All the girls on the Monmouth Academy basketball team cheered as soon as they found out that they would all be going to Boston to play in a basketball tournament last summer. Teams from all over the United States would be there, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and another team from Maine – Auburn. A lot of the girls had never been to Boston before and they could not wait to get going.

To raise money for the trip, each one of the girls worked at the “Mustang Madness” basketball camp for younger kids. They taught basketball skills and refereed games for one week, five hours a day. They put all of the money they earned towards the Boston trip. It was only a short time until it was time to leave for Boston.

It was July 30 and it was the day to leave. Tightly packed into a van, all the girls rode down to Boston. They stopped to eat and, of course, shop along the way. This was a huge deal to the team, especially to the girls who had never been to Boston before. Seeing the city for the first time was an amazing experience that these girls would never forget.

Upon arrival at Boston College, everyone grabbed their things. The college would be home for all the teams during the three-day stay for the tournament. Having three to four people to a dorm room was great and there was always a group of girls hosting a card game in one of them. It felt just like they were actually going to college, especially since they were sharing a shower. It was a daily race to see who would get the showers first.

But the reason they were there was to play basketball. As soon as they all saw the gigantic shiny floor of the Boston College gymnasium, they grew anxious and a little nervous. That night would be their first game and in the next two days, six more games would be played. Everyone enjoyed meeting the girls from all around the United States and they all got to see what skill level these teams were at. Some games they won and some they lost, but in the end they were excited for the opportunity to be there and play.

What is a trip to Boston without going to Quincy Market? Nothing. So the whole team grabbed the T and rode it there. Smiles filled their faces as soon as they saw where they would be eating. Mouths watered and eyes widened to the sight and smell of every food imaginable. They all had lunch while watching the street performers dance to hip hop beats and do amazing magic tricks. There was entertainment everywhere you looked and shops at every corner. No one really wanted to leave that place that day.

Playing on the court at Boston College was something that a lot of these girls never thought they would be doing that summer. They were playing at a place that they had only heard about or seen on television. Now they were actually there. Each game they played, whether they won or lost knew that they had done their best and were happy to be there.

When it was finally time to leave Boston, the girls packed up their belongings and loaded right back in to the van again. While some were excited to return home, others wanted to stay there longer. The van took off for Monmouth, Maine this time. This trip was more then just playing basketball at a tournament. It was a bonding experience for 10 girls and a time they would never forget.

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