presence of their parents.

 

Sports trips are the reason why most of my kids' friends had phones at age 10.

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I think the Cooperstown set up sounds excellent. My kids always stayed in hotel rooms- the rules were NO adults, except for chaperones in an emergency could go into the room. Chaperones, like coaches, are all background checked and have a kid on the trip. I have worked as a chaperone and I think that the trips were a safe environment. 

Parents could stay in the same hotel, they could go to the hotel room, but they could not enter-because there were other kids in there. 

 

Not all parents provide excellent love and support on travel sports trips-not all parents are nice or kind to young athletes. For several kids, I know personally, they performed much better and had a better time without the constant presence of their parents.

 

Sports trips are the reason why most of my kids' friends had phones at age 10.

 

Our basketball trips were different.  Each athlete either stayed with their parents or with the family they were traveling with for the weekend.  Our coaches were non-parents and roomed by themselves and weren't responsible for the boys when they weren't in the gym.  They did organize team activities so it wasn't like they ignored the team but they didn't have to chaperone.

 

We also had very tight knit teams and our trips were a lot of fun. I miss those days.

Edited by ChocolateReign
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OP, I agree with the poster who said he might change his mind before the time of the tournament. I would gently encourage him and talk up the fun/team bonding aspects of it. In the end I wouldn't force him to go if it would be truly distressing to him, but if he's just hesitant because of the newness, I'd try to lessen that hesitation and get him to see that it could help him get to know his teammates better.

 

 

Actually I would assume it is set up this way to prevent abusers access to the teams.  If this is Little League the an n all coaches must have their background clearances done in order for them to actually coach a team.  If they were allowed to let other parents in to the facilities --parents that don't have their clearances--then an abuser could be allowed in.

 

*Note: Yes, I know that having clearances is 100% accurate but it is a start, it shows that there are no convictions on their records, etc.*

 

I agree. Many abusers have children on their own (who they might or might not also abuse). The coach is correct in that if he lets one parent attend he has to open it up to the others. One of those others could very well be an abuser, so it's better to just not let any attend. 

 

As to the part I bolded, when ds was in Campfire USA, parents were welcome at camp outs, but if you wanted to attend as a parent you had to submit to a background check and pay for it yourself (there were funds available for those who couldn't afford it). As you point out it's not a 100% guarantee but imo it was a good policy.

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