Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – July 9, 2017
July 9, 2017 by Jeff Konigsberg
It was yet another beautiful day at Camp Takajo. Our boys enjoyed the extra hour of sleep this morning as well as a slower-paced and less-structured morning. The beautiful breeze on Long Lake was perfect for our boys who elected to sail. One of our ski boats pulled campers on our banana boat, and the campers’ squeals of delight echoed across campus.
Every building on Hobby Lane had campers working on creative projects, many of which will be displayed at our camp’s annual art show in a few weeks. Our tennis courts were full with boys who elected to take lessons with members of our tennis staff as well as others who were out there having a good time with friends.
Perhaps my greatest focus during this time in the season is spending time with individual campers and bunks discussing their socialization skills and the importance of adapting to living together. Many aspects of summer camp have changed over my twenty-eight years as owner and director, but the one thing that remains constant is the challenge some face living in a bunk setting.
While many parents comment that they wish they could go back to summer camp for just one more summer, in reality, adults would struggle far more than their children in adapting to the bunk setting. Camp teaches patience, empathy, compassion, and self-reliance. There is no better environment that fosters this experience than living in a bunk.
One of the challenges a child faces when living in a bunk is that he often only sees things from his own perspective. We are constantly trying to teach children how to pick up on social cues. For example, a child at camp may not be aware that the boy sleeping next to him may be exhausted from a long day while he is continuing to be rambunctious after lights out. A child may be interested in playing knock hockey but may not have the patience to wait his turn. A child may say things in hopes of being funny and popular without necessarily realizing that his words may be inappropriate and hurtful towards others. Teaching children how to be aware of their social surroundings and how to communicate well with others is a skill far more valuable than anything they can learn on our athletic fields.