After a couple of warm, humid days, we woke up this morning to a gentle breeze and cooler temperatures. Last night, evening showers blew the high humidity out of the region, and the forecast for the next few days shows sunny skies.
Today is “Rookie Day.” It is an opportunity for the younger brothers of our current campers, who are eligible for camp next summer, and for those brothers who have sisters at neighboring camps to come for a day of play. While hand-picked staff members are selected to indoctrinate the rookies into the Camp Takajo culture, this summer, I was met by a pleasant surprise. We have forty “Okee” campers this year. These boys are fifteen years old and have completed the ninth grade prior to camp. The Okees take great pride in the traditions of camp and literally create a bucket list of things they want to do during their final summer. Some of these things might sound silly, like leading the Warriors down Main Street at the Fourth of July parade, dressing up in costumes at our carnival and leading camp songs around a camp fire, but these events are milestones that will be engrained into the memories of our Okees and will remain with them forever.
The Okees wanted to add something new to their bucket list this year. Because of their love and pride for Camp Takajo, they asked to mentor a rookie camper throughout his day. When I asked the boys why they would be willing to give up a day of their summer for these little guys, one Okee said, “This is our legacy. We know that our time is dwindling at camp, but we need to make room for the next generation and what better way to do that than to personally introduce Camp Takajo to these boys.”
As I watched our Okees play ga-ga, all-sport and eat lunch with these boys, I could not be more proud and hopeful that their legacies are enacted. Who knows? Perhaps, we may see some of these Okees back as counselors next summer.