As I went to bed last night, I could not help but reflect on our Okees, the oldest boys in camp, and how hard they were working to preserve their legacy as upstanding campers here at Takajo. However, while I was fast asleep, our Okees decided to roam the fields and remove all of the nets from every soccer and lacrosse goal on campus. They were even so ambitious that they took some nets off of the Senior tennis and basketball courts.
Just in case we were not sure that this prank was done by the Okees, they signed “Okees ’17” in white field paint across the outfield of our Senior baseball field. When I woke up this morning, these acts reminded me that the boys are only fifteen years old. I was reminded of another one of my favorite quotes, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Nevertheless, I decided not to love them again until after lunch.
We gave our Okees a new activity this morning. We thought it would be appropriate for them to have a real appreciation for what it takes to maintain this facility. Therefore, our oldest boys in camp had the opportunity to work as members of the maintenance staff throughout the morning hours. It was not hard to come up with a punch list. We started with putting all the nets back on the soccer and lacrosse goals. Then, we made our way over to the Senior tennis courts, before finishing as a group hanging the nets back up at the Senior basketball court. While this activity was probably not on any of our boys’ “bucket lists,” I think they have come to the conclusion that there are better ways for them to spend their last week in camp.
In the meantime, the Songo River Queen II, a double-decker paddle wheel boat that cruises up and down Long Lake throughout the summer, pulled up to our dock before reveille. As Warren blew the Olympic horn, our Warrior campers darted out of their bunks and down towards the lake, where the boat awaited them. Our Warrior boys enjoyed a breakfast cruise, and Olympic team rosters were announced. We could hear the cheers of our boys echoing from the middle of the lake.
Throughout the morning, our Warriors and Juniors competed in Olympic competition, and all games were astonishingly competitive. At the end of the first full day of competition, the Warrior campers celebrated with a make-your-own sundae party in the dining room. Our Sub-Senior boys (finished eighth grade) returned home from an amazing week in Canada that was capped off with jet boating in the waters of Montreal’s St. Lawrence River.
Like with any family, there is something special when everybody comes back home. The return of our Sub-Seniors signifies the end of our out-of-camp trips. With Olympics about to break for our oldest boys in camp, our full attention turns to the festivities yet to come.