DUNDALK — The Baltimore County Police Department hosted a baseball camp for young kids for the fourth consecutive year in Dundalk, returning once again to Merritt Point Park for the five-day event.

The free camp ran from June 24 through June 28, and was open to all children between the ages of eight and 14. It was directed by Officer Spike McElfish of Precinct 12.

McElfish is also the head coach of the Eastern Tech baseball team. He was awarded the Baltimore County Police Foundation’s Community Service Award this year for his dedicated efforts in creating and leading youth sports camps and his commitment to serving the community.

He played minor league baseball for the Cleveland Indians in his youth.

The camp focuses on underprivileged and at-risk youth, and was free for participants nominated by local schools, recreation councils and other programs.

In addition to teaching the fundamentals of baseball, the camp is intended to help build a better relationship between the police department and the community.

Campers were taught baseball fundamentals — “skills and drills” — during the morning: fielding, catching, throwing and hitting. After a break for lunch, the campers were divided into two teams for an informal scrimmage.

In addition to officers from Precinct 12, officers from Precinct 11 (Essex), the county tactical unit, the county traffic unit, and a couple of School Resource Officers (Dundalk High, Sparrows Point High) took part in the camp.

The campers also were entertained by a couple of “celebrity” guests during the week. The new Baltimore County Police Chief, Melissa Hyatt, paid a visit on Thursday, and Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr., a Dundalk native, stopped by to visit on Friday.

There is a donation box at Precinct 12 for people to contribute baseball equipment to be distributed by the Cardboard to Leather program.

A football camp will be held in August.

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