Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Camp Erin

As a died-in-the-wool Minnesota Vikings fan I REALLY REALLY don't want to post about Favre-la-palooza today. I AM actually quite glad that he has finally returned to Eden Prairie and is with the team, since I know he will help us win games this year, which is sort of the point of sports, but honestly, I'm pretty tired of hearing about him. I could go on for a long time about the subject, but I'm confident that very few of you will care.

So I'm going to talk about something else. It involves a different guy who is probably too old to still be playing his sport. His name is Jamie Moyer. Jamie is a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, a team which, as an Atlanta Braves fan, I hate by definition. But I don't really HATE them. I just want them to lose ... often.

Of course I don't know Jamie Moyer personally, but I did catch a special on ESPN last night that made me realize that he and his wife are one amazing pair of human beings. You can see some of it here. Their foundation, The Moyer Foundation, sponsors something called Camp Erin. Camp Erin is a system of camps around the country that helps young children who have lost a parent or other loved one grieve. It is the largest bereavement camp in the world and of course the campers, ages 6-17, get to stay free of charge.

I don't have time to write about this in great detail but I will say that it is a wonderful foundation. My own mom died when I was eleven years old and I would have loved to have somewhere safe like that to go and to experience my grief with others who had experienced similar loss, rather than feeling completely alone and like it was me against the world.

A lot of athletes have wonderful foundations that do great things for the world, and I applaud them. But this is the only thing like this I've ever heard of, and since it's near to my heart, I find it kind of special.

I hope it's okay with you all that I write about this kind of thing from time to time. I was discussing the topic with a reader yesterday (Lisa of In Pencil, visit her blog, she's awesome) and we agreed that was one of the things we liked about my blog. Yes I started it to be about queries. Bad ones at first. Then I started featuring guest posts with good queries, then eventually I wrote one myself. Anyway the point is that the main goal of this blog is still to help other novice writers avoid the mistakes I made, and to learn from them. But you can't write about writing every single day, at least I can't.

So I hope you guys don't mind if I throw in some humor or entertainment, or even something serious like this from time to time. I promise to keep the Friday successful query guest posts coming for as long as I am able.

29 comments:

Ted Cross said...

Well...okay, but don't do it too often. Just kidding. I always reserve the right to go off on a tangent when the mood strikes me!

Ted Cross said...

To be honest, I would get tired of seeing nothing but queries. I like to see that there is a human being behind the blog.

Eric W. Trant said...

Remember this Favre commercial?

Favre Superbowl Commercial Youtube

- Eric

Palindrome said...

I know nothing of sports...well, not nothing but I don't care much anymore. I just wanted you to know I was here. :D

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I think it's great that you're writing about this kind of stuff. It shows that you CARE! You're my kinda guy :o) Sorry to hear that your mum died when you were so young. That must have been difficult. Were you at least able to learn a lot about her through other family members?

Are you a writer? Then you MUST enter this CONTEST!

salarsenッ said...

I like that you've deviated a bit from your norm. And I'm a major sports fanatic. There are plenty of wholesome sports' star out there who do good. The media just doesn't highlight the 'good' very often.

Jess said...

I love hearing about stuff like Camp Erin. It's so great to see people with resources giving back.

On another note...oh dear. My stepson was Chase Utley for Halloween two years ago, my husband is obsessed with the Phillies, and we all own Eagles t-shirts. We also own two copies of the movie INVINCIBLE (google it if you haven't seen it, tough guy...Mark Wahlberg rules as Vince Papale). Crap. We can still be friends, I suppose. I just need a little alone time right now.

Candyland said...

That sounds like a cool place. I bet Lenny would LOVE to go there!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

I think anything close to your heart belongs on your blog. It gives us a glimpse into who this masked query-er is. Well, not really masked, but you get the point.

This is an awesome foundation. Thanks for sharing about it, and I'm sorry you had to go through the loss of your mother alone.

Joanne Brothwell said...

I enjoy reading anything you write, Matthew. I find your writing humorous and I loved seeing a glimpse into who you are as a person.

Thanks for sharing!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I feel like our blogs aren't just reflections of where we are in the whole writing process, but also of WHO we are. And that's what makes yours special too! We're all people with a common goal and common struggles whether writing related or not and I for one am glad to see posts about the things that matter to you. And technically, you're still WRITING, no matter what;) Iz all good- great post!

Bish Denham said...

Oh my. It must have been hard to lose your mom at 11.

AND it's your blog. I think you/we should be able to post what we want, when we want. And get this my high school, a private parochial school in the Virgin Islands (remember the majority of the kids were black) named their football team...you got it, The Vikings!

Gotta love it. (PS I'm not a sports fan at all but I was always kind of parcial to Minn. team.)

Renae said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom. My little niece lost hers a few years back. Camp Erin sounds like a wonderful place for kids. I think it's great that you post things like this it does show that you care.

Em-Musing said...

Hi Mathew, thanks for checking out my blog and following me :) I like your blog also. Some interesting stuff you got there. Following you too now. Um, not to knowledgeable about Favre however.

Old Kitty said...

Thanks for the info about this wonderful foundation. Yay to Jamie Moyer and his wife! Wonderful.

Variety is definitely the spice of life. I remember when I first started blogging - I visited a whole variety of blogs and on one writerly blog a commentator said something like "if the blog is not having a serious discussion about writing, I ignore" and I remember thinking how narrow-minded and cloistered and elitist.

:-)

Life has many facets and a creative person whether they are a writer, painter, animal lover etc - are the richer for experiencing or trying to experience all these things!

Take care
x

Christina Lee said...

The exact reason why I don't subscribe to anything on my blog. I say bring whatever you want to it--it's your writing space and you have to feel motivated to keep it up--and besides, we come for you and your voice, not always the other things ;--)

Oh, and I am sooo geeked about football season starting! Go Brownies(yeah, sigh, we never go all the way).

Carrie said...

I think your blog is your place to share what is important to you.
Camp Erin sounds like it is an important place for kids dealing with the loss of a parent.
I'm not sure about this whole Favre thing but I'm excited for football season.

Robert Guthrie said...

I'm a better person for knowing about Camp Erin.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

Hey, a fellow Vikings fan! Adrian Peterson is going to rush for 17,000 yards this year. Yes, he's going to break the NFL record by 15,000 yards and rush for over a thousand yards a game. This is my belief, and I'm sticking to it.

As for the camp, that's pretty great. What a wonderful and caring idea to provide something lacking in our culture. I think our culture tends to push death and grief under the carpet too often. We don't want to see it. We don't really know how to handle it. Tryi to ignore it and hope it goes away.

Which is a shame. And I'm happy to see someone is doing something about it. Thanks for the heads up.

Jared Larson said...

Great post. I admire you for your strength. The death of a parent was my greatest fear as a child. It haunted me. It's cool that you can address the positive side of this. Well done and keep the great posts coming.

Emilia Plater said...

This is such an important topic. You do what makes you feel right, and the blog should be better for it! :)

Lenny said...

hi mr matthew! wow why arent you a atlanta falcons fan?? yikes! ypur a trator for sure. ha ha. im a braves fan and now a reds fan to w cause miss candace sent me a reds baseball cap and a bobble head of homer baily. but if they play each other im rooting for the braves but dont tell her i said so. you and me got our mom dying mostly at the same age and so you and me know just how it feels inside our hearts. you could read what i said on a post about my mom on last mothers day cause i bet you could feel the same. that phillies guy sure knows what could help. that camp is a really cool idea. its hard dealing out with someone you love dying.
...hugs from lenny

aspiring_x said...

definitely a good thing to blog about! what a great idea- that camp erin!

btw, there's this lady at work who is always "retiring" next month, and then doesn't. i called her brett favre the other day. no one got it. :(

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Camp Erin sounds like a wonderful place to highlight. I don't mind if you blog about other stuff too, Matt. Besides, it just shows you care. :)

DEZMOND said...

we don't often here about athletes using their gazillions in a good and intelligent way, so this was a really beautiful exception!

Vicki Rocho said...

The theme of your blog was originally query-centered, yes. But I daresay people continue to visit because of YOU, not the queries.

If there is a cause near and dear to your heart, then please write about it without apology.

I'm starting to like my cocktail party analogy. If we consider blogging a giant cocktail party...what happens to the guest who does nothing but talk about X all night? Finds himself alone in a corner. Go ahead, talk about other things. We're listening....

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Actually, one of the things I love about blogs (and Twitter) is hearing about the great humanitarian things happening in the world. This one touches my heart, too.

Thanks for sharing!

Elaine AM Smith said...

I'm sorry to hear your Mum died when you were so young. *oxo twice as many hugs

It is heartening to hear that "those who have" sometimes work to make a difference to those in need.

K. M. Walton said...

It sucks to lose a parent, especially when you are so young. I lost my dad when I was 29 and he was only 50. I feel your pain.

p.s. I am a HUGE Phillies fan, being from just outside of Philly and all. Jamie Moyer is the living embodiment of tenacity. And weird connection, in my MG novel, I based the camp my MC attends on Camp Erin. Wild eh?