(2016 Participant) - Coaches Perspective:
1. I recommend going to All Star Village (not Dreams Park). The facilities are much nicer and the bunkhouses have A/C (as opposed to Dreams).
2. I did NOT take an umpire, so I had to pay for one (just rolled that and the coach fees into each of the player fees).
3. Budget (not including Travel or family expenses):
- to cover the entry fee for each player, 2 coaches and not having an umpire, the cost for 2016 was $1,248.00/kid. If you have more than 2 coaches, then the total costs will rise by $945.00 for each one.
4. The parents need to understand that they are on their own for travel and hotel, so the earlier you can start saving and fundraising the better. Whatever team you're putting together in the fall (before you go), I would recommend having them all sign a contract for 1 year and let them know that as you hit each payment milestone (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) that they are non-refundable (even in the event that a kid gets hurt and can't make the trip). Of course, you always have the option of looking for another player to fill-in but if it's a last minute situation you'll have a hard time finding someone that will actually pay for it.
5. Things to bring:
- Black trash bags and tape to cover the windows (there are NO blinds)
- 1 Combo lock for the equipment bin outside the door. (there are no locks on the doors to the cabin or individual lockers)
- Clothes line and clothes pins for inside
- Sharpie pen to label all clothing (personal and uniforms).
- Cooler (designate a parent or multiple parents to bring water bottles and snacks each day for all the kids and coaches)
- Mesh laundry bag for each kid
- Trading pins - DON'T GO CHEAP. Ours were very nice and ALL of the teams in Cooperstown wanted to trade with us. We went with 30/ea, but if you have the funds I'd go with 35-40. They're about $2.75/ea.
- Flip flops and bath caddies for showering.
- Towels & linens. We just bought the boys cheap pillows and sleeping bags while there at Walmart and donated them afterwards. You're not gonna want to pack all of that crap.
- Bathing Suit
- Coaches should bring an egg crate or blow-up mattress for extra support on top of the mattress.
6. Designate 1 night during your stay that the parents take the kids for the night to give the coaches a break. I would try to make this the same day that you decide to go to the Hall of Fame.
7. Powdered gatorade for pouring into the water bottles makes it easy.
8. Quarters for the arcade
9. An extra pair of baseball socks (if you're going with the knickers).
10. 2 pairs of plain white baseball pants (any style). Piping is not allowed.
11. If you're planning on letting the boys swim, you need to make sure they all get certified the day of check-in. Otherwise, it's really difficult to find another time that works for both the kids and the swim instructors.
13. Unless you're planning on spending a couple of days in New York City, I would recommend flying into Albany - easier to get in and out of.