One of my favorite things about working in public service is hearing stories from community members about how a local agency has been a part of someone’s life.
Many people reminisce with me about how they grew up playing North of the River sports. They speak fondly of their time here, playing in our parks, attending activities in our centers, or joining sports leagues. Their stories serve as a reminder of the importance of recreation and green spaces. These vital points of infrastructure offer space for our brains to relax, moments to destress, and chances to embrace leisure.
With baseball season underway, I’m currently hearing a lot of memories specifically regarding NOR’s Summerball program. This popular program, which takes place in May through June, focuses on boys’ baseball and girls’ softball, is for children and teens, and has been an NOR sports staple for decades. Summerball offers the community an option to play ball in the off season, and every year, hundreds of children and teens participate. I am so excited to share that this well-loved program, which has been on hiatus since 2020, is back! We’re ready to make memories together again and we’re encouraging the community to join the fun!
Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Volunteer to coach. Volunteering can be incredibly rewarding. Coaches mentor, guide and inspire youth by creating a positive environment and serving as a role model. They promote self-confidence, teach the value of teamwork, and are instrumental in the success of our programs. When you coach for North of the River, you’re investing time to positively impact the community you live in. But let’s be honest, the best part about it is that it’s fun! Spending time supporting NOR through sports and programs you enjoy can be very fulfilling.
Register your child. For those that played Summerball when they were young or for those families that this is their first time, joining an NOR program creates opportunities to visit local parks and bond with your child. Youth that participate in activities like Summerball learn the importance of valuing wellness, movement and recreational play. As a parent or guardian, you are setting them up for a healthy mindset lifelong. Register your child or teen for Summerball by April 7.
Apply for seasonal positions. Many NOR programs are made possible directly through seasonal openings. Currently, NOR is recruiting recreation leaders (site supervisors), officials (umpires), and scorekeepers to support game operation during the Summerball program. This is a great opportunity for older teens to gain experience and stay engaged during the Summer or for those passionate about baseball and softball to be involved.
Sponsor Summerball. Local businesses interested in supporting NOR can sponsor Summerball and be recognized on NOR’s social media, at the program’s opening day, and on the field at Polo Community Park. By championing programs such as this, you are directly supporting availability of the program, community access to the activity, and community wellness.
We look forwarding to NOR continuing to be a part of your memories!
Learn more information about Summerball or register, express interest in volunteer opportunities, and view seasonal openings on our social media channels (@norrecreation on Instagram and @NORfun on Facebook) and on our website at NORfun.org.
Jasmin LoBasso is the superintendent of Recreation & Community Services at North of the River Recreation and Park District.