Read, download, or print the entire Winter 2013 issue of the Tak Talk Newsletter (PDF):
Tak Talk Newsletter, Winter 2013
I am often asked why I think summer camp is so important for the development of today’s youth. I recently had another in a string of personal experiences which continue to validate why I believe so strongly in the camp experience.
First and foremost I am a dad, a role that I cherish with every ounce of my being. Like many of you my children are scheduled — perhaps over-scheduled — during the week with travel soccer, tennis, Hebrew School, and a host of other activities we manage to squeeze in. And like many of you, I enjoy witnessing these events not only because of the joy derived from seeing my children accomplish something new, but candidly because I feel more comfortable being on the sideline, just in case.
Late this fall, I was flying to Florida on a Saturday morning to meet with some camp families over the weekend. This meant I would not be at my daughter, Kate’s, travel soccer game. Sitting on the plane, seat belt buckled, I decided to make one last call to our nanny, Torey, who was at the game. When I asked Torey how it was going, she told me the game was tied at 1-1 and that Kate had just taken a penalty kick. She added that Kate had hit the post and it almost went in. Just as Torey was finishing her description, I was instructed to turn off my phone for departure.
For the next three hours I was 35,000 feet in the air wondering how Kate was doing. Did her team lose the game by one goal? Was Kate blamed for the loss? Were her teammates angry? Why did the coach pick her to take the penalty kick in a tie game when there are better players on her squad? Talk about a turbulent ￼flight! All I could think about was, “If I was there, everything would be okay and I could help Kate navigate the disappointment.”
When the flight landed I could not call fast enough for the update. With my heart pounding I listened as my daughter answered the phone.
“How was the game, Kate?” I asked.
“Great, Dad! We tied, one to one.”
Before I could launch into my fatherly pep talk about missing a penalty kick, Kate said, “And guess what, Dad? I had a chance to take a penalty kick. I was nervous and I missed it, but it was a great experience and it’ll teach me how to relax and focus for the next one.”
In one hour on the soccer field my daughter showed noticeable growth from her experience — and I had absolutely nothing to do with it! A lesson in self-reliance, independence, sportsmanship, courage — all without her father looking over her shoulder.
As I walked off the plane I couldn’t help but think how many times a day these experiences occur in the life of a camper at Takajo.