Now You See It: Baseball camp for deaf players - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Now You See It: Baseball camp for deaf players

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Harrison Beck is in his third year at the Mike Busk Fantasy Baseball Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (Source: CNN) Harrison Beck is in his third year at the Mike Busk Fantasy Baseball Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (Source: CNN)
(KLTV) -

It's the time of the year when the sounds of summer can be heard all over the country, but not by the kids on these baseball fields in St. Peters, Missouri.

In his third year at the Mike Bush Fantasy Baseball Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 9-year-old Harrison Beck said, "We play baseball, but it's so much more than baseball." He added, "I've been hitting and catching, practicing my baseball skills."

Harrison discovered a love for sports when he was just a toddler, about the same time doctors discovered that he was deaf. his dad says the diagnosis was a blessing. He said. "Before we just knew we had a kid that wasn't talking, then we knew we had a deaf child."

Still, like most children, he just wanted to fit in. "It's hard for a kid who can't hear and talk like every other kid to join in a team sport," his father said.

That's why the camp started 25 years ago. For a week every summer, around 60 kids who are often singled out because of their disability get to standout because of their ability. "I want them to feel, feel like they're special and they're important and they're just as important as everyone else," said Camp Director Cari Hampton.

"Coming here as a kid helped to make me feel better about myself because I was really shy about it," said Rachel McMurtrey, a former camper. The 17-year-old was a camper for 5 years. Now, she comes back as one of more than two dozen volunteers, many of whom known sign language. She wants these kids to feel like part of a team. She said, "I'm trying to be good role model to the kids. They've been in my situation. I'm trying to show them that you're not alone."

That feeling must be contagious. Instead of watching his son from the sidelines, Harrison's dad is now volunteering as a coach. He said, "My job is pretty easy. I just get to have fun with kids." Harrison said, "I feel awesome. It feels good to have friends. Many, many friends that are the same as me."

The camp only lasts a week, but it stays with these kids much longer. Helping kids be kids at the Fantasy Baseball Camp is a message that comes through loud and clear.

Copyright 2014 KLTV via CNN. All rights reserved.

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