The Cooperstown Dreams Park baseball week is a very special event for 12 year old baseball players and their families. It's well worth the time, effort and money. The tournaments happen in the summer but the planning happens in the winter.
Here are some of the things you should be doing in the winter to prepare for an awesome baseball experience for your team and your kid in the summer.
Stage 1 (Complete in November or December. January at the latest.)
1. Parents - Get lodging booked for all parties who are not staying in the barracks. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Players are not technically required to stay in the barracks. If your kid is considering not staying in the barrack for what is essentially a 5 day sleepover with friends, I would definitely re-think that because it is a memorable team building experience.
Here is link to housing options. http://www.cooperstowndreamspark.com/familyguide.html and http://www.cooperstownfamilyrentals.com/ Many families double or triple up in one house to save on costs. That is what I did. Some families they prefer to be by themselves. Some families chose to stay in the hotels listed as well, but they are much more expensive on a nightly basis. I recently heard that a house called the Federal House right across the street from the park is nice and sleeps 14 people. Here is a list of Cooperstown house options that my team used.
You want to look for housing now because they options are fairly limited. Start early and get the house that best fits your needs.
2. Coaches / Parents - Make sure each player has an original birth certificate.
Players will not be eligible to play if they do not have an original birth certificate. So, it is a good idea to look for the original birth certificate in the Stage 1 period just in case you can’t find it. If you cannot find it, here is a website called VitalChek where they can order an authorized birth certificate that Cooperstown Dreams Park will accept.
3. Coaches - You need to start looking for an umpire.
Each team must supply a umpire for the week. From what I understand it is an honor to be selected and they make a few bucks. Normal pay for the ump is anywhere from $500-$800.00. Umpires stay in the barrack for free.
The Main Point
Wintertime is the time to start planning for Cooperstown. Stage 2 post, Things to do in Feb / March to follow shortly.