Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – August 8, 2016
August 8, 2016 by Jeff Konigsberg
I was thinking back to my camper days, and I remembered the month of August being somewhat cool in Maine. I have a vivid memory of stepping out of bed in the morning and feeling a bit of a shock when my feet hit the floor. We had a third blanket at the foot of the bed called a “jelly roll.” I’m not sure why. However, I used it most nights during the last part of the summer at camp. It’s still very warm, the sun shines bright, and as I reflect on the summer, we didn’t have one rainy day that interrupted our schedule, for the whole season. The rain on the Saturday visiting day, which began around 3:30 pm, was our greatest weather interruption of the summer.
Our boys woke up this morning ready to participate in their fourth day of Olympic competition. Waffles and maple syrup were on the menu for breakfast. As I walked from table to table during the Warrior meal, I noticed that many of the little ones were eating with their hands. I could not help but introduce these little guys to a fork and knife and suggested that they learn to use these utensils in order to have a successful first date some day. I told the boys that if they can successfully use a fork and knife, they might even venture on to a second date someday. Somehow, I think one of these boys will be on a date and smile thinking back to this exchange.
We had Olympic competition in water polo, flag football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and tennis today. As I had a chance to make my rounds and watch our boys at play, I made the observation that while our boys are as coordinated as the campers of past years, there are very few all-around athletes that can compare to those of a generation, or two, ago. I know it has been said that the older an athlete gets, the better they were “back in the day,” but back in the day, boys did not start specializing in sports at a very early age. Therefore, their ability to play multiple sports well was more evident. We have some terrific athletes today who can play a particular sport at a high level. However, when they are put on another field and asked to compete, their sense of timing, agility, instinct, and competitiveness virtually disappears. I honestly believe that if these boys were cross training and playing multiple sports, they would have even better performance in their choice sport. It saddens me when I see a young boy who doesn’t have a proper throwing motion in baseball, doesn’t know how to play a set of tennis or the rules of a basketball game. On many levels, I wish that all sports would be a required curriculum in camp. However, nowadays, some parents call and give their child a free pass to avoid particular sports. I believe we create an environment here where we can make all sports fun for boys, and it’s okay for a child to be outside of they comfort zone for a ninety-minute sports period. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm level remains high, many games came down to the wire; and, most importantly, the sportsmanship was terrific.
As the boys headed into the diner meal tonight, we surprised them with Olympic coverage to keep them in the loop with the excitement taking place outside of camp and ended the meal with a Takajo Raffle. While it saddens me to be in the final days of camp, I have immense joy knowing what we have achieved this summer.