Beyond the Turf and Diamonds

Ripken Experience Elizabethtown's 2023 Summer Interns

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Ripken Intern, Toby Trowbridge

2023 was a big year for the Elizabethtown Sports Park. Between having recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the park’s construction, as well as kicking off a promising partnership with the Ripken Experience, there have been plenty of exciting, noteworthy happenings. One such exciting happening that should be highlighted is the summer internship program that the Ripken Experience Elizabethtown offered. This summer, for the first time at their Elizabethtown location, the Ripken Experience offered twelve college-aged students the opportunity to relocate to Kentucky for the summer and help contribute to the operational side of Ripken tournaments. This article aims to briefly introduce some of the individuals who dedicated their summer to the park, while also examining the roles and daily responsibilities of the Ripken interns. And when it comes to discussing the internship program that Ripken offers, who better to speak on the matter than the interns themselves?

“Sports gave me the ability to play something I love and make friends,” said intern Jeremy Reardon. “It’s very important to give these kids a fun environment. I have played in several tournaments where it was not fun. Creating that unique experience is fun to be a part of.”

Reardon, a senior at Colby-Sawyer College, plans on using his experiences this summer toward his degree in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration. When asked how his experience as an intern would help his development, Jeremy shared, saying it taught him the “inside aspects of running a tournament and created great relationships to extend my network.”

Interning with the Ripken Experience Elizabethtown seemed to be more than just experience for a resume, however. “ I played here as a kid and wanted experience being on the other end of it,” stated Penn State senior, Dylan Thomson. “[Baseball] has given me something to be passionate about, which is really important for kids to have growing up.” When asked what his favorite part of working with young, developing athletes was, Dylan answered, saying that the kids are, “very inspiring in terms of how much they love the game and are dedicated to getting better.”

Toby Trowbridge, a junior at LSU, took his answer a step further by voicing the gratitude he has for the opportunity to be a Ripken intern. “Working with young athletes has been an extremely high honor. You never know what kind of impression you can leave on a kid, so it is extremely important to feed them positive thoughts,” voiced Trowbridge. 

Speaking on the day-to-day responsibilities the interns performed, Toby said, “During the week we are tasked with organizing the tournaments to ensure they are running smoothly. During the weekend we are tasked with running and operating the tournaments.”

“It is a very rewarding job,” commented Dylan Thomson. He continued, “I was tasked with being a tournament official, running park operations, as well as working our social media accounts.”

Jeremy Reardon answered similarly when asked about the responsibilities of a Ripken intern, saying he worked as a tournament official, coordinated with coaches, and ran field operations during games. He said he found the internship to be, “very fun.”

Beyond the turf and diamonds, the interns spoke on their experience of spending the summer living in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Toby Trowbridge commented, saying, “Staying in E-town has been a blast. I did many things throughout this summer such as playing the local Par 3 course, eating at many places downtown, and enjoying pickleball at Freeman Lake.”

Reardon answered saying that Elizabethtown has, “Lots of things to do” and that he loved the location of the town in relation to larger cities such as Louisville and Nashville.

“Everyone here [Elizabethtown] is so nice and friendly. There is lots to do and close-by attractions,” said Thomson. “It was a nice place to call home for a few months.”

At the Elizabethtown Sports Park, we’re thrilled to hear about the positive experiences the Ripken Interns had, both at our park and in our city. As the summer comes to a close, so does the Intern’s time at the park. We sincerely hope that this experience can both be a stepping stone for their future careers, as well as a positive memory for the individuals who spent the summer here.

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