Contact Host Family Coordinator Jen Kish
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Become a Host Family
When the final out has been made, the sun has set, and the post-game meal devoured, the nation’s premier amateur baseball talent needs a place to spend the night.
The Cape Cod Baseball League is successful in large part due to the hundreds of volunteers who donate their time and energy to take care of these future Major Leaguers off the field. Despite these loyal volunteers, the Cape League and the Brewster Whitecaps need more.
Jen Kish, the Brewster Whitecaps’ Director of Housing, housed three boys this past summer, an experience she cherishes more and more each year.
“Meeting the new kids, they’re all from different parts of the country. It’s funny to see how they react to so many new things,” she said.
To be a house parent, Kish requires very little. First a parent should be in contact with the player’s family in advance of their arrival. Upon arrival, the host family provide the player or players a bed, and some space in the refrigerator. She asks you do your best to help them get to practice and games on time. Lastly, it's required that you prohibit the players from breaking curfew and drinking alcohol.
Most importantly, Kish asks that you incorporate your player as if he’s a member of the family.
“Host families (typically) go out of their way to make the player a part of their family, treat them like one of their own. Make them do chores or whatever, make it as normal as possible,” Kish said.
There are more advantages to hosting a ballplayer than the potential to be able to say years later that the next great MLB All-Star spent a summer in your guest room.
Hosting is a rewarding experience. Host families develop a personal stake in the Whitecaps season. Host families often build a lasting bound with the ballplayer.
The kind of player you get is up to you. Do you want to go to a game once a week? Then choose a starting pitcher. Is going to every game more your speed? Ask for a position player. Interested in a southerner? How about a Californian? Want more than one player?
Each February, Kish sends out the roster and asks people to make requests. If the host family has no preference, she attempts to go with what they have had in the past. The only goal is to pair up player and a family in spots where they will be happy.
“The (players’) parents thank us because if their sons are comfortable where they are staying, they are going to play better and have more memorable summers,” Kish said.
Once paired up, Kish shares contact information between the two parties so they can begin speaking before the summer begins.
The relationship between the host family and the player doesn’t end when the final out is recorded.
Jen Kish’s husband, Rich, says the baseball season is great, but the relationships growing past the summer is what makes the experience so memorable.
“They come back years later, to spend time with us. We still keep in touch, Christmas cards, holidays, Jen and I get calls on mother’s day and father’s day. The camaraderie that you build with the kids (and their family) is just unbelievable."