A Guide to Overnight and Daytime Softball Camps for Hoosier and Buckeye Parents
“Camp experiences build confidence and memories. And softball camps build stronger softball players.”
After a long winter, softball season in the Midwest is finally here. Summer rec teams are forming and year round travel teams are finally breaking out of the indoor batting cages and rec centers to take the field. It’s a beautiful time of year. Booster clubs are rallying the troops, dug outs are getting fresh coats of paint, first year softball parents are wondering around sporting goods stores with a special glow. There is nothing like the smell of a new pair of cleats or watching your daughter hold a bat for the first time.
It’s a busy time of year. The kids are still in school. Teams are looking for fundraisers, getting schedules nailed down, ballpark parents are coordinating who is taking which kid to which field on what day and planning vacations around tournaments. Being a ballpark parent is a way of life for many. And every time the chaos and long nights start to get to me, I remember one thing…how hard my cousin cried the last time she washed her senior class daughter’s high school softball uniform before she left out to play softball at a college 8.5 hours away from her tiny hometown, Eldorado, Ohio.
The number of kids who go on to play college sports is statistically low compared to the number who play school, rec and travel sports growing up. But it isn’t always as much about that end goal as it is the dream. Softball is fun. It is also hard work. Some play for something to do or to stay active. Others play for the sheer love of the game. Your daughter may not play softball forever, but encouraging her along the way is important. It is as much about learning how to be on a team as it is about individual performance, to win and lose with dignity, and to battle back out of tough situations.
One way you can help out your seasoned softball star or your pink helmet-wearing, dandelion-popping 7 year old right field rookie is to look into area softball camps. Softball camps are awesome. Not only do they help build skills up in players at all levels, but it also gives kids a chance to experience something new, in a different place and meet new people. Camp experiences build confidence and memories. And softball camps build stronger softball players.
As dedicated youth sports fans, a team of veteran ballpark parents and people who know time is always short,set out to pull together a list of 2015 softball camps within a manageable driving distance from the greater Wayne County, Indiana and Preble and Darke County, Ohio areas.
- Any of these can be knocked out round trip in a day (except in the case of multiple day non-residential).
- All estimated travel times from our Google Maps queries (Road Trip) are set from the Indiana/ Ohio State Line at 1-70 one way
- Links provided to official sites for additional pricing and registration information
What are the best softball camps in the Midwest?
Nike Softball Camps consistently get high reviews around the country. For the 2015 season there is a Nike Softball Camp being hosted by Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. This camp has day camp for ages 8 to 11 and extended day or full residential options for girls ages 11-18. This camp kicks off on June 14 and registration is still open!
Road trip: 2hrs 46 minutes – NIke Softball Camp Grace College
Cincinnati Reds Baseball and Softball Camps offer week long day camps at several locations in the area such as Cincy, Dayton, Indy, and Columbus. These are for boys and girls ages 6 to 14 and promise instruction for beginners up to experienced travel ball players. At first the 400$ fee may seem a little stiff for a day camp, especially if it involves you picking up hotel costs or staying at a nearby campground to make it happen. But your child does get 30 hours of instruction, 4 Red’s tix for a VIP day at the ballpark, meet Reds’ players and a full Reds’ uniform too. There are also discounts for family and friends and early bird sign ups. These camps are at various locations all summer long and registration is open.
Road trip: Several locations with at least four options just over an hour from our interstate marker. – Cincinnati Reds Baseball and Softball Camps
Michelle Gardner Softball Camps is headed up by IU’s head softball coach. There are two different sessions offered in June. Session 1 is ages 7 to 13 and costs 180$ and Session 2 is ages 14 to 18 and costs 275$. There is a 50% discount for children of IU Bloomington employees and discounts for multiple kids and team rates. 2 days instruction, no hotel accommodations included, and your softball player gets to work with the team of coaches that put IU softball back on the map. Some of you may find the 12:30 p.m. start time more convenient. Registration is open.
Road trip:2hrs 6 mins – Hoosier Sports Camps – MIchelle Gardner Softball Camps
Jennie Finch Softball Camps. O.K, first of all know that for 2015, we can’t get you any closer than Rosemont, IL and that’s over a 4 hour cruise. But no dream softball camp list would be complete without this 2 day instructional camp that runs around 195$ to 205$. Your softball player must be at least in 3rd grade or older. There are a few upper southeast coast dates for August and September so maybe a back to school beach getaway is in order. Here’s the deal…Jennie Finch is a young fast pitcher’s rockstar and her camps are a blend of hard work and fun. These camps aren’t just for pitchers as they cover all skills, but certainly something you should look into if your softball girl finds herself at home on the mound. Locations change yearly so keep an eye out.
Road trip: minimum 4 hours to you may want to fly – Jennie Finch Softball Camps
Ohio State Softball Summer Camps offer a variety of sessions. These begin in late June and the three options for single day camps are Pitching and Catching, Hitting and All Skills Elite for ages 12 to 18. They also offer a Little Buckeyes Day Camp for ages 7 to 11 and one overnight stay option–an intense Scarlet & Gray Elite Camp. These are all hosted on the Ohio State campus which may be a good way to work in a college visit for your teens along with their softball experience.
Road trip: 1hr and 36 minutes – Ohio State Buckeyes 2015 Softball Summer Camps
For more softball camp info check out these national index lists available:
We checked out and shared some prime camps with stellar reputations and we know there are many more out there. Sometimes these broad searches don’t always catch smaller scale youth organization lead camps, or clinics teams have set up on their own by bringing in an outside program for a week or a few days.
Are there any softball camps in Richmond, Indiana? Hagerstown? Or Connersville, Indiana? Eaton, Ohio? New Madison, Ohio? Greenville?
If you know of any softball action focused on general or specialized skill building that is open for registration in the greater Wayne, Preble or Darke county areas please hook us up with some info in the comments section. Also feel free to tell us about your own or your child’s experience at any of these or other softball camps.