Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – July 10, 2017
July 10, 2017 by Jeff Konigsberg
This morning, as Camp Takajo was preparing for one of our busiest days of the season, I had a flashback. I remembered one of my first years as owner when I was asked by a top trial lawyer if he could shadow me for the summer as he was thinking of a career change. This gentleman packed his bags, drove up to Maine and rented a home on Long Lake. He was excited to have the opportunity to experience the life of a camp owner.
On his first day, the attorney, who was dressed and ready to go, showed up at my morning meeting in khaki shorts, sneakers, and a polo shirt. He listened in to the countless details regarding the needs of many of our children in camp. He heard about those who had special dietary restrictions and needed to be monitored by a staff member during each meal. He listened to how we managed boys who were sleep walkers, experienced night-terrors, and our procedures for those who occasionally wet the bed.
In the middle of our first morning activity period, the attorney was with me when I received my first radio call from the health center. A nurse told me that a child had misjudged a fly ball in the outfield and was being brought to the health center with a possible broken nose. The next morning, the trial attorney showed up for my morning meeting, this time wearing khaki slacks, loafers, and a button down dress shirt. When I asked him why he was no longer wearing camp attire, he responded by saying that this job simply was not for him.
The logistics and the attention to detail could only be achieved by surrounding yourself with highly motivated and loyal staff. During today’s morning administration meeting, the following activities were on the agenda:
- The Crows (youngest campers) departed after breakfast for a beach trip to Sebago Lake State Park, where they enjoyed swimming in the lake, playing in the sand, and a picnic lunch prepared by our kitchen staff. After a fun afternoon in the hot sunshine, our little guys made their way to a local movie theater, where they watched Despicable Me 3. The Crows topped off their afternoon with some ice cream and made it back to camp in time for dinner.
- Our pioneering staff hosted the annual Takajo Invitational Climbing Competition. Five local camps attended, bringing their best climbers for a day of competition on our four-sided, fifty-foot high climbing wall. The competition was intense and after the last climber had finished, our Camp Takajo team had prevailed.
- We had a soccer inter-camp tournament for our boys twelve-years-old and younger. We sent two teams to two neighboring camps to allow more boys the opportunity to participate.
- Our eleven-and-under boys competed in a tennis tournament today which gave many of our Junior campers the opportunity to test their skills against local competition.
- Our fourteen-year-old boys who love roller hockey competed in a tournament, while some of the other fourteen-year-old boys participated in a separate street hockey tournament.
- In preparation for the Takajo Tennis Invitational taking place this Thursday, our thirteen- and fifteen-year-old tennis players had one final warm-up tournament hosted by a neighboring camp.
- In addition, our fifteen-year-olds who love football were thrilled to play in a flag football inter-camp tournament, where they competed fiercely and made us all proud.
- After a hard-fought day of inter-camps, our boys hit the showers before dinner and our eleven-year-old boys prepared to host a dinner dance with Camp Vega.
- Our thirteen-year-old boys made their way over to Tripp Lake Camp.
- Meanwhile, our fourteen-year-old boys went to Camp Vega for dinner and then headed north to the Kennebec River, where they will camp in tents overnight, awaiting the morning arrival of the girls from Camp Vega, who will be joining them for their co-ed whitewater rafting trip.
- Finally, our fifteen year old boys met up with campers from local boys’ and girls’ camps for a senior social. This event highlights the importance of maintaining the great relationships that we have with other camps in our area.
As the day came to an end and I thought back on the myriad of events that had taken place and all of the logistics required for it to run smoothly, I thought of my trial lawyer friend and imagined his head spinning in every which direction.