Breaking News
More () »

Kids meet up in Johnston for Iowa Deaf Baseball Camp

Hitting the field for a ball game is something most of us take for granted.

Hitting the field for a ball game is something most of us take for granted.

But there’s a group of kids in the metro this week who say baseball has changed their lives.

The sight of kids playing baseball is a familiar one, but there’s a group of children in the metro catching the attention of everyone who passes by.

They’re stepping up to the plate in Johnston this week as a part of the Iowa Baseball Camp for the Deaf.

The camp was taken over several years ago by Dylan Heuer. He’s deaf and wanted to find a way for people like him to experience America’s favorite pasttime.
“It’s the best feeling in the world for me. Because really, it makes it really worth it. The experience that I had growing up, and I see the smiles on the kids’ faces. It makes me feel really satisfied with everything– giving them opportunity for equal access, and to have a good time.”
He took over the camp four years ago after the program was dropped while he was away at college.
“When I came back, I thought, oh. I was disappointed because the camp wasn’t set up. I wanted to give our deaf and hard of hearing kids the same opportunity that I had when I was a kid, when I was their age.” 
He kept the camp alive, and now the kids are learning the fundamentals of the game.
“Some of the basics of baseball, like grounding, where to throw a ball, and that type of stuff.” 
And making memories, too.

“I like playing with my friends.”
They came from all over the Midwest to meet other kids who face the same challenges they do, giving them a chance to bond over a favorite childhood game.
“The  deaf culture and the baseball world. I mean, being able to share those things together and provide that thing to these kids. It’s such an exciting and exhilarating thing. I love it.” 
Just by the smiles on their faces, it’s obvious swinging the bat and running the bases alongside their friends has impacts that reach far beyond the field.
“It’s really a joy to see how the children come out of this camp. You think about everyday teaching and baseball. But the big and rewarding thing is that the children that come out of this camp are having a social experience that they haven’t had any other way.” 

Before You Leave, Check This Out