There is something special about a camper’s last summer at Camp Takajo. A significant number of boys have been here for seven, eight, or even nine summers. One of the Senior bunks has virtually the same campers in their cabin this summer as they did their very first summer at camp.
While many campers in their early years of attending camp anguish about who is to be in their bunk, our Senior campers realize it’s less about the cabin and more about the group. As a matter of fact, I rarely see a Senior camper walking around camp without a posse of friends. Most would assume that only the girls’ camps have emotional campers on the final day. However, I can tell you first-hand that our oldest boys are emotional messes on departure day.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Our mission is to help the campers have a great appreciation for living in the moment– having an appreciation for their surroundings, for their parents who have given this incredible opportunity, and, most importantly, for their fellow campers who are likely to remain great friends throughout the rest of their lives.
Historically, in this last week of camp, the oldest boys create a “bucket list” of things they wish to do. Some have not shot archery since they were nine years old. Some request to sleep out in the tree houses. As the sands of time slip through their fingers, these boys savor every last moment of their camp experience.
Olympics is about to begin. This tightly knit group of boys is about to be separated into olympic teams. They will compete fiercely for the next four days. And when it is all over, win or lose, they will embrace each other with hugs and check another special moment off their bucket lists.