The Minnesota Twins hosted a Youth Enrichment Clinic this week at Discovery and Lincoln Elementary Schools. The clinics, which were open to children in first and second grade and run through District 742, were funded by a grant from the Twins Community Fund.

St. Cloud Icebreakers hockey players and Cathedral students Taylor Mathiasen and Jordann Swingle were among the volunteers helping to teach the kids how to play the game of baseball. The entire team volunteered their time to make two camps work this summer.

“Most of our team is helping out, and we split up the girls so we could cover both,” Swingle said. “Everybody is helping out.”

“We make relationships with a lot of the younger kids throughout this, and a lot of bonds with the younger kids, too,” Mathiasen said. “It brings our team together and it’s a lot fun.

“The kids are really fun to talk to and get along with,” Mathiasen said.

Swingle agrees that the time spent together away from the rink has helped the team bond.

“I think it’s helping because we have a lot of younger girls coming up this year,” Swingle said. “Spending time outside the rink, being able to bond with them and have fun with the kids, I’ve been getting a lot closer to the younger girls.”

The camp begins with basic instruction of hitting and fielding, culminating in a T-ball game to end the camp on the final day. The participants will also attend the Twins game against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night at Target Field.

“I’d say they have learned a lot already,” Mathiasen said. “We’ve been doing it for a week and a half now.”

Swingle says that while it can be hard to keep the kids on task (some of the kids just want to play with her hair), it is still a rewarding experience.

“If you just get one that’s paying attention, that’s really what it’s all about,” Swingle said. “Making sure you are helping one of them, or just making relationships with anyone who approaches you.”

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